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A Magazine for Sheffield


This is the fourth release by Anchorsong – real name Masaaki Yoshida – since his move to Europe in 2007 and it has the smooth, confident feel of an artist who has made a name for himself in the electronic genre. The Japanese producer is at that awkward level of fame where prominent industry figures such as Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens are vocal supporters, but relative obscurity still prevails.

Underpinning his tracks with what his label describe as “minimalist, catchy melodic phrasing”, Ceremonial sees Anchorsong expand his already wide spectrum of influences to include a new one - 1970s African music, “fresh, cheerful and uplifting” according to Yoshida, who happened upon this latest inspiration in his local music shop.

And this record has a fittingly international feel for an artist originally from Tokyo and now based in London, most noticeable in the earthy, jungle-inspired 'Mother' and the jazzy 'Butterflies'. The latter is a highlight of the album, alongside the classy, genre-hopping standout 'Rendezvous', with its gently bouncing sequences.

Though generally impressive, Ceremonial occasionally suffers from one of the pitfalls of the electronic genre, monotonous repetitiveness, especially in its early tracks, such as 'Oriental Suite'. Its heavy use of vocal samples may grate by the third or fourth listen, and the second half of the album is more enjoyable for being lighter on these samples. Though perhaps a touch pretentious for some tastes, there are rich tapestries of sound that pop up at times here.

Dan Rawley