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Boomkat Product Review:
Hard-nosed yet playful experiments with dancefloor rhythm from Japan's Aoki Takamasa, recommended if you like Mark Fell, NHK, etc. Despite its forbidding exterior and opaque, joyless track titles ('Rhythm Variarion 01', 'Rhythm Variation 02', etc), Takamasa's computer constructions are very lush indeed, with luminous, melodically advanced synth patterns and skippy, club-ready rhythms that variously invoke Skam's North-West b-boy roll, Sensate Focus's juddering Chi-house-derivations and, on the awesome 'Rhythm Variation 04', a space somewhere between hip-hop, techno and 2step garage. 'Rhythm Variation 06' is almost conventional deep house, driven by bulbous bass and moody blue organ tones, and 'Rhythm Variation 07' is funked-up, glitchy minimal of considerable class. In the end, you wish Takamasa would challenge you a little more than he does; but if you focus your attentions on the more obtuse, off-kilter cuts that bejewel the album, you won't be disappointed.