Category Archives: J-Pop

Seiho Remixes Passepied: “Matatabistep”

The end of the year is creeping up on us, which means it is time to start thinking about the memorable albums of the past 12 months. One of the bigger surprises came courtesy of Tokyo rock outfit Passepied, who have been a perpetually pushed “next big thing” for the last few years, though none of their EPs or albums really delivered on the hype – they had their moments, but overall they seemed like an outfit that had a rough idea what they wanted to be (vaguely retro Showa-rock pop built for festivals) but weren’t there yet by a long shot. So this year’s MakunouchiIsm was a great development – anchored by three killer advance singles (highlighted by best-to-date-creation “Tokyo City Underground“) their latest saw them take their sound and get ambitious with it…while also coming across some killer hooks. It isn’t their masterpiece or even a real top-20-of-the-year contender…the biggest compliment and criticism of it is it solidifies Passepied as an outgoing Sōtaisei Riron…but it’s a huge leap in quality and has completely flipped my view on them going forward.

And now, new ambitions. They have a new EP coming out which finds them eyeing the English market…they’ve recorded thumper “Matatabistep” into English, and called up hip-as-heck producer Seiho to remix it for them. That rework is out now, and the Osaka creator turns it into a liquid-limbed Jersey-Club-ish slinker (!!!). It is fun as fuck, and a preview of their English endeavor (sounds alright to me). Listen above.

New Kindan No Tasuketsu: “Chyuuto Han Pa Hayamete” Featuring Izumi Makura

Kindan No Tasuketsu just released a new collection of songs, Entertainment, and here’s a woozy taste of it. Kindan handles the dreamy chorus, while guest rapper Izumi Makura adds some flair to the verses. It’s a focused number, and features a very nice outro. Check it out above.

Nice Nice: SAWA’s “RingaRinga”

New single from one of the many electro-pop artists who got a stab at the mainstream in the wake of Perfume’s landscape-shifting album GAME…and one of the many to recede from the spotlight and end up on some tiny imprint once the market decided they only really wanted one future-pop group bumrushing the charts. Which is a shame, because SAWA is pretty good overall, and “RingaRinga” is a nice synth-pop workout. Part cheerful electro-pop, part dance-floor-aiming release (that beat).

SAWA is also responsible for writing and co-arranging Especia’s “Midnight Confusion,” if you needed an extra nudge to click ‘play.’

New Her Ghost Friend: “Knock Knock”

Geez, this week is off to a great start. Colorful J-pop duo Her Ghost Friend are back with “Knock Knock,” an extremely playful number that finds producer DJ Obake treating sounds like gooey taffy. From the start, “Knock Knock” drips in samples of birds, scattered sounds and the titular phrase before segueing into a slightly more traditional structure. Still, Obake messes with pitch, bass sounds and Shinobu Ono’s voice twisted into various directions (at times sounding like it is drifting off into space). Yet there is also a bouncy pop number here, just one off-set by stuff that would seem out of place on an Oricon-charting single. Listen below, or download it here.

New Tofubeats Featuring PES From RIP SLYME: “Poolside”

Here’s the latest taste of Tofubeats’ forthcoming major-label debut, First Album, which for those who know their Tofu will realize it sounds very very familiar. That’s because the luxurious beat for “Poolside” first appeared as the opening track for 2012′s fantastic Summer Dreams. The music…along with Tofubeat’s original rap…remain, but it is now joined by a guest appearance from RIP SLYME’s PES, turning it into a bit of a tag-team number. It also has a new video, which you can watch above.