Label: P-Vine Records – PLP-7156 Format: Vinyl, LP, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered Country: Japan Released: 18 Aug 2021 Genre: Electronic Style: Techno, Ambient
First time on vinyl for Yokota’s ingenious and weirdly beautiful tapestry of classical samples
Originally released via P-Vine on CD in 2004, and now in a much requested probably-hear-and-gone vinyl edition, Symbol is a late career outlier from the much missed ambient godhead. His source material here is sampled classical music, which he chops, loops and layers along with his more usual synths and drum machines. He mainly appropriates music of the Romantic and Impressionist schools - Debussy, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven etc. but Meredith Monk's ecstatic vocals also make a few appearances. You might think that he will have chosen tiny snatches of obscure pieces, but not so. The album is full of very famous melodies made strange and new. The kind of stuff that even the most untutored ear would instantly recognise from a thousand car adverts. This is an odd and super-risky strategy. It could have ended up sounding like one of those hideous pop/classical hybrids on Music for Pleasure or similar that will always choke our charity shops. But in his hands it doesn’t. It’s undeniably beautiful: elegant, ornate and slightly mannered. One minute it’s fading into airily perfect stasis. The next it's jolting you awake with an uncanny valley moment of disassociated joy as two familiar but unplaceable melodies slide over each other hinting at a third.
In other words it shouldn’t work but, of course, it does.. (Mint / New)
Tracklist A1 Long Long Silk Bridge A2 Purple Rose Minuet A3 Traveler In The Wonderland A4 Song Of The Sleeping Forrest A5 The Plateau Which The Zephyr Of Flora Occupies A6 Fairy Dance Of Twinkle and Shadow B1 Flaming Love And Destiny B2 The Dying Black Swan B3 Blue Sky And Yellow Sunflower B4 Capriccio And The Innovative Composer B5 I Close the Door Upon Myself B6 Symbol Of, Life, Love, And Aesthetics B7 Music From The Lake Surface