There are few people better placed to advise upon their favorite recent albums than Akie. In addition to selecting records, she’s also a buyer for renowned Japanese music store Newtone Records. In this role, it’s her job to know about music inside out, picking only the best releases to suit Osaka’s most popular record shop. 

As a DJ she’s lauded throughout the scene, having released a dance music mixtape with her DJ senpai Lil Mofo via the UK label Do You Have Peace, which sold out in record time. She’s supported artists ranging from mainstream acts to underground talents, like Laurent Garnier and Laurel Halo. And she’s even been one of the few women to play at the fabled Hachioji listening bar Shelter, carefully selecting records for its world-renowned speakers. 

It’s Akie’s fine-tuned ears that enable her to create dance floor journeys that last for hours; with a remarkable sense of place, she takes movers through waves of sound, before crashing back down with a blast of heavy bass or tribal drumming. Due to Akie’s dancefloor DJ prowess, she’s consistently invited back to seminal Tokyo nights like DJ Nobu’s Future Terror. Her own night at Koenji club Grassroots welcomes the likes of pioneering DJ Chee Shimizu through its doors.

When it comes to ambient music, Akie is in as much demand as for her dancier selections. In this setting, the DJ turns from ship’s captain to gentle healer, drawing from a vast mental library of knowledge to bring out records that’ll have you approaching the booth to ask for a track ID. Each year, Akie plays the festival circuit, and this year is no different, with a return appearance at Yamanashi festival Fuji & Sun already confirmed. 

1988 – 2018 by Akira Umeda

A collection of works by Akira Umeda, a Japanese Brazilian artist active in a wide range of fields, including ceramic art, photography, sound engineering and DJing. There are 42 tracks, ranging from prank phone recordings to beat tracks, new age pop to noise. This is a record that you can enjoy no matter where you place your needle.

Solaire by Siegfried Kessler, Gus Nemeth, Stu Martin

This is a reissue from the 1971 trio led by keyboard/flute player Siegfried Kessler: a free jazz masterpiece that moves around modal jazz and contemporary music. The mood is very much in the post-68 vibe of the French free jazz scene. The title track is amazing; its multi-recorded flute and technical piano performances will take your breath away.

Say Goodbye To The Wind by Valerio Tricoli

Valerio Tricoli is a key figure in the modern electronic scene; this album is a musique concrète piece made using the reel-to-reel deck Revox B77 and real-time editing/field recording techniques. This is a work of aural conceptualism created by combining abstract sound fragments and concrete recordings. Not only is the sound great, but the cinematic song development is also incredible.

S/T by Michael Harrison, John Also Bennett, Christina Vantzou

This is a collaboration between Christina Vantzou and John Also Bennett (known as CV & JAB), an important unit in contemporary environmental music, and Michael Harrison, a keyboard player who created his own tuning system based on North Indian classical music/ragas. It’s a meditative piano ambient masterpiece that aims to extend silence.

Thanks 4 The Tracks U Lost by Jamal Moss

Composed by the genius Jamal Moss (Hieroglyphic Being), this album pulses with raw machine beats that inherit early US house music, especially Chicago house. In these tracks, rough machine sounds coexist with beautiful melodies. The work uses an original approach to express a profound DIY spirit, which is the basis of house music.

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