REVIEW: Joakim, Samurai

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Samurai, the new release from Parisian DJ and producer Joakim Bouaziz (out via Tigersushi), is a free-spirited, deeply satisfying trip through an assortment of musical styles, from funk to krautrock, traditional folk sounds and cool, acid ambience. It is a bold, original and consistently surprising album, shifting in tone and mood from track to track, but which somehow remains brilliantly, eclectically coherent.

Whether self-consciously evoking ‘spiritual’ sounds on “Green Echo Mecha” and then immediately subverting them with the escalating fury of “Cannibal Pastore” – or whether stretching the tonal possibilities of the album to encompass moments of exuberance (“Mind Bent”) and deep melancholy (“Not Because You’re Sad”) – Samurai is a constantly challenging and thought-provoking listen that makes an art of playing with the listener’s expectations over the course of its 13 tracks.

It is an album that celebrates experimentalism as it concerns form, composition and experience as much as it does to sound; a fittingly iconoclastic effort from the musician who told us that, “Every genre has its own musical qualities, and conveys its own specific emotions, philosophy and references. My goal is to try to create new languages through combinations, new genres through those mixes – a bit like an alchemist.”

Samurai is out now via Tigersushi.

Here is the full tracklist:

In The Beginning
Samurai
Numb
Late Night New City
Green Echo Mecha
Cannibale Pastorale
Exile
Through The Prospect Park Arch
Time Is Wrong
Mind Bent
Jocho
Not Because You’re Sad
Hope/Patience