Label: Apollo – AMB1703, R & S Records – AMB1703 Format: 2 × Vinyl, 12", Compilation, Reissue Country: UK Released: 10 Mar 2017 Genre: Electronic Style: Deep House, Techno, House
Lush and sprawling ambient techno double collecting 90s works by R&S hero and video game music master Yuji Takenouchi.
It seems obvious that the pantheon of 90s smooth techno is set: John Beltran, Chez Damier, Ludovic Navarre, Carl Craigetc. etc. names carved in stone and Discogs price statistics. Older wiser heads have sifted the wheat from the chaff and there is nothing more to be said. Maybe the odd B3 or wrong speeder might fit the bill, but basically it’s all sewn up, the cannon is fixed. But occasionally, you come across something that seems so perfectly made and so completely in the sweet spot of this kind of stuff that it throws you way off. When I first stumbled across Mr YT’s Southern Paradise 12 on Apollo a few years ago it seemed genuinely odd that this person wasn’t feted by all the usual techno bores. As I explored his discography further the feeling only grew. How is music this beautiful, serene, inventive and well crafted hiding in plain sight, seemingly unheralded on inexpensive(ish) 12s on various R&S sub-labels? Maybe it is something to do with Takenouchi’s prolific career in computer game music. I often think of techno and commercial sound-design as two oppasite sides of the same coin, or asparallel light and dark paths that rarely cross. The communal, euphoric world of the dance-floor or the private dreamscape of headphones thankfully held at one remove from the prosaic market-driven world of music and sound for commercial use. I remember once meeting a guy who owned a sound design company, he said his strategy was to seek out young and talented techno producers and tempt them away from the high-minded white-label ivory tower into earning big money imagining the sound of an exploding zombie’s head for Game of Thrones. Kind of gross, and weirdly dickensian! Anyway, I digress. Mr YT’s work on Metal Gear Solid, Ace Combat X and Monster Hunters, meant his dance music releases were few and far between. Which is a shame as the music collected here is gorgeous: hazy, stepping E2-E4 synth patterns and muscular percussion all wrapped In gauzy hopeful pads. Where has this stuff been all my life! (Mint / New)