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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2004
Peerless mystical ambience, fond of twanging guitars, clanking percussion, subliminal voice samples, heterogenous stop-start song structures and twittering birdsong. Tonally organic and and tightly composed, with exceptionally intricate layering and placement of sounds. Resonant stuff, conjuring the ambience of an ancient forest alive with spirits.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 18 October 2003
Nobody thought he could top 'Sakura' and I don't think he has with this. But he has at least equalled it in terms of quality and listening pleasure.
Again he proceeds to combine beautiful, sweet ambient sounds to just immerse you totally in his sound. It's like voices and sounds that you recall from your past, like looking back hazily through time. I don't know how he manages to do it, but there is something magical about the music he makes.
From what other have said to me about Susumu Yokota's music, it seems to transcend all boundaries, his music can mean many things to many different people.
For all those who like electronica, then this has to be an album you must consider buying. Again the cover design is just delightful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2008
This incredible offering from Yakota is art in it's truest sense. It's a slice of Japanese culture seemingly etched on to a canvas in a hut on the side of a mountain. This is the perfect fission of nature and technology. The production standards and creative uses of sound here are beyond anything I have heard in electronica or otherwise and all without being pretentious or over-indulgent.

Warm and enchanting, the native wood, strings and keys pick and pluck away in layers of organic sound that ebb and pull, following loose rustic rhythms and magical melodies that touch you and take you to far away places. At times dark and mysterious and at others innocent and playful it really is like walking through a forest's dense undergrowth and dappled glades with mystical creatures and plants breathing with you on the journey.

This is my favourite album and I am an avid lover of most types of electronic music. It is minimal, and as such some listeners may not have the patience to fully appreciate this masterpiece. Indeed finding an appropriate time to listen can be difficult - it draws you in and deserves your full attention, which is a rare thing in modern electronic music. Producers buying this album will be listening with pricked ears. This is superior to most of Yakotas work in my opinion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2007
This is an excellent album to drift of to sleep to. The lack of drum sections and the often undefined rhythm gives the music a sense of floating weightlessness, perfect to set the listener into a trance like state of relaxation. Yokota demonstrates here once again his perfect sense of taste in both sound selection and arrangement.The subtle beauty of this album is not to be missed by fans of Yokota and anyone searching for original sounding ambient/soundscape style music.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2007
I don't know...after I heard SAKURA two weeks ago I got interested and bought his other albs: Symbol, Grinning Cat and The Boy and The Tree. I have been looking frwrd to listening to all of them and have to say that Mr. Yokota did not let me down. If I should compare all these I can't help it but the winner is TBATT for its subtle and mystical sounds, gentle voices, birds, rivers and nature that is reflected in the music.

Let's see where it takes me after few more listens...looking forward to it!!!
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2005
I would like to retract my last review of this album after having it for over a year now I actually like it. It still remains far less accessible than his other albums however it is actually very good. Finding the right mood to listen to it is part of the accessibility issue because it's not fast but it is too harsh for some chill out moods. When I am working it can get distracting. It's a summer lounge experience.
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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2004
This is not his best work. Too minimalist and some tunes are just a painful on the ears. Its similar to the Grinning Cat but no way near as good.
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