Japanese composer Susumu Yokota has died.
The prolific musician, whose work spanned ambient, breakbeat, house and many other corners of electronic music over two decades, passed away aged 54 on March 27 this year after a long illness, his family has revealed.
Yokota came to the attention of the wider world with his house releases on German label Harthouse in the early 90s. Among the composer’s dozens of albums, including releases under pseudonyms including Stevia and Ebi, his best-loved works include 2000’s Sakura and 2001’s Grinning Cat.
His most recent album was 2012’s Dreamer, released on Lo Recordings. The label today issued this statement:
“Yokota’s music was always completely individual, always esoteric yet never wilfully indulgent. His touch was that of a master craftsman, creating intricate musical jewels that sparkled like no others. There’s no doubt that if he had been in a position to play live concerts his reputation would far exceed many of his contemporaries. He will be sorely missed by those who value quality and originality in music.”
Yokota’s family also released a statement:
“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Susumu Yokota who passed away on 27th March, 2015 at the age of 54 after a long period of medical treatment. We are deeply thankful to the people who listened to and supported Susumu’s music during his lifetime. Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in this announcement, as we were until recently unacquainted with Susumu’s music industry contacts.”
Lo Recordings and Leaf, another label that released Yokota’s music, have said they will be making available a four-track EP of his best loved recordings “as a tribute to his prolific and prodigious talent.” Leaf boss Tony Morley also shared some memories of Yokota on the label’s blog.