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Yuichiro Fujimoto
(Audio Dregs)

Being a rather cynical person by nature, I tend to be suspicious of overtly personal records, since they often seem more earnest than sincere. But this latest release on Portland's Audio Dregs label is a real gem that took me by surprise. It's an intimate album of bedroom electronics that actually works with nary a cloying- "childlike"-melody-processed-into-a-foggy-faux-nostalgic-haze in sight. The instrumentation is spare: simple melodies played on keyboard, accordion or xylophone with a dash of grainy electronic textures or field recordings for color. It's a standard set of ingredients to be sure, and should cause anyone to get their critical dander up, but Fugimoto manages to create something quite special out of them. It's precisely its simplicity that keeps each sonic vignette in balance and makes this such a lovely, little record. It's personal, but not at all calculated or cloying. A tiny reminder of the importance of small, well-considered gestures.


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