Nobukazu Takemura 10th

As always, Nobukazu Takemura has some of the finest CD cover art that looks like it would fit right in a children’s fairy tale. Bright yet pleasant colours and wondrous drawings of strange robots greet the listener when opening the disc. Yet the content on 10th sounds distinctly different from his usual stuff. Takemura is heading towards a new direction, developing on his concise glib style and heading towards prog IDM. One gets the sense that his musical vision on 10th has not fully formed yet. For that reason, the majority of the tunes tend to drag on and sound somewhat tedious. That is not to say that Takemura has lost his skill — on the contrary, the sound generating craftsmanship, the samples and programming are clever as ever. It is what Takemura has done with his abilities that seems unsatisfying. That said, some material on 10th is fun, especially the tracks that seem as if a child is going nutty with an ’80s era Speak & Spell toy. But these fun parts are the exception. Compared to the finely honed frenetic IDM of his earlier work this recording does not cut it. Hopefully 10th is a work depicting Takemura’s vision in transition and are dim stirrings of greater things to come. (Thrill Jockey)