Yukihiro Fukutomi followed up the Japanese released Timeless album with what amounts to an entire albums' worth of music on the US label King Street Sounds, sorted around the song Love Each Other (a song from Timeless) and other recent singles and remixes.
Love Each Other is featured in two different mixes (a Main Mix and a Danny Krivit Edit), along with two mixes of Play Back (Main Mix and Jazztronik RMX), Brazilia (a Dimitri from Paris to Rio Vocal), HSG (a Radio Edit), Brasilia 2000 (a recent Japanese single), I Am (a recent single on the Compost label, also reviewed here), The Spinning Wheel, A Day of Maracana, Rest of Everything (all from the Love Each Other 12 inch), and Gemi's Grooves. Yukihiro Fukutomi imbues the whole cd with his energy and grooves, with a warmth that is perfect for the coming warm weather.
Love Each Other (both the Main Mix and the Danny Krivit Edit) were a bit too over emotive (with soulful vocals by Josh Milan, who co-wrote the song along with his Blaze partner Kevin Hedge and Yukihiro Fukutomi) for my taste.
Play Back (which was co-written by Isabelle Powaga a.k.a. Isabelle Antena, who also set up Harlem Moon - a sublabel of Les Disques Du Crepuscule) and Brasilia 2000 both have scatted vocalizing.
The Main Mix of Play Back worked better for me with its Peddlers-like bossa inspired rhythm, though the Jazztronik version seemed to center the rhythm more steadily, making for a less noodling sound.
Brasilia 2000 ended up being my favorite of those two songs because its more jazzily playful with its bossa scats and Miles induced piano riffs.
Brazilia (A Certain Ratio cover) has a sunshiney Earth, Wind, and Fire feel to it and is pure delight. I loved driving around listening to this particular track.
The Spinning Wheel has minimal vocals, this song really sounds like later period Miles Davis with jazzy trumpet solos and synthy rhythms. I Am was co-written by Carl Hancock Rux and also has minimal vocals in a fiery disturbed poet style, its low-key but simmering.
I found myself enjoying the instrumental tunes even more as I got lost in the propulsive rhythms.Gemi's Afro Grooves has a repetitious groove which I'm a total sucker for, so this afrogroove became one of my favorite tracks.
HSG contains samples from the Ramsey Lewis (from Sun Goddess 1974) and Earth, Wind & Fire (Gratitude 1975) recorded single Sun Goddess (which incidentally was used in 1999 as the basis for Visions, a track on the debut album Black Diamond by former Vertical Hold lead singer Angie Stone). This sounds like the perfect track to throw into a dj set when you want the grooves to meet half way with some amazing samples.