Album: Blue Asia, Sketches of Myahk (Farside Records)

The opening number on the latest album from Japanese producer Makoto Kubota sounds like an oriental take on the theme music to the 1970s children’s TV cartoon Roobarb, which, believe me, is a good thing.

Once again Kubota has taken some old folk songs (this time from Japan’s Miyako Islands) and added his own bluesy twists and turns which are always persuasively fresh and unpredictable. But there’s more of a leaning towards spiky spontaneity than on previous more chilled-out confections.