Ryoma Takemasa “Catalyst”

Ryoma Takemasa is not know to too many people, although he has given us gems like “Deepn'” and “Strictly Street (My Home Setagaya)”. I would say, and I get the impression, he has quite a name himself in the underground scene of Japan.

I first heard the outstanding tune “Strictly street (My Home Setagaya)” in the record store Technique (テクニーク) in Tokyo in October 2012. The intro “Mr. And Mrs.” naturally transitions this jazz sample based minimalistic tech house banger. A Jazz piano playing over very simple drums and a subby bass. Some stutter effects and a minimalistic vocal. That is it. Unfortunately is was never released on a 12″, so I had to buy the full CD-album, which was of course sold out in the store. But I found it in another cool record store in Shibuya named Disc Uniton (ディスクユニオン). I can strongly recommend both of these should you visit Tokyo and have the slightest interest in good club music.

The third track is a minimalistic tech house tune called “Dual House Groove #5 (Album Edit)”, that kicks off with a one tone vocal over beats, a quite simply base line and a tech stab. At the break the tune change styles, much like Guns n’ Roses (the old rock group) used to do with classic tracks like “Sweet child o’ mine”. Drums have now become more energetic and and an atmospheric pad makes the main sound of the tune.

Track 4 is “Takemacycle Part 3”, an electro style track over a soul sample. En interesting mix of styles for the curious.

Next up is the track I think Ryoma Takemasa is most famous for, “Deepn’. The Backwoods Remix is a tech house groove with a cool tech stab, a deep base, driving hats and a dream like kind of blip blop thing to set the mood. Great track!

An interlude will take you into the next track, “Jules And Vega Talking About Foot Massage”, which is a borderline tech house – Techno thing. My feeling is definitely more likely tech house than techno, but the drums and the sub is more techno to me. Simple drums with a subby techno kind of base and with a vocal talk break.

“Groove A” is a beat overlayered by a stab. Not too interesting. A cool tool to use while DJing I guess.

The Album continues with “Thoul skirt”, a nice funky interlude to break off from all the tech stuff. It transitions into “Untitled 3.4”, which is a deep tech house thing with a tech sounding stab synth to set the mood. Again quite simple and minimalistic, even though the tune surprises with some chord changes coming in a couple of minutes into the tune.

Catalyst (Autumn Evening Mix) is a mellow deep house killer track. Very typical deep house pads as well as the Takemasa-typical minimalistic base. The minimalistic vocals and horns reveal themselves every now and then. Very cool track!

The Gonno Remix of “Deepn'” is simply a 108 BPM version of the previous The Backwoods Remix.

This is a very cool first release by Ryoma Kamemasa and is my top buy of 2012. Athough I would say it is a tech house album, Mr. Takemasa is flirting with both deep house, tech house and techno. An easy buy if you ask me, so what are you waiting for.

The digital release is found for example at Traxsource or at iTunes Store.
The CD can be found for example at Amazon Japan.

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