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Grinning Cat [CD]

Susumu Yokota Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 7.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Grinning Cat + The Boy And The Tree + Sakura
Price For All Three: 25.41

Buy the selected items together
  • The Boy And The Tree 8.76
  • Sakura 8.74

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Jun 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: The Leaf Label
  • ASIN: B00005JDMT
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,173 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I Imagine
2. King Dragonfly
3. Card Nation
4. Sleepy Eye
5. Lapis Lazuli
6. Balloon In A Cage
7. Cherry Blossom
8. Love Bird
9. Fearful Dream
10. Tears Of A Poet
11. So Red
12. Flying Cat
13. Lost Child

Product Description


Susumu Yokota came to the attention of the clued-up musical public with Grinning Cat's predecessor Sakura, a minor ambient classic that found this homely Japanese sound technician showered with critical plaudits, and compared--not without good reason, we might add--to 1970s ambient pioneer Brian Eno. While Eno's classic Music for Airports was a muzak benchmark for sound in the public sphere, Yokota's muse follows an urge towards the bliss of privacy; Grinning Cat is, Yokota explains, an album about living out a domestic fairytale with his girlfriend and a family of cats in the quiet suburbs of Tokyo. Its essence is the exquisitely layered minimalism of "King Dragonfly" where hands clap, drums pitter-patter, wind chimes gentle sway and an acoustic guitar is neatly picked to create an ornate, yet uniform tapestry of sounds--but deeper into "Grinning Cat", more disquieting moments simmer. On "Fearful Dream", psychedelic pipes and an atonal banjo strum bubble under the gentle, stuttering loop of sparse piano, while album closer "Lost Child" breathes spectral hushes and unsettling glitches through alternate speakers in the most disconcerting manner. Still, Yokota is only playing; Grinning Cat is a perfect find for fans of the quiet stuff--warm, comforting and always welcoming to visitors. --Louis Pattison


"Fluid and precise, Grinning Cat is about as flawless as you’ll get" 4/5 -- URB

"Infinitely charming and eminently seductive...yet more evidence that Chief Wizard Yokota is a master of building dream worlds" 4.5/5 -- DJ Magazine

"mostly quiet, sometimes scary, often beautifully mad... effective and funny dance music" -- The Wire Magazine

"transcends both continents and genres... a chilled brand of euphoria. Pure joy" 5/5 -- iDJ

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow 28 July 2001
By Danny C
Format:Audio CD
It's certainly different from Sakura. Grinning Cat is much less, well, ambient. The ideas are more aggressive, and he uses samples more frequently (and with startling orgininality). In this sense, some parts of it reminded me of Endtroducing by D J Shadow. Grinning Cat is fascinating music, recommendable to anyone whose musical tastes go deeper than S Club Seven. The fist time you listen to the track Flying Cat, your jaw will drop. Stunning. A bizarre combination of orchestral shreiks, rich in filmic atmosphere and enhanced half way through by an astonishing military drum pattern played across the beat. It one of the strange and beautiful things to come out of this world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disoriental 23 Jun 2007
Format:Audio CD
An excellent and highly original take on ambient, sample based chill out. Susumo's style seems to evade clear definition. Its many layered samples and instrumentation gives it an earthy, organic feel that juxtaposes with the more digital, electronic elements provided by the jagged sampling techniques and sound arrangement. Breakbeats and drum sequencers are used sparingly and never in a conventional sense, the percussive elements of each tune often being led by the more dominating samples and sounds which are perfectly selected and blended.

A very relaxing album that is still interesting and challenging.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Susumu's revenge 26 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Less than a year after the release of his last album, Sakura, the new king of Japanese ambience releases another stunning album!!
It is based loosely around the story of Alice in Wonderland, hence the title. The theme is quite fitting listening to the abstract, dreamy music.
Compared to his previous outing, this album is quite different in a number of ways. Although it retains his individual sound, this time a lot more piano and broken guitar riffs can be heard, rather than deep reverbed synths. On some tracks such as 'Card Nation' and 'Fearful Dream', the track even decends into a strange tribal drum pattern, which I didn't personally like too much. I think Susumu should stick to what he does best, layering beautiful sounds as in 'King Dragonfly' and 'Lapis Lazuli'.
The album does however, as you'd expect, contain some classics. 'Flying Cat' is the best track I have heard all year. Maybe not as perfect as his first, it's by Susumu Yokota, and therefore still light years ahead of anything you've ever heard!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yokota creates a new genre of music - again. 27 April 2003
Format:Audio CD
I have owned this CD for two years and have listened to it maybe eight times so far. This might seem a lot or a little depending who you are but it is a habit which needs explanation.
This CD is something for special occasions where nothing else will do. The textures created demand your full attention quite simply because your brain cannot comprehend what it is listening to. Some tracks are simply beautiful while others create an unusual image in your mind's eye. Overall, the music is nothing like you've ever heard before and this is why it deserves a five star rating.
Buy this CD if you are a true music lover who is not afraid of unmanufactured music.
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