Sho Takeuchi’s X-Files project caught our attention at the start of this year not just because of the name…the Tokyo artist created unsettling music rich with tension across a series of EPs and singles uploaded to SoundCloud. For whatever reason (maybe certain reboots scared him a bit), Takeuchi has renamed his venture once more, to The Future Of Sex. Yet, in the end, the name doesn’t matter that much…the recently released Bastard album stands as his best work yet, and one of the first quarter of 2015’s best albums to emerge out of Japan.
What sets Bastard apart from the field is a refinement of what made Takeuchi’s earlier works this year so striking — the 11 songs here move from stomach-rumbling loudness to more fragile stretches. There is unusual violence (what sounds like an angry copy machine breaking through guitar squall on “All Famers”) and nostalgia (the twinkling, barely there piano of “Flash Memory” and the sample of a tennis game on “Endless Rally”), but connecting all of Bastard are glimpses of beauty that manage to cut through the space and noise. It’s there on opener “Small Beginnings,” a slowly surging number equal parts noisy and transcendent, and the easiest link to a similar album, Infinite Body’s enveloping Carve Out The Face Of My God. Get it here, or listen below.