Yamasaki – Deep Six EP
Hello, it’s me. You may remember the other week that I featured a chap called Yamasaki in another edition of Unearthing MySpace Gems – well, I’ve now heard the full EP from this interesting lounge producer. So, naturally, I want to share my findings with you. Also, to make the feature a bit more interesting, where I’ve given my thoughts and comments for each of the six tracks, Yamasaki himself has also written his own thoughts on his creations – so I’ll share those too! But first we’ll start with some more info on the talented chap himself…
Yamasaki is Tom Edwards, he’s lived in Portsmouth, England for a few years, although claims he initially only went there to visit his Brother! Aside from music, Tom’s other passions are martial arts (of which he teaches) and also mountain climbing, but… on this occasion we’re more interested in the music, so back to that… Tom produces music that could be considered soul, lounge, and trip-hop and appreciates a good beat and bassline – he sees it as an escape from the humdrum of everyday life. The name Yamasaki embodies the idea of a wandering and masterless samurai that expresses himself through his sword and martial skill.
Tom claims his heroes in music to be; Stevie Wonder, Lou Donaldson, George Clinton, and especially Sly and the family Stone – Tom has a particular fondness for Sly’s voice. He states that the starting point of his musical production was pure accident, a chance encounter with a music production simulator that just escalated to where he is today. His music is created for all the right reasons; citing a preferred method of expression over the written word (as Tom is dyslexic), plus the euphoric feeling of achievement when he has completed a track… oh and the same frustration we all have with the mainstream crap being released every week. So, onto the Deep Six EP…
Gav: This track has a samba feel to it, the clue is in the track name I guess! Love the bass line and the catchy riff. Brazil is so damn catchy that it feels really familiar, it’s sure to get anyone moving. This isn’t “pop-song” catchy though, Yamasaki’s music holds a lot more class than that – you need to hear for yourself really. A perfect track to kick off any record.
Yamasaki: This track was some time in the making, the bass line had existed for some time as part of another track before, but I wasn’t happy with what I had. The keyboard I had developed more recently for another track but had been unable to do anything with it. They just seemed to work so well together, it was for me an instant classic – one of those rare ones you know it’s good as soon as you start making it.
Deep Six (Something Deeper) feat. Emeson -
G: A really airy summery track. The lyrics from Emeson are so smooth and melodic, they fit this track like a glove. It’s the small intricacies with this track that I really like, the guitar and flute samples – definitely a well constructed tune for our ears, Emeson’s vocals being the icing on this cake.
Y: I deliberately set about, trying to create a tune that a band could play. There are so many electro acts created through programming but coming from a background of funk & soul, I was eager to incorporate my musical loves into my own sound, yet still tinged with the ninja tune/skint records vibe. Essentially soul music with phat beats – something that just rolls along and basically has cool vibes. I was approached via MySpace by vocalist/lyricist/producer Emeson, who heard the original edit of Deep Six and asked if I would be interested in a collaboration and something deeper was the result.
Yamasaki – Deep Six (Something Deeper) feat. Emeson
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This download is a sample of the music only and must be deleted from your computer within 24 hours of downloading. This download link will expire on 18th July.
Green Bay -
G: This one has a slightly more break beat feel to it, but that bass line is killer! Given the apparent down tempo sound to all of Yamasaki’s tracks, this is perhaps one of the more upbeat/or less down tempo’ish (which ever way you want to look at it) tracks on the EP – purely because of the kicking drum arrangement. A classy lounge tune if ever I heard one.
Y: An idea that I started with Brazil was continued with Green bay, which is the idea of a melodic bass that drives the tune rather than it being merely a layer onto which the rest of the tune is grafted. So dub sensibilities in a big beat overcoat. In fact Green bay started life as a dub track before it became the track it is now. With this track I wanted to continue on the vibe set by Brazil, that whole kind of café bar, chilling by the beach watching the sun go down, continental feel that all the tunes on the Deep Six EP have.
Body Sharks -
G: Really feeling the retro style to Body Sharks, sounds like it could have been on the Snatch soundtrack – has that old funk/soul feel to it. The use of Xylophone/Glockenspiel (I never was THAT good at identifying instruments!) is a nice touch, adds further character to the track.
Y: This, in my head, is part two of Green Bay. I wanted to make a track with a cool vibe, but no kick drums or big beat beats. I had been playing with the idea of making a track with little or no actual drums, but using instead percussive beats to drive the tune rather than the predictable hip hop beat stepping away from the formula. The glockenspiel melody was the result of a desire for the organic – not just in terms of actual instruments but also in terms of materials.
G: Really laid back lounge track, definitely one for a soundtrack to chilling on the beach doing a whole lot of nothing! Yamasaki’s music is the perfect de-stresser. Had a bad day at the office? Whack on that Yamasaki EP! I especially liked the jazz/funk drum arrangement in this one.
Y: If you could take an old fashioned seedy Chandleresque detective film in pill form, this is how you would feel. A film noir, laid back, mescaline laden trawl through the back alleys of Chicago, possibly with some wobbly camera work and maybe at some point a smoky jazz club and a car like the one in Bullet. This was the tune I made last for the EP and I wanted to introduce a darker side to the EP where the rest of it had been quite upbeat so far.
Deep Six (Original Edit) -
G: Title says it all really. This is the original version of the earlier track featuring Emeson. Naturally it is without Emeson’s vocals. As I said before, it’s a very airy summery track, and the guitar and flute samples really complete the composition.
Y: I always wanted to make cool tunes. I still always wanted that, not ‘poppy’, but still accessible edge to my tunes – so there might be something on my album that your mum would like! I dream of being signed to a major label and having a CD in HMV, and then maybe a lot of people could hear my music and maybe like it. Really I’d just love to make enough cash so I can survive on music alone.
So, there you have it, some brief words from myself and Yamasaki there – must say ‘thanks’ to Tom for taking the time to do that, I really appreciate it. Don’t forget to check out the Yamasaki MySpace page, and also the Criminal Recordz MySpace page, the digital record label that Yamasaki has recently become involved with. If you are interested in purchasing the Deep Six EP, you can do so here at indiestore.