Masaaki Yoshida aka Anchorsong has been winning friends here in the UK and internationally throughout Europe with his live shows, and yes we do mean live: Yoshida’s music is created with a sampler and a keyboard, from scratch at his gigs. Sometimes these sounds are augmented by a string quartet.
With a couple of releases for Lastrum in his native Japan, Anchorsong relocated to London and soon hooked up with the Brighton-based Tru Thoughts label, who put out a four-track CDR called the Darkrum EP. That, an appearance on Boiler Room TV last year, and support from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens have all helped this young man begin to garner attention. We are hoping this release for BBE will be the one that transforms him from a name bandied round by the electronic music cognoscenti, to a high-profile artist/producer.
Previously characterised as being a maker of downtempo beats, The Mawa EP is an altogether more upbeat affair. The opener rattles along with African tribal chants, dense percussion and a fuzzy near-analogue ambience; the African vibe is continued on track 2 with a looped marimba before we suddenly switch to some sparse, dreamy 4/4 stuff that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Nu-Groove way back when. The third track is altogether busier, interweaving more chanted vocal snippets and tinkling percussive figures over a sensuous bassline, and the closer increases the bottom-end action with some near sub-bass anchoring layers of shifting, swirling bleeps. This release puts Anchorsong firmly in ‘minimal’ territory and demands attention from electronic music DJs everywhere.
And no, just like you we don’t know if he named himself after the Bjork song from her first album –but we intend to find out!