Recommended: Mr. YT – Brand New Day

Mr. YT is Yuji Takenouchi, a Japanese sound designer and composer. Most known for his video game soundtracks (including, recently, the Dark Souls games), he released a couple of 12″s in the 90s for R&S sublabels Apollo, Generations and Global Cuts. Long out of print and going for silly money on Discogs, these particular tracks were gathered digitally on his own label some years ago. Even more exciting is the physical pressing by Apollo itself: Brand New Day.

It takes the tracks from three EPs – Southern Paradise, Brand New Day and Parfum – and rearranges their order. Rather than going for chronological sequence, which would see the fragran, jazzy “Ocean In Heaven” and “Pacific Jazz” take the lead, the compilation opens with “Morning”, a blissful, welcoming cut. It’s foggy and ambient, like the beautiful view of a crystalline dawn. It gives way to to “Reve”, which is where things really get going. Heartfelt chords and ad-libs are offset with flute-like leads and strings, while a faint squelch bubbles underneath with the warmth and sweetness of jam. “Souvenir” is as wistfully elegant as “Morning”, a calming interlude before the futuristic “Afternoon”. This track is a true highlight, one that could as easily soundtrack a racing video game in space as a speedboat ride around a Mediterranean island. While every track here is a minor victory, “Ocean In Heaven” is a champion, a lengthy number that gurgles its way into existence before striding forth with themes as vast as any horizon. Things come to a fitting close with the jazzy “Regard”, its xylophone theme wryly hypnotic, its unresolved chords more deep yearn than deep burnt.

Mr. YT – Brand New Day is out now.

Aidan Hanratty

Dublin ...