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Category Archives: Music

Friday Crush: Karen Felixx’s “Mad Edge”

I’m always up for electronic tracks that, to some degree, constrict the listener tightly. Karen Felixx’s “Mad Edge” does just that, the techno number leaning close to the House Of Tapes approach where, despite a present melody and nice beat, the whole song gets turned into a crusher. Distortion and moments where the volume is out of whack go a long way to making “Mad Edge” sound like a treat, at least for those who like feeling like their dance music is stepping on them. Listen above.

Trending Upward: Nikkei’s RPO (Ritual Public Offering)

Wasabi Tapes have been at the forefront of Japanese artists exploring and embracing the wonder of sound, from the high-definition collage blitz of DJWWWW and Toiret Status to the hypnotic affects of pachinko. Their latest offering comes from a project called Nikkei — aiming for my journalistic side — and finds them more directly approaching ambient music, with opener “The Deutsche Bank crisis How we got here, and where we are” clocking in at over 30 minutes. Yet that long-runner still highlights the label’s playful approach to texture, as the sounds rippling and slowly morphing over the course of the song definitely have that same tactile feeling that comes across on other releases. Now, though, they just burn slower. Get it here, or listen below.

Fancy Flight: And Franny Featuring Powaramiu’s “Spacium Girl”

You can find plenty of Japanese electronic music full of chimes and other cuddlier musical elements, and a lot of it is very good, but something about the wave of “kawaii bass” that leaves me wanting a bit more is in terms of ambition. Very few of these songs push themselves to go further out of there comfort zone, or take listeners on a journey (or at least one longer than a rollercoaster drop). Producer And Franny’s collaboration with Powaramiu, “Spacium Girl,” offers something different. It is a dizzying number, featuring no shortage of bells and sudden tempo twists, but constructed in a way that feels far more surprising than most SoundCloud uploads. It helps a lot that Powaramiu’s singing melds perfectly with the loopy song around it, making for a charming number keeping you on your toes. Listen above.

More Than Cosmetic: The Pats Pats’ “Make Up!”

The Pats Pats are a Tokyo duo who have been kicking around for a few years, releasing catchy indie-pop skippers with a garage-rock vibe. Still, for me at least, the recently shared “Make Up!” from their first album The Pats Pats (out today), is the one that has been stuck in my head the most since they shared the video last week. It is a sunny number highlighted by the hook, bringing to mind Twinkle Twinkles out of Osaka in how much they get out of simplicity. All around a very positive number…it’s about doing things you like for yourself, which is nice, though I also had to Google Romy And Michelle’s High School Reunion so I’m not the one to offer any commentary on that. Listen above.

New Seiho: Unreal

Seiho is about to do a little tour of the United States in the coming weeks — if he comes near you, obviously go — and ahead of getting on that plane he’s put together a new release called Unreal. It is a three-song “single,” shared via streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, as while as for purchase in the iTunes store. The last song here — “Bird Scat” — offers a hint of what the whole release sounds like. When that track first emerged last year, I wrote that it struck a balance between the abstract sound he explored on last year’s Collapse and the older style he came up through the ranks with. The title track is the best example of this meeting point to date, featuring soft piano notes and slow-motion synthesizer, but all of it eventually breaking into a more jittery step, marked by snippets of vocal samples and quick-hit percussion. It bends and twists, but retains the new sensibility Seiho has been exploring in the past two years. It is a very exciting step forward. Listen on your preferred streaming service, or buy it at iTunes.