Masaki Batoh Collected Works 95-96

Masaki Batoh is the mythical multi-instrumentalist mysterioso behind Japanese psychedelic explorers extraordinaire Ghost, and this collection effectively brings together two long out-of-print, stopgap mini-albums from the mid-’90s into one feasible spiritual journey. The set opens with a brief, ominous recreation of Can’s "Yoo Doo Right” before moving into some psych-folk territory for a few peaceful songs. But once Batoh gets his crooning and strumming out of the way, Collected Works opens up into a tripped-out world where percussion fuses with drones and all kinds of blissful ambience to make for a sonic adventure that’s equal parts intense fantasy and comforting reality. One of the greatest things about Ghost and Masaki Batoh is their ability to transcend time to create a sound that feels more rooted in the distant past (or at least the late ’60s) than any time remotely modern. This said, Collected Works often sounds as though it could have been unearthed from an archaeological dig deep within some secluded canyon. If floating somewhere between time and space is your thing, you’ll definitely dig this reissue. (Drag City)