(2004, Music Related)
Shugo Tokumaru orchestrates miniature baroque pop/folk masterpieces. Night Piece's, his debut is a quaint view of his charming masterwork. Destined to be underwritten (the first and only current pressing available in the United States was for 500 copies), Night Pieces is a compilation of ten songs falling just short of a half hour; however, each translates like the movement of a tiny symphony. Tokumaru’s talent is in flawless production, interspersing countless instruments (mostly all played by Tokumaru himself) into each gem without flooding them of their unique heart. Tokumaru’s arrangements are golden. Lightly plucked guitars and softly swooshing strings from one song play into the playful romp with the mild acoustic beat of the next. The album really feels breeze-like, swiftly and quickly cooling you on the hottest day, somehow making life bearable. Tokumaru couples his expert guitar instrumentals with a tension melting tenor voice that often works as the albums most beautiful instrument, as the Japanese lyrics are likely impenetrable to most listeners. Night Piece is an uncompromising mark of pure talent coupled with an earnest, eclectic spirit. Inspiring.