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Sakura [CD]

Susumu Yokota Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: £10.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Sep 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: The Leaf Label
  • ASIN: B00004Y1VK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,347 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Saku
2. Tobiume
3. Uchu Tanjyo
4. Hagoromo
5. Genshi
6. Gekkoh
7. Hisen
8. Azukiiro No Kaori
9. Kodomotachi
10. Naminote
11. Shinsen
12. Kirakiraboshi

Product Description

Product Description

press reviews:
"So exquisite you're almost afraid to touch it in case it breaks. Sakura's message is clear: listen up, mortals, and learn some fucking humility" Muzik, 4/5

"Intelligence, subtlety, insinuation - these are the elements that Yokota prizes most highly" NME, 8/10 and Pick of The Month

"In the grand tradition of Japanese minimalism, Yokota's supremely ambient sound odysseys beguile and delight, moving ever-so-slowly towards their gentle climaxes with gorgeous precision" The Face

"A stunningly beautiful record.....Susumu Yokota continues to show himself as one of the most gifted producers on the planet, and, not before time, the early works of Eno and Aphex Twin have been joined on their pedestal" Wax, 10/10, Abstract Album Of The Month

"Powerfully emotional...music that seeps into your bones... Sakura bears comparison with Eno's finest 70s recordings" The Mix, 9/10

"His ability to create blissfully enchanting music has been compared to that of Brian Eno... Fantastic sounds to immerse yourself in completely" DJ, 8/10

"Pretty much flawless" The Sunday Times

"An exquisitely chilled delight" Q, 4/5

"Cool, calm and collected, Sakura is the most well-chilled album of the year" The Independent

"Yokota manages to make the finest soul-soothing music out there. Incredible." Level

"Truly amazing, a perfectly poised amalgam of easygoing chillout and laidback warmth" The Wire

"God-like genius" Sleazenation

"Fragrant... delicate... intoxicating music" iDJ, 4/5

"Sakura floats and provokes, but the intricate view is never obscured by fluffy clouds" The Guardian

"It's the sheer physical and intellectual power that stays with you" Mojo

"Captivating enough to rank alongside any of Brian Eno's Music For... classics. There's a rare delicacy on offer that's overwhelmingly emotional. You'll never think the same way about ambient music again" amazon.co.uk

"Sakura is a revelation. The music on this superlative album is warm, otherworldly and deeply soulful" muse.ie

"Yokota is a master of understatement, using a voice that whispers but which rings out with the clarity of its distinct, masterful command and sheer melodic confidence. Words merely banalize the beauty of this recording. Go and listen" Motion

"gorgeous and essential" Overload

"One of the albums of the year" Ben Wilcox, Straight No Chaser


Ambient music. Just leave the fridge on for an hour, put microphone close by, record and release in nicely packaged artwork. That's what the cynics would say. They've clearly never been anywhere near Sakura. While Japan's Susumu Yokota is better known for leftfield techno and weird-beard house, this venture into the world of chilled-out soundscaping is captivating enough to rank alongside any of Brian Eno's Music For... classics. Tapping into the spirit of Eno's 1970's experimentalism (think My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts), tracks like the Afro-tinged "Uchu Tanjyo" and "Hisen" capture the sound of global drifting beautifully. The pace throughout (apart from the jazzed-up "Naminote" and Moroder-ish "Hogoromo") is metronomic, but never soporific. On "Saku" and the celestial "Kirakiraboshi", there's a rare delicacy on offer that's overwhelmingly emotional. You'll never think the same way about ambient music again.--Calvin Bush

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning. 5 Oct 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have to admit, I bought this on a whim with a view to padding out my CD collection with some ambient recordings. Prior to this, I'd not heard of Susumu Yokota but although 'Sakura' is the first of his albums I've listened to, it won't be the last.
To describe the tracks as chillout music would be crass in the extreme, as there's a mixture of styles here ranging from dreamy synth-driven works ('Saku'), through mellow techno (the awesome 'Genshi') right up to the full-on jazz-style noodling of 'Naminote'. Even so, the end results are blissful, almost organic sounding and in some cases deeply moving. Apparently Yokota has a fairly strong reputation as a producer, and on the strength of this work it's not difficult to understand why.
Comparisons between 'Sakura' and the early work of Brian Eno are justified too. Like some of Eno's earlier albums, 'Sakura' can be a bit hard to swallow in one go, at least initially. However perseverance pays off and, to be perfectly honest, I can't think of a better album to listen to with the lights turned low - not a mood-lifting album by any means, but certainly mood provoking, and that can't be bad.
To consider Susumu Yokota as an underrated genius isn't wide of the mark.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmeric 17 Mar 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There is a tranquillity in Yokota's 'Sakura' that in the hands of others would become sterility. With each track, Yokota seamlessly transports the listener through his idyllic paradise, presumably the isle much of this work is inspired by. From the opening, unadorned bass pulse of 'Saku', string-like synths arrive from what seems like miles away, wrapping themselves into a cocoon of dreamy, otherworldy music. The method will not blow you away, as there are barely any dramatic shifts in Yokota's armoury here, but like with the curtain of distant rainfall ever-present through 'Taku', this artist works through steady accumulation that is mostly just as satisfying and effective: you sense the artist revels in crystallizing a momentary wonder into a flowing, unravelling experience.
Unlike Aphex Twin's Ambient Works, there is little disparity of mood in this album. Whereas Aphex's work can shift from mesmeric beauty to the paranoid and nightmarish, Yokota's work presents a smoother listening experience, taking some of the aforementioned artist's stellar beauty and mixing it with the synth-rich warmth and playfulness of Air. Indeed, where Aphex's melodies would drift for the best part of ten minutes, Yokota involves livelier and more vivified arrangements that are in a constant process of evolution, gradually filtering in and out beautiful sounds, continuing others; for instance, the end of 'Tobiume' sees a mellifluous, reverbed guitar cleanly picking in the background: the effect is similar to Air's 'Walkie Talkie' album, yet in the hands of a master like Yokota, you are barely aware of the addition.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than a nightcap... 8 May 2005
Format:Audio CD
Whenever my brain feels sore, beaten and withered up like a dried plum, I tend to have a bath, or a beer, or even both. But then I bought 'Sakura' with an interested curiousity that it would shine as much a Susumu's other work. After just one play, I rapidly realised that I would need neither a beer nor a bath to feel soothed and rejuvenated. This album contains some of the most inspiring and beautifully rendered sounds I have come across.
Expect cinematic collages of sound and masterfully layered styles that melt into a recording that Brian Eno, Phillip Glass and Aphex Twin probably all wish they had made themselves.
It is a veritable mind tonic.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sakura is Yokotas' masterpiece. 7 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This album is beutiful, by far his best most consistant work. Rich, warm and totally fluid sonics, the songs almost have a physical texture. Sakura is reminiscant of Aphex Twins' Selected ambient works, vol 2, Steve Rheich or Brian Eno, but more importantly it has a sound unique to itself. Basically it is stunning, buy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Achingly Beautiful 24 May 2007
By Lab Rat
Format:Audio CD
If you've followed recommendations to Susumu Yokota then this is a good place to start (then follow it with Grinning Cat or Sound of Sky). This is the apotheosis of ambient music: truly gorgeous and wistful. The track Kodomatchi is worth the price of admission alone. If everyone on the M25 had this treasure playing in their cars there would be no more road rage and everyone would look forward to traffic jams.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Stunning 14 Jan 2001
Format:Audio CD
Okay, so I know what you're thinking; "Susumu Yokota? Who?" Trust me on this one, if you buy this album, you will soon be thinking; "Susumu Yokota. The man is a genius. Where can I get me some more?". Exquisitely crafted and beautifully presented, Sakura is one of the most stunning albums I have ever heard. If it were any more chilled you could use it to keep your beer cold. Sakura evokes a mellow, carefree sense of calm upon which the intricacies of the melody cavort, and leaves you feeling that the world is somehow a better place than it was before you heard the album. More please ....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Japanese Beauty 27 Oct 2008
Format:Audio CD
`Sakura' had intrigued me for some time before I took the plunge and bought it - I could see it featuring regularly in fellow Amazonian's lists when crossed referenced to other electronica I like, such as Boards of Canada, but I confess that its ambient tag was always a little offputting. I thought this might be a bland an uninspiring record - how wrong I was!

The opening track `Saku' sets the overall tone of the record with its warm pulses of sound over which play electronic flourishes and synth effects. `Sakura' is definitely towards the blissed-out end of the elctronica spectrum but it is never dull. Its tracks are constructed carefully and minimally; built around simple repeating, melodic themes played mostly on the synth but with occasional use of strings too, such as the lovely harp sound on `Shinsen'.

One of the most satisfying things about the record is its variety; `Uchu Tanjyo' features a babble of Japanese voices as a vocal sample, whilst `Azukiiro No Kaori' and `Kodomotachi' both have hauntingly atmospheric female chant and vocals layered ino the mix. Yokota steps up the pace with greater use of beats on the playful melody of `Hisen' and the pulsing, rhythmic `Genshi', which makes you feel like you are looking out of the window of a bullet train as the Japanese countryside flashes by outside. There is even a jazzy, piano-driven workout on `Naminote'.

`Sakura' is perfect mood-music; brilliant to listen to when reading or just chilling out. Don't be put off like I was by its classification as ambient, if you like warm, melodic electronica you will love this record.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious and monotonous
I like Brian Eno's ambient works and was recommended to this album..Sadly I did not like "Sakura" much. This over-hyped CD is in fact pretentious monotonous twaddle. Read more
Published 14 months ago by mariopops
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype
A pretty enough record but not quite the masterpiece I expected based on Amazon buyer reviews. Disappointing compared alongside Autechre, Boards of Canada or Plaid at their best.
Published 21 months ago by Damian Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Paradise music, great for outdoor summer evenings
In a few words - absolutely stunning. Absolutely must-have for any ambient music fan. I've heard a lot of other records from Susumu Yokota, from his techno beginnings through pure... Read more
Published on 28 Aug 2012 by Martin Jagos
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure cherry
It's the best album I've ever heard. I love classical music, jazz or whatever can inspire some spirit but this one stands. It's perfectly calm, but moving. Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2011 by Nicolas
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to say
Firstly I've given this recording three stars. To be honest I could have given it five stars, or even one star. So I went for the middle ground. Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2011 by Vaughan
5.0 out of 5 stars Japanese Beauty
`Sakura' had intrigued me for some time before I took the plunge and bought it - I could see it featuring regularly in fellow Amazonian's lists when crossed referenced to other... Read more
Published on 27 Oct 2008 by D. Newton
5.0 out of 5 stars Awe-inspiring!
You could say an awful lot about this album, about the varying musical styles, tempos, spoken word parts, soundscapes, etc, etc. Read more
Published on 4 Aug 2008 by C. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Very relaxing
If you like Global Communication, Experimental or Chill Out you will love this. Its one of his more accessible albums and it the one everyone talks about. Read more
Published on 16 July 2005 by Johan De-silva
5.0 out of 5 stars touching
I bought this album simply because i wanted a new CD and i liked the cover...pretty fine gamble i made there.
This is one of my favourite albums. Beautifuly crafted. Read more
Published on 8 Oct 2004
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