Sign, the seventh album from Japanese composer Nobukazu Takemura, begins with an epic version of the namesake song "Sign," which also appears (in re-surfaced asphalt form) on Takemura's eighth album, the much-lauded Hoshi No Koe. Although Sign offers an insight into the origins of the tunesmith's abstract click-hop-skip-jump pop, the collaboration with post-rock rat-pack Casey Rice, Bundy K. Brown, Douglas McCombs and John McEntire sees the hopscotch quickly abandoned for more Chicago-esque sound environs. Things return to form eventually with what could almost be described as a study of traditional koto melodies run through an electronic translation device to the modern day then fast-forwarded, rewound, skipped, repeated hardly anything left intact, and beautiful all the same. The final of the four tracks, "Meteor," hums and clicks and performs musical, mathematical equations in outer space. What's particularly exciting about this release is the second compact disc, which features an animation by Katsura Moshino, adding a bizarre visual narrative (ripe with robots and disease-ridden bunny rabbits) to Takemura's rich audio playground.