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It’s never a bad thing to have an Oval fixation and Japanese composer and DJ Nobukazu Takemura certainly makes the most of it on his Thrill Jockey debut. Sporting a minimalist sound mixed with complex textures and evocative soundscapes, Scope also brings to mind Steve Reich in spots and shares with Germany’s post-techno scene a love of pure electronic sound, uncluttered with the limitations of melodic structure. This record would even be a nine in my book if it weren’t for the serious misstep of “Taw,” which sounds like a bunch of robots squabbling and thoroughly breaks the meditative mood of the other pieces. But skip that one and you’ve got one hell of an addicting listen.

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Sarah Zupko founded PopMatters, one of the largest independent cultural criticism magazines on the web, back in the Internet's early days of 1999. Zupko is a former Executive Producer for Tribune Media Services, the media syndication arm of the Tribune Company, and a 10-year veteran of Tribune. Her other pursuits involve writing historical fiction and research in the fields of Slavic and German history, as well as general European cultural and intellectual history. Zupko studied musicology, film, and drama at the University of Chicago and media theory at the University of Texas, where she received her M.A.


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