Despite productions appearing here and there since 2015, Yuzo Iwata has kept a relatively low output. Contributing tracks to compilations and releasing singles under aliases Fabio Lazaro and Almost East, Iwata is also affiliated with Junki Inoue’s recent SAISEI label, editing pioneering early Japanese techno from the likes of Suzukiski and COLOGNe for rerelease.
After ‘Acid House’ appeared on the Butter Sessions Come Together 12” in 2020, the label now play host to Yuzo Iwata’s first ever full length. The 10 tracks span a wide variety of tempos and show a consistent approach to unusual sound design first evidenced in Iwata’s RA Mix of the Day for Clubberia (100% originals recorded circa 2017).
Kaizu unfolds with dense environmental ambient textures before ‘Neverland’ takes us into broken dancehall rhythms and acid-tinged dub. ‘Funclub’ is reminiscent of Japanese video game soundtracks and 80s fusion whilst further into Side A the balearic energy continues to captivate, closing with the beautiful ‘Heroes Show Up Late’. This short piece is built around a looping vocal sample and shuffling drum work that all come together perfectly. There’s even a trace of Brazilian MPB influence at play with the vocal/synth interplay. It’s Iwata’s knack for percussion that is most evident across the album however, with Side B opening cut ‘Gamelion’ taking an Indonesian inspired approach to modern techno. It runs in a similar vein to Komodo Kolektif’s work and might be the dancefloor highlight of the whole LP. ‘Sundance’ follows with more Japanese motifs, recalling Haruomi Hosono’s F.O.E project. Another strong rhythmic workout suited to the floor. The environmental ambient textures return with the closing piece ‘Time 2 L’, strings, bird calls and droning synthesiser winding down the proceedings. Letting us know it’s time 2 leave?
Artwork by TAPPEI
Mastered by Corey Kikos