[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/07-Another-Sky.mp3″ text=”DJ Okawari – Another Sky” dl=”0″]

[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/10-A-Cup-Of-Coffee.mp3″ text=”DJ Okawari – Temperature Of Tears” dl=”0″]

This is something I’d been waiting on for a while.  After finally getting my ears around it after its release last week, the wait was worth it.  The third full release by Japan’s DJ Okawari, Kaleidoscope follows on from Diorama (2008) and Mirror (2009) and brings a collection of tracks featuring the jazzy lounge sound synonymous with Okawari, as well as the emotionally charged compositions that follow a more progressive nature.  The albums artwork itself is amongst the most amazing, created by graphic artist, designer and illustrator Marumiyan, who has created all the cover art for DJ Okawari’s previous albums.  Click the image above for full size appreciation, and head over to the artist’s page for more at http://marumiyan.com/

I’m aware there is some criticism of Japanese artists in this genre, and the seemingly blurry sonic boundaries that distinguish each one’s music.  Whilst I can appreciate this opinion in certain circumstances, Okawari in my opinion does stand out and make distinctive releases. The choice of instrumentation, whether piano/violin etc, tends to be a lot more fleshed out and have a more substantial presence in the tracks than a lot of other similar artists.

The album also feature’s a heavy line-up of female vocalists; Amanda Diva, Stacy Epps, Lauren Amaris, Brittany Campbell and Tekitha.  A staple present in his previous releases, this is possibly the only qualm I had with the album, and the previous ones.  Not to detriment the quality of them however, it is perhaps just a personal taste as I find myself skipping these tracks and picking out the straight instrumentals.

Overall a nice album, with DJ Okawari playing to his strengths well.  Definately for fans of Nujabes, Blazo, Nomak, Nitsua, Marcus D, heRajiKa tracks etc.

PURCHASE: CD Japan • Amazon (JP / UK)

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