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Category Archives: Music

New Fellsius: Daily Housework

One of Trekkie Trax’s strongest attributes is the sheer variety of electronic music they’ve shared with the world. Fellsius’ Daily Housework is a nice reminder of that, finding the young producer creating a pretty reverent set of house tracks (the title being a nice wink) leaning on the heavier side of the genre, complete with throaty vocals overlaid. It’s an energetic affair and one that works best as a front-to-back listen. Get it here, or listen below.

New Homecomings: “Songbirds”

Kyoto’s Homecomings have found their corner of the music world, and they fit snuggly into it. “Songbirds” is their latest song, and it is a further Sharpie-underlining of what they do so well. No band in Japan captures suburban ennui —- a very Kyoto-born longing, a place that allows for the space and time to just think —- and “Songbirds” plays out like many of their past mid-tempo cuts. It takes its time getting anywhere, more content to think issues of the heart over while a stroll of a guitar melody and light beat moves forward. The music can get a little rougher, but Homecomings leave plenty of space for Ayaka Tatamino’s reflective, slice-of-life lyrics to get space. Yeah, it sounds familiar coming from the quartet. But they excel at it so much, it feels comforting. Listen above.

More Than Comedy: Pink Neon Tokyo Gang Kill Them All #PNTGKTA

What should be a novelty from a collective often flirting with disposable music —- future-funkers Pink Neon Tokyo putting out an album that seemingly exists to riff on a Tyler, The Creator album cover — ends up being an enjoyable and clever listen. Pink Neon Tokyo Gang Kill Them All #PNTGKTA stands out immediately because it isn’t just a collection of future funk, a niche genre that can produce interesting ideas (and fun beats) but often feels a little too “aesthetic” for its own good. Rather, the folks involved with this just get goofy, starting off by matching trap-style beats with Showa-era pop to create a dumb-fun opener that sets the pace. Lil Fiji Vert (yep) teases bouncy Vocaloid-pop before throwing a huge splatter of Trap-a-Holics sample over it and transforming it into something a bit more thumping…but still lithe and catchy. “Wanima” is both the the stupidest and most fun to sing along with, featuring the name of the punk-pop band repeated over and over again (Lil Pump style) into something that becomes clever the longer you let it linger. And even if that isn’t working for you, they close it out with a surprisingly reflective instrumental. Far from essential listening, but far more fun than you’d ever expect. Listen above.

New Buddhahouse: Kinki

With any new enterprise, you want your best foot forward. DJ and producer Buddhahouse recently launched a new label called Fruit Parlor Records, and the first release to come from this fledgling operation comes from himself. Kinki includes tracks the Sapporo-born creator has shared in recent memory, making it a good one-stop for the tropical delight of “Mango!” and (a slightly re-worked) “See You.” Yet the real power players are new creations showing a bit more length from Buddhahouse. “Kyoto” revs out the gate, but the song slowly morphs into something more reflective thanks to squiggly electronic details that slowly change. Even better is “Personal Memories,” a slow-burning romper that paces itself just right. Get it here, or listen below.

New Monari Wakita: “Take It Lucky!!!!”

This blog is never going to be completely over the end of Especia, even if by their final formation they were basically an entirely different group (albeit with at least a few solid numbers). While we eternally pour one out for the project responsible for idol masterpiece Gusto though, let’s not nostalgia for…uhhhh, 2013 obscure the pure pop approach former Especia member Monari Wakita has grabbed. Initially, it looked like she’d lean into the whole city pop thing, but has expanded away from the waterfront in favor of something not tied to a specific time. Last year’s “Boy Friend” found Wakita hop-scotching over squiggly synth-pop to deliver a big confetti-burst of a hook, and now new single “Take It Lucky!!!!” boasts an equally bubbly (but not exclusively Bubbly) chorus. Elements of city pop do come through — words and music written by Toshiya Arai and UKO, and that early bridge, with its tight bass and keyboard noodling are lobby ready — but the song works best when Wakita just lets loose with her voice, best on the hook and even effective come the la la las at the end. Listen above.