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New Cor!s Featuring Akio: “Hero”

Busy week ahead for Cor!s. Constituting one half of KiWi, who drop a new album on the 25th, she’s also made time to share “Hero,” a dramatic bit of EDM-pop featuring singer Akio (Sugar’s Campaign, among others). She creates a slowly building number, full of electronic wisps (that, in a nice detail, bend a bit) that eventually get joined by beats that just pummel away. It’s conventional in formula — it rises up, only to drop — but Cor!s does the blueprint well, and even the big, buzzy plunge works wonders (imagine what it could do in an actual live setting). Listen below.

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Weekend Roundup: Nite Body, Negative Headphone, Niisuu And Figure

Some quick hits, while I deal with waking up at 5:30 in the morning to watch American sports (go terribly wrong, at least for the author’s preferred team at time of writing):

— Nite Body shared two new songs over the weekend, both of them nocturnal delights. Whereas earlier works courtesy of the producer worked in a sense of unease, the pair of “Obsidian” and “Lost In Diamonds” don’t contain any creepy underside. The latter, in fact, is one of the shiniest and most upbeat tracks Nite Body has created yet. Listen to that one above.

— Out of Yamaguchi, Negative Headphone’s “Cosmos” is a slowly building, ultimately rollicking bit of electronic rock that, even at its most forceful, has a dream-like haze around it. Listen below.

— On the more forceful side of the universe, producer Niisuu brings out “Cosmic Rain,” darty electronic number full of pounding beats and water droplets (natch). This would be a pretty standard slice of “future bass” if not for the woozy, carnival-ready melody that pops up later, which adds some nice flair. Listen below.

— Lastly, an old favorite around these parts, Nagoya’s Figure! “Jasper” adds some sparkle to a guitar-based sound that most times veered towards something more crushing than comforting (similarly, see House Of Tapes). Yet here, the rock chug slows down ever so slightly and lets keyboard shine on over it. Figure creates a song that sounds somewhere between melancholy and optimistic. Listen below.

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Something Chilly In The Air: Skip Club Orchestra’s Amorphous Creatures EP

Skip Club Orchestra, the moniker adopted by the founder of Japanese juke imprint Dubliminal Bounce, creates something chilly on the just-released Amorphous Creatures EP. Which isn’t to discount the set’s ability to really get moving — from the first song, the bulk of this EP has moments where the beat overtakes everything (and on “A.C. 02,” every second is that way), and Skip Club Orchestra creates really energetic dance songs. But the moments surrounding those bursts feel icy and, at times, foreboding. The machine beats, sure, but also the synths and, on “A.C. (3),” the way everything mixes together into a lurching menace. Get it here, or listen below.

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Pistoning: Betapack Vs. Sidechains

Tokyo collective Betapack joins with Sydney-based label Sidechains for a brief but bulldozing set of songs. The artists repping both sides of this split approach electronic music from a steely, clanging angle, with every song here featuring percussion and little sonic details that give them a chilly, metallic feel. Broken Haze has been doing this sort of style — somewhere between neon-lit arcade and auto garage — for a while, so it isn’t surprising his “Initial D – 2nd Stage” is a highlight of this hi-definition approach, full of tight bass and car samples. Sidechains representatives Denzel Sterling and Grasps aren’t quite as drive focused, but their contribution featuring the same thick punch. It’s only Venvella’s “Luminous” that adds in some angelic choruses to lighten the mood — and even then it still pounds. Listen above, or visit their special site.

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New Daichi Miura “Excite” And Dotama “Honne”

Trekkie Trax had a pretty big 2016, the high-charged netlabel gaining more and more visibility across the board with their take on contemporary electronic styles. Now, it seems like more established names are taking notice. In the same way that Maltine Records — the community-building online entity that came up the generation prior) — and the wonky sound they fostered eventually started creeping over into mainstream J-Pop, Trekkie Trax’s harder-hitting club stylings are starting to pop up. And now, some of the imprint’s bigger names are working with bigger, more mainstream names. There’s a whole roundtable talk to about what this all means, but I’ll probably always come down on rather having J-Pop bring in lesser-known producers to work with them than creating soulless versions of the same sound. And anything that breaks up the monotony most J-Pop embraces, the better.

Daichi Miura got in on this last year, recruiting Seiho for the woozy “Cry & Fight.” For newest single “Excite,” he brings in U.K. garage study Carpainter to help produce (he splits credit with Kanata Okajima), and the end result is a whirring bit of pop, fidgety but ultimately focused. Listen above.

Elsewhere, Masayoshi Iimori produced “Honne,” a song for the rapper Dotama, who has become quite popular thanks to various TV appearances (it helps that he finds an original delivery that fits him, rather than go the “I heard they have rap in Atlanta, I should do that” style that dominates other corners). The producer’s clattering sensibility works well on a song where Dotama delivers theatrical, at-times shouty verses. Listen below.

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