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Author Archives: Patrick St. Michel

New HoneyComeBear: “See You”

Electronic duo HoneyComeBear fit plenty of emotion into their topsy-turvy creations. “Rainy Girl” got this point clearly, and “See You” underlines it even further. They are pretty close to one another — both unfold slowly for something billed as “future bass,” at least until just after the chorus, when all the hyperspeed bits rush in. “See You” marinates a little longer, the verses taking their time, accented by bell chimes. It makes the drop (or…uplift?) all the more memorable. Yet the MVP of the song ends up being vocalist Kaako, who gives the song the human drama it needs to make all of this click. As long as they let that shine through, they are worth keeping an eye on. Listen above.

New Sakasa: Sprng EP

After nearly two years of silence, Nara producer Sakasa returns with the Sprng EP. And, if the past is anything to work off of, Sakasa might be offering a glimpse at the future — they were one of the first I remember this decade to make a whole album built around ’80s Japanese pop samples, and now that’s all over the place. Sprng sounds more metallic, at times more clattering (such as the opening number, accompanied by drilling details and an overall feeling of a computer freaking out on you), but with every discombobulated sound falling into just the right place. Samples appear on the faded “Sprng2” alongside a breakbeat, while “Sprng3” stutters about. Get it here, or listen below.

Up To Date: Hidenobu Ito’s “Track 2 Track”

Electronic producer Hidenobu Ito seems to be playing the Bandcamp game in 2017. He’s been active since the late ’90s, and started a page this year, featuring a mix of new tracks and older ones mastered this year, all accompanied by old photos of Japanese women which would make the future funk tag blush. It’s hit or miss quality wise, but new number “Track 2 Track” is a highlight. Dedicated to Kenny Larkin, the song chugs on for nearly eight minutes, featuring all sorts of dizzying twists. Yet they aren’t just change-ups for the sake of variety — Ito builds “Track 2 Track” from a disorienting shuffle to, in its final passage, all-out release. Get it here, or listen below.

New Iivvyy (Kosmo Kat And HVNS): “Look”

Don’t expect the “(Kosmo Kat And HVNS)” part to be up in the titles too much longer. The pair, working under the moniker Iivvyy, have established their own liquid-metal take on techno, all Terminator like, over the course of three songs. “Look” marks the third, and it’s as strong a statement a vision as the two songs before it. Glimpses of both artists’ solo work creeps out — the woozy patterns of HVNS, the technicolor puddle-splashing of Kosmo Kat — but those both end up dissolving with the steely techno they conjure up, the beats hitting tough until they turn into slow-melting sections, with the vocal sample coming in and out of frame. If it wasn’t clear now, this is the moment where Iivvyy feels completely on its own path. Listen above.

Caffeinated: P-iPLE’s “Starbucks’ Curse”

Tokyo noise-rock trio P-iPLE had a productive summer. They released their debut album Do Do Do A Silly Travel By Bicycle Bicycle, and contributed the song “I Can’t Speak English” to Call And Response Records’ Throw Away Your CDs Go Out To A Show compilation. Now, here’s another gateway in — they made a video for their first album’s frantic number “Starbucks’ Curse,” finding the group split across the screen and emoting like crazy. The song itself is a fractured bit of rock, highlighted by vocals growing in intensity throughout. Listen above.