Author Archives: Patrick St. Michel

Maltine Remixes Porter Robinson’s “Flicker”

So remember when Tomggg remixed Porter Robinson’s “Flicker,” and transformed it into a twinkly little wonder? Welp, turns out that was part of a bigger project. Maltine Records just released a collection of “Flicker” remixes, including Tomggg’s playroom reworking, all done by Japanese producers. It ranges from relatively straightforward brostep chaos (Bugloud’s jarring take) to Carpainter’s 8-bit-accented two-step. In The Blue Shirt brings in skittery vocal samples to join the already stuttering Japanese ones, while Qrion does what she does so well…strips the song down into a skeletal number that begs to soundtrack a forest covered in mist. The most interesting contributor, though, is fu_mou, an electronic artist responsible for the netlabel jam “Green Night Parade” – which Robinson included in his BBC Essential Mix a few months back. His version of “Flicker” touches a few ideas present in “Green Night Parade,” and is a nice inter-artist connection. Get it here, and listen to Tomggg’s take one last time below.

UPDATE: It’s back!

No Idol Concept: Partyarise’s “Fuwa Fuwa Moko Moko”

As an idea, Partyarise’s guiding principle isn’t actually that fresh. “Club music meets idol!” has been going strong well before this project started a SoundCloud page, and has only picked up steam. So Partyarise and first song “Fuwa Fuwa Moko Moko” aren’t breaking any new ground…just go to Mogra, ya know…but it sounds plenty nice all the same. Partially that’s because the mission statement isn’t actually achieved here – the music isn’t club fare, but rather a more slippery version of pop, full of twinkles and quick break beats and laser throbs (but cute). It’s Neo-Shibuya-Kei made in a bedroom (comparable contemporary – Her Ghost Friend) and that’s actually welcome because of how darty it is. Listen above.

New Boyish: “Sketchbook”

Ahhhhh, feel that crispness in the air? It’s an indie-pop autumn, alright. And one of Tokyo’s finest twee-leaning outfits around, Boyish, have a new album out on Dead Funny Records next month. “Sketchbook,” above, is the first taste of Sketch For 8000 Days Of Moratorium (!!!!) and it is a longer-than-usual look at how they are approaching their latest album.

Hear Two New Songs From The Paellas

They are technically in the “demo” phase of existence, but few bands can pique this blog’s interest even with sketches like Osaka’s The Paellas. At their best, the band capture a special kind of nocturnal longing, taking the often-static sounds of indie-pop and turning it into heartfelt music seemingly coming out of an alley or a really depressing lounge. Their first demo, “Hodon,” thumps while the vocals trip over themselves, trying to reach somebody who sounds far gone. It’s a slow burner stuffed with drama. Listen above.

The other one is a bit more compact, clocking in at half the time of the above track. It’s a shifty little number, more direct musically but a bit more shadowy when it comes to the vocals (this would be the “alley” song of the pair). Listen to that one below.

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.