A sinking feeling I’ve had this year — and one echoed in conversation recently with similarly music-inclined friends in Tokyo — is that music just isn’t that big a deal in most people’s lives. Not to say that this is a Japan-only issue, or even one that instantly should be assumed as bad (I mean, the way America treats and consumes music is bad in a bunch of different ways, but that’s another thinkpiece at some other place), and who knows maybe I’m just old now or Tokyo is just deep down a really bad city for music. But music has felt, I don’t know, not central to anything in Japan in 2015? It might just be cynicism coming from someone writing about music here for a while, but sometimes it feels like it is just going to keep shrinking.
Thankfully, surprises pop up sometimes and remind me that, even if it is small, there exist groups of young people who still want to dive into this. The producer Maidable shared a slow-burning song called “Spry” recently (above), and it’s a great bit of sweltering unease, the sort of song that should soundtrack a slowly melting room. Voices drift in and out of the heat, adding (my favorite!) unease into the song. Maidable is part of something called the Waseda Composition Society, presumably based out of Tokyo’s Waseda University, which appears to be a collective of sorts putting on live events and releasing compilation albums similar to what Fogpak does. “Spry” appears to be coming out on the next set the WCS plans to drop, but until then, definitely spend some time with their 2015 summer collection, featuring Maidable and a bunch of other burgeoning producers dabbling in all sorts of styles. Get that here, or listen below.