I can’t lie, Nobukazu Takemura is pretty hit or miss with me. A lot of his career is basically straight acid jazz, which isn’t my thing, but his roots are in hip hop, and his first performances were as a battle DJ. His best music combines those elements – the gritty, abrasive nature of sampling with the sparkling openness of acid jazz.
I wouldn’t be mentioning him if he didn’t have flashes of brilliance. Put Takemura in front of a laptop or synthesizers and he turns into one of the most interesting electronic musicians around, using glitchy samples and occasional dense distortion to sound like a melodic Autechre, a happy Ulrich Schnauss or a more grounded Aphex Twin.
It can also sound like a CD player skipping. In heaven.
Fish around for Takemura’s side projects under the names DJ Takemura and Child’s View, but have patience – he’s hyperproductive across more than one genre, and if you’re not into acid jazz, you’ll have to dig around a lot of it.