Author Archives: Patrick St. Michel

Small Scale Bangers: U-Z’s City Light EP

Correctly or not, I’ve always associated Tokyo imprint Flight as a destination for Jersey Club. Yet their latest release, via Osaka’s U-Z, serves to correct that image (that, honestly, maybe I just have), or at least remind they release music of all shapes. And most of it is great, including the City Light EP, which introduces itself as a headier affair on “Under Stream,” a jazzy number that head-bobs forward on a variety of samples and big bright synths. Yet there is a party lurking within — voices say “OK, party people in the house” while the whole atmosphere is that of a get-together just getting started.

From there, U-Z picks the party up, except it all plays out on a small level. The highlight — and, via title alone, best description of the EP — is “Bedroom Anthem,” a skittery track taking cues from juke but adding in sweet twinkly touches that give this a bedroom pop feeling. It’s a banger, for your apartment. “Blue” does a good job too of replicating this, albeit with more sounds that seem ripped from a New Age meditation CD (it works though!). Get it here, or listen below.

Taquwami Shares New Mixtape: Corrugation

Taquwami Shares New Mixtape: Corrugation

The mixtape occupies a weird space in music today. The most popular “mixtape” of the year belongs to The 6‘s own Drake…except it isn’t a DatPiff download, but rather an iTunes release that will set you back like $13 (well, that’s what I paid = / ). Elsewhere, people like Bastille have released mixtapes. I’m…not really sure what it means anymore.

I’m less sure of why producer Taquwami would release a mixtape called Corrugation…but honestly, I can’t care much because it means more music from one of my favorite producers in Japan (and, hey!, maybe that’s part of it — why wait to release new music via an album when you can just drop it as a mixtape. If the people get geeked, all the better). Described as “sugarless pop” beneath the track, the six songs (more like hyperactive sketches — if his last EP was like a journey, these are six vignettes) bounce all over the place, reminding just how playful Taquwami can get, highlighted by one of his most pop-ready moments in “Corrugation 2.” Listen above.

New Wallflower: Out To Sea

It seemed like Osaka indie-pop outfit Wallflower were keeping quiet for a bit, but turns out they were just releasing individual songs across various different compilations over the last few months. Out To Sea collects four of those tracks into one place, and makes for a very cohesive EP. That’s thanks to the groups sound, which pretty much knocks off all the boxes one expects from an indie-pop band — jangly,hooky, vaguely sounding like The Pains Of Being Heart except really that’s just because Wallflower’s lead singer kinda sounds familiar. Most of it, highlighted by the lithe “Butterfly Kisses” (off a Twee Grrrls Club collection), is nice and skippy, though closer “Looks Like Snow” offers a nice melancholy Christmas finale (from a Miles Apart Records seasonal offering) to close on. Get it here, or listen below.

Pa’s Lam System Teams Up With Parkgolf For “Doughnut Planet”

As part of Maltine Records recent stay at the new Red Bull Studio Tokyo, the netlabel had a few of the artists orbiting in their space collaborate on new songs. Tomggg and Hercelot were up first with “Greengum,” and now the second day’s participants share their creation. Pa’s Lam System and Parkgolf worked on the busy “Doughnut Planet,” a song that frequently hints at breaking wide open into the sort of track Pa’s Lam System does so well, but always holding a little bit back (it is far more of a Parkgolf song overall, with dashes of Pa’s appearing over it). Listen above.

New Metoronori: “Jiku”

It wasn’t long ago that Metoronori shared a small slice of a song with the world, and now she’s back with a longer peek inside. “Jiku” adds orchestral flair to the usual wobbly world Metoronori conjures up, a dramatic string rise coming before the song truly gets jittery. It shows up later, too, to add some more drama, but by then “Jiku” has turned into a pinballing number…that then transforms into a soft, piano-graced meditation. Listen above.