- A master of chunky minimal house returns with his trademark sound.
- Fumiya Tanaka has one of the most distinctive sounds in minimal. Other than Ricardo Villalobos and Barac, the scene may not have a producer with a more recognisable aesthetic. But where Villalobos and Barac prefer their beats graceful and light-footed, Tanaka's hit hard, swamping the dance floor with fat snares and tumbling basslines. His style is like a minimal house equivalent of '90s tribal techno, only after a few joints. This makes his tracks reliable percussive tools for minimal DJs looking to add some grunt to their sets. We get three more of them on A Round About Route, a collaboration with the Japanese producer Kuniyuki and the latest record on Tanaka's Sundance label.
As previous collaborations with Villalobos and Thomas Melchior have shown, Tanaka's tracks benefit from an outside influence, which often adds an emotional touch to his rugged drum loops. The same goes for A Round About Route, where vocals and synths—possibly from Kuniyuki—colour the churning grooves. They are heard best on the title track and "Long Journey Away," where Tanaka's muscular rhythms are lightened by ethereal chords and snippets of voice. "Shaker" is more in line with classic Tanaka, and is easily the meanest track on the disc, so cue it up when the dance floor is heaving. As with most Tanaka records, though, the sound will be familiar.
A1 A Round About Route
B1 Long Journey Away