New Toyohirakumi: Into The Wild

The “guilty pleasure” has become an archaic term in 2014, and one that deserves to recede into history as a goofy term that existed in far meaner times. Yet a worthy replacement for contemporary times would be music one feels no hesitation liking…but is hesitant to share with others (whereas the “guilty pleasure” always carried an air of smugness to it – “oh, I’m better than everyone else, but I do like professional wrestling!”).Which is a long way of saying – I really like vaporwave music, but I’ve never felt more confident about a style of music being less accessible than it. I expect zero people to enjoy it, but that’s not stopping me from overloading on .ZIP files.

Anyway, I’m always hesitant to share this sort of music, though this time around that would have been a mistake. Japan’s Toyohirakumi falls under the large vaporwave umbrella, but latest collection Into The Wild doesn’t feature many of the hallmarks of the style (more where it is released on). It is a gentle, easy-going set that swivels from drowsy instrumentals to more playroom-ready romps (“Deer” is super-goofy fun). Give it a whirl, even if you don’t think it’s for you. Get it here, or listen below.

New C.I.T.Y. – “Secret Touch” Featuring Chap:pee

Fukuoka’s C.I.T.Y. has made relatively chilled-out songs for a little bit now, and the project’s latest is an especially breezy hopper. “Secret Touch” bounces along, built for early evenings, and is blessed with a great vocal, presumably from Chap:pee. Always good to keep one ear focused on Western Japan, and here is another outfit to mind. Listen above.

Twinkle Twilight: Einsteins’ OTSMN EP

The terrible truth is – I haven’t had much time to listen to music recently. In 2014 that seems ridiculous…something something always in the Cloud something something…but for whatever reason I just haven’t listened to much. I could bore you with some personal essay ramblings, but it’s a pretty simple TL;DR – I’ve been busy, and simply sitting down and listening to things hasn’t been an option.

This is all a set up to say that this post has been sitting in my drafts for a week now, and that I have only listened to the new EP from synth-pop group Einstein’s in full once and in smatterings on a couple other times. But all those times, I remember feeling comforted by the music and enjoying in so…despite not having anything smart to say, you should give this a listen, above.

New Gellers: “Cumparsita”

Man, that sax. Gellers have long been a band pretty easily summed up lazily if you wanted to – they are a rock band, they are the rock band Shugo Tokumaru was in before stepping out on his own, they are Shugo Tokumaru’s other thing. Welp, new single “Cumparsita” aims to shake up those preconceptions a bit, one saxophone blurt at a time. Gellers’ videos have always been goofy fun, so seeing the silly clip above isn’t much of a shock…good use of Tokumaru as flower shop worker…but “Cumparsita” itself moves a bit away from the fuzzed jangle-pop of yesteryear Gellers in favor of…heart-on-sleeve ’80s pop leanings. Tokumaru doesn’t handle the vocals (as he did on “Guatemala“) and there are A LOT of saxophones. It strikes the tough balance of being both sorta silly but also surprisingly earnest (hey, when you dip this deep into a style, some level of honest devotion crops up…no joke goes for six minutes). Listen above.

Tomggg Remixes Porter Robinson: “Flicker”

The original version of American producer Porter Robinson’s “Flicker” is already full of Japanese…so why not have a Japanese trackmaker play around with it? Enter Tomggg, who rolls out the twinkles for his remix. The original vocal sample zooms by, and in general this rework follows the same structure as Robinson’s cut – it zooms off in all sorts of directions, and has a definite bounce to it – but Tomggg still transforms it into something all glittery and playroom-ready. Listen above.