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Author Archives: Patrick St. Michel

Ethereal Clanging: Toi Higuchi’s “4h10mn”

Tokyo-based producer Toi Higuchi strikes a lovely balance between ethereal electronica and clattering beat music on “4h10mn,” shared online this past weekend. Opting for one extreme or the other — a barely-there ambient track, or just a beat — probably wouldn’t have ended up all that compelling (no shortage of either floating around online), but Higuchi jumps between dreaminess and clatter just right. Listen above.

New Hideki Kaji: “Heroes”

Long after the Earth is a rotted desert wasteland and most living beings have been wiped out, Hideki Kaji will probably still be around to play charming indie-pop built for summer days spent lounging around soccer fields. He’s approaching 20 years of doing this, and he’s still going strong, having recently shared the lazy-day “Heroes,” a mid-tempo number full of oooohs and ahhhhs and a guitar solo. Dude loves his indie-pop, and he’s a craftsman at creating stuff like this — nobody should be expecting a sudden genre-bending stunner from him, but if you need a reliable source for pleasant guitar-pop, while he’s one of the best around. Listen above.

Sweating Textures: Neshizuku’s Roam EP

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Tokyo-based producer Neshizuku’s latest EP, Roam, is a textural treat. Starting off with the wobbly title track, Neshizuku creates tracks that practically swelter, with layers of synthesizer notes cascading down one another. The intensity only picks up on the brisker “Redefining,” and carries over to the finale of “Under Control.” It’s a brief but enjoyable set, especially if you like ASMR-ish sensations. Get it here, or listen below.

Yesterday Once More And Trekkie Trax Are Going On Tour, And Share New Music From Shigge, Toyomu And BlackglassG

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Fukuoka’s Yesterday Once More crew and Trekkie Trax are going on tour, and to celebrate they have released a special compilation album featuring new music from numerous artists involved in the tour. The collection features slippery and skittery numbers from Shigge and BlackglassG, along with a more minimal contributions from TOYOMU and Andrew, along with a wonderfully upbeat one from DJ NHK Guy. Get it here, or listen below.

New Young Juvenile Youth: “Hive” And “In Blue”

The two newest songs from uneasy pop duo Young Juvenile Youth up the approachable sounds ever so slightly. “In Blue” features a slapping beat while “Hive” gravitates around big bubbly Euro-pop-revival synth notes. Yet, the more I listen to both songs, the more immediate sheen fades ever so slightly to reveal something that has a lot in common with the tenser material they released last year. “Hive” (below) is the misstep, a stab at rave-up pop where vocalist Yuki’s voice just feels out of place…at least until a late-song breakdown where everything slows down a touch. “In Blue,” though, pulls off the shadowy sounds very well — Young Juvenile Youth’s music depends on how well Yuki’s singing can fit in with Jemapur’s production, and here the pop side almost seems like a trick to distract from the goosebumps underneath. Listen to that one above.