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Category Archives: Music

Sweating Textures: Neshizuku’s Roam EP


Tokyo-based producer Neshizuku’s latest EP, Roam, is a textural treat. Starting off with the wobbly title track, Neshizuku creates tracks that practically swelter, with layers of synthesizer notes cascading down one another. The intensity only picks up on the brisker “Redefining,” and carries over to the finale of “Under Control.” It’s a brief but enjoyable set, especially if you like ASMR-ish sensations. Get it here, or listen below.

Yesterday Once More And Trekkie Trax Are Going On Tour, And Share New Music From Shigge, Toyomu And BlackglassG


Fukuoka’s Yesterday Once More crew and Trekkie Trax are going on tour, and to celebrate they have released a special compilation album featuring new music from numerous artists involved in the tour. The collection features slippery and skittery numbers from Shigge and BlackglassG, along with a more minimal contributions from TOYOMU and Andrew, along with a wonderfully upbeat one from DJ NHK Guy. Get it here, or listen below.

New Young Juvenile Youth: “Hive” And “In Blue”

The two newest songs from uneasy pop duo Young Juvenile Youth up the approachable sounds ever so slightly. “In Blue” features a slapping beat while “Hive” gravitates around big bubbly Euro-pop-revival synth notes. Yet, the more I listen to both songs, the more immediate sheen fades ever so slightly to reveal something that has a lot in common with the tenser material they released last year. “Hive” (below) is the misstep, a stab at rave-up pop where vocalist Yuki’s voice just feels out of place…at least until a late-song breakdown where everything slows down a touch. “In Blue,” though, pulls off the shadowy sounds very well — Young Juvenile Youth’s music depends on how well Yuki’s singing can fit in with Jemapur’s production, and here the pop side almost seems like a trick to distract from the goosebumps underneath. Listen to that one above.

Electro-Bright: Seira Kariya’s “Colorful World”

Electro-pop Singer/songwriter Seira Kariya captured a modest bit of attention last year with the song “Nobi Nobi Style,” a mid-tempo sigh of a disco song with a pretty sticky hook. Yet on “Colorful World,” her newest single officially out in June, Kariya embraces big bright pop without hesitation, letting go and delivering a dizzying number. Helping with the arrangement is Tobinai Masahiro (better known as Masamusic) and handling production is a member of Tokyo outfit Give Me Wallets (remember this gem, also produced by Give Me Wallets?), but Kariya brings it to life via her lyrics, delivered in a slightly reserved style in the verses…but bursting open into warm-summer-day wonder come that chorus, the finest she’s delivered yet. Listen above.

Sun Gets In Your Eyes: Seebirds

Osaka quartet Seebirds — in the opening minute of “Herz,” above — sounds like a pleasant albeit familiar outfit. Save for the steely kick of a drum machine and some woozy synthesizer smudges, the song initially seems like a half-speed tune you’d expect to hear coming from any number of livehouses in the Kansai region. But then, “Herz” gets color inverted — the synths turn menacing, the vocals become distorted, and the whole song suddenly feels like a fever dream, whatever brightness once present swapped out for a creepiness. That’s what makes Seebirds intriguing — it has been awhile since an indie band has been able to harness tension like this, falling somewhere between Half Mile Beach Group and, like, The Knife on the unnerving scale (or maybe they got the name from this). The group’s first mini-album comes out this week, and other numbers from it highlight a similar something-just-off feeling. “Fraud” gurgles underneath its mid-tempo pacing, and teases ripping apart, but always contains the unease just enough. Listen to that one below.