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Arts & Entertainment

Peter Stenshoel's album of the week: Stay Close by Yukihiro Takahashi and Steve Jansen

Kevin Ferguson/KPCC

Not exactly dance music, this album is really just two songs and an alternate version of the title track. Twelve-inch singles can be a disappointment if the music doesn't stand up to repeated play. Stay Close, however, continues to intrigue me despite the fact I've got the whole thing darn near memorized. 

This is fortunate collaboration, where each seems inspired by the other to put forth as fine an effort as possible. Yukihiro Takahashi is famous for his work with Yellow Magic Orchestra (aka YMO and Not YMO) and a string of rich solo albums. Steve Jansen was with the famed art rock band, Japan. The fact that both are singing percussionists adds to the lively--but stately--mix.

The wonderful tatami room cover of the two of them sharing tea over a low Japanese table reminds me of many satisfying hours I experienced in Shizuoka Prefecture. The photo (and video) shows restraint: No gore, no surrealism, no scandal; just platonic friendship. Brilliant. 

Here's the video of Jansen and Takahashi's Stay Close: