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The perfect end to a perfect trilogy
on 18 September 2002
Yokota has made his third brilliant album for Skintone/Leaf, effectively creating a trilogy of records which progress along a steady line: Sakura was mainly ambient, but towards the end Yokota began throwing in beats and jazz rhythms, which was where last year's Grinning Cat picked up. That album upped the ante further, adding the occasional dicordant noise and unsettling voice, which gave the music more character, yet never became intrusive enough to ruin the relaxed feel of the record. More of the tracks contained beats of some sort, but always of the lighter kind.
And that's where The Boy And The Tree comes in. The ante is upped yet further, with the tracks almost gaining traditional song forms at times. The usual beautiful dub/ambient sounds are here, with lush voices speaking in not-quite-words, but most tracks feature full rhythm (log drums, african/japanese/jazz sounds etc.) and some have quite a fast tempo (relative to the usual tempo in Yokota's ambient recordings). And while I would recommend you buy the other two albums in order, this album is definitely the best product of Mr. Yokota's offbeat, relaxed vision so far.