Author Archives: Patrick St. Michel

New Einstein’s Video: “Hayame No Picasso”

Wrote briefly about electro-pop outfit Einstein’s latest EP a while back, but they’ve just released a video for the song “Hayame No Picasso,” so let’s zoom in on just one number. It’s a twinkly, slightly woozy track, one that makes room for the vocals to receive the bulk of attention, yet the overall affect is dreamy. Listen above.

New A Taut Line: “Bamboo Holography”

It’s almost the start of December and that means…oh, you probably know. I’ve written variations of that sentence a lot recently because a lot of great albums have not gotten a lot of longform attention around these parts, and you can add Greeen Linez luxurious Izu Street King to that pile. Hopefully more on that soon…but for now, half of that City-Pop-leaning project, Matt Lyne’s A Taut Line, has a new single out, highlighted by “Bamboo Holography,” which you can hear above. It’s a sweltering number that thunders ahead but also carries a woozy vibe about it. Listen above, or buy it here.

Most Of The Day: EN Tokyo’s Six Featuring Bugseed, Lidly And More

The Red Bull Music Academy wrapped up its month-long stay in Tokyo earlier this month, but music created during that event is still trickling out into the world. The Academy (full disclosure, I contributed a story to Red Bull’s online magazine) brought together young producers from all over the globe and helped them develop new music and skills…but they weren’t the only beneficiaries. At the November 9 Culture Fair…sort of like a record market, along with DJ sets and radio shows…producers from beat-making collective EN Tokyo took part in a show that twisted the outfit’s approach to beat making ever so slightly – each member bought records at the event and then had a brief amount of time to create a beat from it…and then present it to the crowd. They usually have one night to make a beat…but here were physical limitations to.

Six gathers those quickly made beats in one place. The premise of EN doesn’t necessarily breed great music…the goal is to make something fast…but this collection is solid, and highlights some of the better beatmakers in the capital. Salty starts the comp off with a melancholy track, before other contributors create a more joyful mood…or, as is the case on Lidly’s “Tide Over,” a blurry horn-assisted one. Pigeondust digs up various weird sound effects and turns them into a laid-back groove (featuring the only instance of proper rap verses…original here). Get the whole collection here, or listen below.

New House Of Tapes: Hidden Memory

What, exactly, is the end game for an indie producer? Looking at the landscape in Japan in 2014, the answer would be “get the chance to produce for someone else, maybe on a bigger label,” with the ultimate prize being the chance to be turned into a project worth pushing all your own. Nagoya’s House Of Tapes has, for the last few years, been one of the few track makers out there whose music doesn’t seem possible to be mapped on to anyone else – dude made pounding, aggressive dance music aimed at filling every available space on the track with pistoning noise. It did not seem like something anyone could sing over without coming out the other end like grinded-up meat.

Naturally, House Of Tapes’ biggest sonic departure to date somehow finds terrain even less inviting than what he did before…but is great for House Of Tapes himself. Hidden Memory hints at drawing inspiration from the ’90s video game Earthbound (full disclosure: the author’s favorite video game ever, beaten at least 12 times in his lifetime), specifically the final battle against the…bodyless thing Giygas. Hidden Memory, appropriately, is a vaporous collection, the bulk of the EP lacking any driving beat and rather swirling about, the closest House Of Tapes has (might ever?) come to shoegaze. The final two tracks get a bit more pounding, but even then are his most cloud-like to date. It’s a nice switch up, and shows dude’s versatility. Get it here for free.

Movin’ On: Tentenko’s “Good Bye, Good Girl”

Earlier this year, “anti-idol” idols BiS broke up, leaving behind a legacy containing a handful of extreme videos, a lot of nutty collaborations and a song catalog of mixed quality, albeit highlighted by an absolute beast of a single. Since disbanding in July, the members of the group have started making strides in various solo projects…but it’s former BiS member Tentenko who has delivered the first really good song to emerge from that outfit’s dissolution. It’s charm, though, comes from aping the past, not really pushing anything forward – “Good Bye, Good Girl” is a song steeped in ’80s sounds, piled up with sytnhesizer squiggles and big cheesy drum hits. I mean, the video tells you everything, as it is obvious footage of Japan in 2014 made to look like unearthed VHS footage. There’s no shortage of artists revisiting that decade in 2014…whether because they dream of those days of opulence, or just really like smooth electro-pop…but “Good Bye, Good Girl” at least hitches a catchy song to its retro look. Here’s a really solid pop song with a nice bounce to it. Listen above.