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Kaito Hundred Million Light Years

Japanese artists Tomita and Yellow Magic Orchestra established a futurist Eastern tradition of electronic dream music in the late '70s and early '80s. Tokyo-based Hiroshi Watanabe (a.k.a. Kaito) updates his countrymen's blueprint and further explores gorgeous ambient techno that evokes early European trance pioneers Sven Vath or Jam & Spoon. This album, Watanabe's third, sparkles like a still pond at dawn with gentle aquamarine synth ripples and slow-mo string plucking providing an airy glow. But this isn't merely yoga-mat techno. Watanabe's intelligent compositions make his music more listenable than either typical trance or tedious new age.

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