No. 9 Mushi-no-ne

Mushi-no-ne is Japanese for "sound of insects” and while Joe Takayuki's North American debut features plenty of crickets on the title track, he opens with the chirping of birds over the pings of a toy xylophone before the rolling march beat kicks in. One can almost picture Manitoba and Four Tet fighting over who gets to be Takayuki’s new best friend. Less pop than the former and more complex than the latter, No. 9 delves into almost abstract jazz territory at times, juxtaposing skitter with sleek. "For Sister” closes out the record with bells, flamenco guitar, cello, and beats, all of it swirled together in not so much a farewell as a promise of things to come. (Independent)