Kouhei Matsunaga Self VA.

It is much easier to define Kouhei Matsunaga's art by the company he keeps than in genre terms. He is two decades into a career that's seen him collaborate with everyone from sound/noise artists like Merzbow and RLW to electronic and hip-hop fringe dwellers like Autechre and Sensational. Self VA. is his first solo effort since 1998's Upside Down, on the now defunct Mille Plateaux. It defies expectations of flow by combining both minimalist and maximalist moments of pure aural sculpture and "dance" tracks that veer from Pansonic-influenced click tracks to dubstep derivations whose anchor beats have rusted and are drifting away. Guest appearances include everyone from the above-mentioned RLW and Sensational (on the wonderfully diseased "1,2rmx#2") to Leif Elggren and Internet Magic (taking a stab at karaoke-quality R&B on "pinly_its"). The 23 tracks play out like a twisted, post-modern Speak & Spell hacked by Kid606, and that's just part of the fun. It is also one of four new releases by Matsunaga that are planned by Important. (Important)