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Tanukineiri Records Cooks Up Tanukineiri Curry Sampler Featuring House Of Tapes, Guitarsisyo And More

It has been a bit since the last Tanukineiri Records sampler, but here they are to feed the streets with two collections of music…all over the place. Tanukineiri Curry Sampler comes in two flavors — Cumin and Coriander — and all of the song titles reference the classic dish, while some of the songs go pretty literal in being about an easy-to-make item (that’s tough to master, take it from me, guy who sucks at making curry). But don’t get too caught up on the culinary theme — this is a chance for an indie label to showcase their artistic clientele. Cumin features a good mix of artists crafting odes to the food using guitars (see Johnnie The Bulgaria’s “Curry Rice”) to fidgety synth-pop numbers (AKR-FITW’s Vocaloid-assisted “Papa’s Curry” and Attic Note’s “Curry Walk”) to noisy affairs (House Of Tapes coming through with the throwback chaos of “Dark Spice”). Get it here, or listen below.

Coriander ventures into similar territory, kicking off with a singer/songwriter number with hints of Indian music mixed in via 163(g)’s “No Spices,” before going off in all sorts of directions (including another India-inspired cut, Hideki Takimoto’s “Space & Spice” which goes a little too far with this idea). The highlight here for me, though, is Guitarsisyo’s tipsy-turvy “Sisyo No Curry Udon,” which uses guitars and effects to create a disorienting number. But like all comps, you just gotta dig in and see what you like. Get it here, or listen below.

Simple Pleasures: NNMIE’s “Shiiteru”

Sendai’s NNMIE makes due with a small assortment of tools, but makes a charming little number in “Shiiteru” from them all. Using some breezy guitar melodies and some drum machine beats, they construct a rollicking indie-pop number apt for lazy afternoons or strolls under the sunlight. The detail that sells it — and actually gets me a little misty-eyed over the early days of like Boyish or Figure, other indie-pop projects still going but in slightly different form — is how the vocals have a slight echo on them, keeping them just out of reach and really adding some always-welcome melancholy to each line. Listen above.

Maltine Records Shows Off Vocaloid 5, Featuring Parkgolf, Tomggg, Pa’s Lam System And Pasocom Music Club

One of the niftier things Maltine Records has gotten up to recently is a series called Maltine Vocaloid School. Basically, a handful of trackmakers from the netlabel use a copy of Vocaloid 5 to create a new song, while documenting their process on video. Alongside that, all kinds of 2018 internet markers pop up, from virtual YouTubers to…well, a lot of sound effects. It’s a funny and deeply interesting video series…especially if you have a taste for the netlabel acts that appear around these parts all the time…so give it a watch.

Just as interesting to us are the final tracks to emerge from them, showcasing a wide variety of Vocaloid usage. Parkgolf opts to re-create this year’s (still great) “Hiyamugi” with some digi-voice flair, while Pa’s Lam System craft a short but pummeling number accented by complete phrases in “Day Dream,” a number also reminding of their knack for making really great bursts of energy (albeit here one that uses up its steam by the end). Listen to those two below.

Tomggg’s use of Vocaloid, meanwhile, fits in surprisingly well to his technicolor world, and he actually deploys it in a two-pronged way that is both cartoony and melodically delightful. Peppered with hip-hop details (see: the percussion and how it rattles off), it marks a slight departure for Tomggg while still being very much in his wheelhouse, showing just how good he is at stretching that sound out. Similarly, Pasocom Music Club’s “Bright” (above) uses the software as something to skip, creating an up-tempo number that eventually blooms open to reveal sweetly sung robo voices and an electronic glow giving the whole number a melancholy you might not expect from a synthesized voice program. But if there’s one thing Maltine is great at, its revealing new uses for familiar sounds.

Dial-Up Jams: ksd6700’s inDaMuzique

Sometimes, you can’t beat the descriptions that come alongside the music. inDaMuzique gets described as “two house / techno chiba slammers” and man that’s just beautiful, all while nailing the feeling that these two new tracks from producer ksd6700. There’s no big-city slickness here, just a pair of ravers meant for maximum release, loaded up with synths and surging bass (and, on the pogoing title track, some lovely vocal samples that help add extra feels to the whole thing) meant to get folks moving. Get it here, or listen below.

New Breezesquad: Fantasma

Chiptune is, for me, one of those styles that presents a particular tightrope when it comes to writing about it. That’s because I’m drawn to artists using 8-bit sounds in an interesting way and…see, there it is! “Interesting ways,” as if lots of methods aren’t just that. But even though I know this can teeter on the dismissive, I ultimately find the stuff rising above easy nostalgia and trying something different — even if it still hits those familiar fuzzy feelings — really noteworthy.

Breezesquad has long ticked those boxes, releasing chiptune going off in all kinds of directions and always open to exploring new terrain. Fantasma is a step further for the Fukuoka producer, from the use of space and tension on opener “Maboroshi” to the rave-up of “Legit Fun.” Running through this is an interest in traditional Japanese music, putting it in a similar zone as Omodaka, but Breezesquad doesn’t just lean in on that, exploring chugging tempos (“Sell Yr Phone”) and floor-eyeing release (“Mu├ęstrame”). Get it here, or listen below.