Takako Minekawa

Polystar Records

Music and colors are richly interwoven in our psychology. In her latest release, Japan's Takako Minekawa draws us back to an infant's syn(th)aesthetic state where musical notes, colors, words and numbers find unity under a common sense of wonder. Armed with analog Casio synthesizer, Minekawa blends the controlled tones and rhythms of Kraftwerk (to whom she pays homage on the expansive "Kraftpark") with the delicate innocence of 60s French pop-to effects which at times echo likeminded Stereolab and 80s New Wave. Minekawa refines her music along minimalist lines, creating a childlike interplay between melody and rhythm which makes tracks like "Phonobaloon Song" immediately enchanting. But Minekawa's music traces its tendency for reduction to even deeper motivations: employing the otherworldly blips of her analog synthesizers, at times almost piercing or unsettling, to allow us to hear them as music for the first time. Occasionally, however, one is left wondering whether Minekawa's devotion to the Kraftwerkian program of detachment comes at too great a cost--much of the spontaneity and intimacy which made her first release Roomic Cube so endearing is restrained in CCC, leaving it sounding, well...calculated.