New White Wear: ” ++///++ “

It isn’t so much CUZ ME PAIN has been missing as much as they’ve been doing their own thing in the corners of Tokyo in 2014 – the artists making up the collective/label have been holding their own DJ events around town, and (at least in the case of Jesse Ruins) have started work on new albums. Still, not much has trickled out…but here’s the first fully formed CUZ ME PAIN song to emerge in a while, courtesy of White Wear. This one – sorry, not typing it out again – almost feels like a throwback to the earliest days of the label, when creating texture that one could also dance to took precedent over all else. It isn’t quite as shadow-covered – this is a wriggly number, save for the voice buried way deep in the back – but a nice reminder to keep an eye on CUZ ME PAIN moving forward. Listen below.

EDIT: This post was a day late – and now the track has vanished. So mysterious!!!!

New Daisuke Tanabe: “Origami”

Producer Daisuke Tanabe has a new album on the way, and he’s shared a little of it with XLR8R. “Origami” features off-kilter…damn, they already beat me to that description…how about Tanabe that fuzzy…gahhhh, OK…hold on, let me throw the adjectives out the window.

Tanabe has always chased more creative – alternatively, weirder – ideas down, and “Origami” is packed full of them, ranging from hiccuping vocal samples to squeaky electronics seemingly beamed in from another track. A key-jingling beat holds it all together, but even with something anchoring it, “Origami” is always a little tipsy, always capable of falling over into a bush. Yet that wobble makes it all the more interesting. Listen below.

New Cokiyu: “Untitled New”

The first surprise is how soon August 31 is…that’s the day dreamy nature-leaning pop maker Cokiyu performs a special show in Tokyo. It’s also the last day of the summer for many folks (cough, ahem, like me, cough), which is a rude realization. Yet the plus is Cokiyu has shared a new song..currently going without a title…in advance of her gig in Nakameguro. “Untitled New” features ample space for her vocals to drift over, egged on only by a twisty, minimal beat that never gets in the way. The first half finds Cokiyu’s voice existing as just sounds, but soon actual words emerge from the ether, growing in intensity as the song moves along. Listen below.

Tomggg Hooks Up With Ryan Hemsworth: “Cream Soda”

Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth is…at long last…coming to Japan this October, where he’ll play three shows across three cities (check the poster). It isn’t like he’s avoided collaborating with Japanese artists in the past (and shouting out various Japanese songs and producers regularly), but this team up with producer Tomggg still makes a lot of sense given the timing. Like his recent collaboration with Qrion, “Cream Soda” finds both creators reaching a sonic middleground to let their respective styles come across clear, but with the final product never feeling like a stapled-together affair. The best touch is Tomggg bringing his cuddly brand of music (which was all over the Popteen EP) to the forefront, while the rap-indebted beat (whoa, “Move That Dope” sample!) edges it into new territory. Listen below.

That Old Indie-Pop Sound: Pelican Fanclub’s “Capusle Hotel”

Haven’t written about an indie-pop song from a Japanese song in a while…not totally sure why, other than I don’t really think many of note have popped up in the last few months. Well, Pelican Fanclub’s “Capsule Hotel” is a solid cut of wispy, summer-worthy guitar-rock. It’s simple but breezy – the vocals are clear and sound quite clear, while the backing music drives forward without hesitation. Listen below.