Foodman Preps Couldwork, Listen To Three Songs Now

Sometimes you catch Foodman in a playful mood, and he’s making beats urging you to dance, and sometimes you catch him in a more experimental state of mind, and you just listen closely to how he plays with the texture of audio. It appears his new mini album Couldwork could work out like the latter, at least based on the three song sample shared this week. Out on March 19, the trio of previews hint that this will be a discombobulated affair, ranging from zoned-out clangers to robo-voice infused terror sessions (seriously the latter, “Kougeki Robo,” is loaded up with what sound like dentist drills and a voice muttering “I will destroy you,” brace for terror). Even when a rapper shows up on the final preview, the whole things feels out of place and disorienting. It will probably be fantastic. Listen above.

New LLLL Video: “Only To Silence”

We wrote about this song a bit before, about how it finds two Tokyo artists who often operate in the shadows coming together to make something hopeful in the face of the crushing realities of urban life. Fittingly, the new video for it is a time-lapse clip of Japan’s capital, gone trippy at times but often just capturing the hugeness of it. Watch above.

Vibed Out: Gropas’ “Rising Up” And “Seashore”

Today was the first time in a long day where the temperature in Tokyo resembled Spring, and lord knows those same numbers next to the Celsius symbol won’t be back for a few more weeks. Maybe that’s why these two songs by Shoji Ishiguro, a bass player who records under the name Gropas, blindsided me today, after an afternoon spent wandering around without a coat. Or maybe I’ve spent so much time with stuff that samples the smooth sounds of the past (or, like, commercials and the inside of elevators) and turns it syrupy that hearing someone earnestly going for a sea-side vibe hit me as fresh. Whatever it is, Gropas makes some slick songs for warmer climes, his bass playing being the backbone but with all sorts of other details layered in. “Rising Up” is the better of the two, featuring a brief vocal sample manipulated into a quick thing, and surrounded with pops and small electronic touches that make this more than the poolside soundtrack at Sandals. “Seashore,” meanwhile, imagines what American Football might have sounded like had they wanted to make their own “Kokomo,” except that they got rid of the words and let the music set the scene. Get it here, or listen below.

Country Vibes: Katafuta’s Ginger

This was going to go up Friday but…that didn’t happen! So here it is as a special Sunday night post.

It’s slightly absurd, but I’m always drawn to artists operating out of Mie Prefecture, a relatively rural part of Japan sandwiched between Nagoya and Osaka. Mainly because that’s where I lived when I first moved to Japan, so there are a lot of feelings tied up with that stretch of land. So when I see someone is from Mie, I listen. Producer Katafuta is based in Mie, and the theme running through his recently released album Ginger is “approaching god and nature on Ise,” referring to one of the biggest cities in the prefecture and home to the super-famous Ise Shrine (the title is a pun in Japanese). Fittingly, Ginger is a reflective, slow-moving album — it is released via Yesterday Once More, whose artists usually hail from Fukuoka and often sound like they are constantly on and letting loose. Katafuta, though, takes his time here, offering a country-side perspective to the label’s usually boisterous city tunes. Listen below, or get it here.

New Naola: “Fufu”

It seems a bit ridiculous to use a post about a song as feather-bed-soft as Naola’s “Fufu” as a diary entry…but hey, I’m paying the hosting fees, so why not. My life is pretty good on a lot of levels, but geez has 2015 left me tired. In the most literal sense — I spend most days at my desk in a daze, my sleeping hours wrecked by a bunch of boring writing stuff (emails! spreadsheets! exciting stuff!). This week has been especially rough in this regard, which is why “Fufu” jumped out so strongly. I just want to meld into this song, and Naola’s softly sung words. It seems like a really relaxing place to vanish off to for a bit. Listen above.