Blurring lines between organic and synthetic (try stopping yourself playing “Sample or Not?” as you listen), Tokyo producer Yoshinori Hayashi’s debut album Ambivalence is a heady journey through jazz and club music. Playing and producing everything, Hayashi ties an eclectic record together through a red thread of jazz piano (Cecil Taylor is an influence) and echoing percussion that shifts from 4/4 house to narcotic dub.
Highlights are the loose keys, woodwind and watery handclaps to be found on ‘Overflow’, the metronomic murk of ‘Bit of Garden’ and the hypnotic brilliance of thirteen-minute centrepiece ‘0208’. Ambivalence is an unpredictable listen that serves to highlight Hayashi’s class as a DJ, but also more than hints at a musician capable of turning in coherent and fascinating albums.
Photo by Kim Hiorthøy.