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Author Archives: Patrick St. Michel

New Ryuki Miyamoto: “Bounce Like This”

Feeling like a very high-energy week in Japanese music, with producer Ryuki Miyamoto’s “Bounce Like This” being an especially fast-paced inclusion. Released via Club Aerobics and premiered on Dummy Magazine, it finds the Kyushu-based creator plunging ahead, the song rarely taking half a breath and blasting forward on a series of heavy-hitting percussion (not to mention somewhat unsettling, very monotonoe vocal sample). It is an energetic cut and one focused purely on the physical side…and in that regard, it works wonders. Listen above.

That Familiar Spring: Mecanika’s “WWM”

I have, over the last six months, associated all things “future bass” with “kawaii” — which is to say, loaded up with chimes and xylophones and maybe the sample of an anime woman talking about cake over some stuttering electronics — that Kyoto creator Mecanika’s “WWM” feels deeply refreshing in how it avoids the sugar rush in favor of something different. Well, and something familiar, as this is how future bass in Japan (and all over the globe…or at least SoundCloud) sounded just a couple years back. Mecanika isn’t breaking new sonic ground here, but he’s doing it very well, adopting tight bass slaps that used to be associated with Seiho and Metome, while also weaving in clever new details, such as the sound of a train crossing (a nice moment of being pulled back to the real world). A nice introduction to the young producer. Listen above.

New Yurufuwa Gang: “Escape To The Paradise”

I talked to Yurufuwa Gang in The Japan Times today, about their forthcoming album Mars Ice House, one of the better Japanese rap albums I’ve heard in recent years. “Escape To The Paradise” isn’t their most Technicolor cut, though it still manages to highlight most of the sonic elements that makes them such a breath of fresh air in the often too-serious world of Japanese rap: ample use of Auto-tune, a playful repetition, focus on simple but relateable themes. The real star on “Escape To The Paradise,” though, is Sophiee, who adds an energy to her verse that gives the song a sudden burst in the middle. Listen above.

Melted In: Koji Nakamura

Producer Koji Nakumara operates in many forms, but what unites the various electronic styles that enter the producer’s orbit is the feeling that they are turning into a puddle right in front of you. Nakamura’s latest number, “Marumari,” moves at a brisk pace courtesy of soft but ever-present percussion and sparkly synth lines. Yet for as energetic as it gets, it also blurs together the further it goes along. That makes for a nice contrast as the song goes on, and keeps “Marumari” interesting for the whole run. “Sex,” meanwhile, unfolds much slower. It is sparse, with minimal beats and just some light vocals floating around. But even with this spartan collection, Nakamura makes them all come together just right, and boil together into something interesting. Listen to that one below.

New Erik Luebs: “Red C”

Osaka-based producer Erik Luebs moves into darker territory with “Red C,” the first song from forthcoming release Wasteland. It’s a constricting number, new layers emerging gradually as “Red C’ moves from minimal to something completely enclosing, every available space seemingly taken up as the song enters its final phase. The percussion is the best detail, at least to these ears, moving from a throb to something far more clanging in the back half. It’s an absorbing number that has us looking forward to the larger release at the end of the month. Listen above.