In a career that was long but a life that was cut far too short, producer Susumu Yokota — who passed away last march following an extended illness — covered enough musical styles for a dozen artists. House, trance, ambient, techno — you name it, Yokota did it. But he was no stylistic dilettante, his singular talent was such that he mastered everything he tried. In some cases he was far ahead of the pack, as with his pioneering work with what would now be called folktronica. But even though Yokota’s sonic adventures came to a sad end a few months ago, that doesn’t mean his musical legacy is diminished.
As both a statement about his work’s ongoing relevance and a straight-up memorial, The Leaf Label and Lo Recordings have come together to release My Energy. A six-track EP featuring gems from Yokota’s past, it serves as a salute to the artist’s memory. But even though it’s been made available via Bancamp on a pay-what-you-will basis, it also exists as a way to honor Yokota’s own causes — Animal Refuge Kansai will receive half the proceeds from animal lover Yokota’s EP, while the other half will go to his family.