Shuta Hasunuma OK Bamboo

Several generations descended from Satie but one of the most maligned derivatives is folktronica, which existed as a genre for about six months in some anonymous post-millennial year. Nevertheless, the term is pretty descriptive — most electronic artists develop their craft on their own, with their own customised gear, without formalised instruction, so why shouldn’t some of it end up sounding irregular, non-linear and handcrafted like folk? With that in mind, Shuta’s delicate compositions, composed of live and sampled piano, have all the hallmarks of great electronic music: a rich variety of sounds, compelling rhythmic and textural ingredients, and a powerful mix. The glitchiness so characteristic of folktronica rears its head right off the top, but more often than not this record is about more semi-regular polyrhythms anchoring unfailingly beautiful melodies. This isn’t wispy music — there’s too much attention paid to the low end for it to completely float away — but it’s atmospheric in the best sense. (Western Vinyl)