Tofubeats’ Hihatt imprint functions as an ideal artist-lead label. It’s a space where he can put out slow-burning dance sputters that probably make the higher ups at Warner Music sweat if presented for an album under their watch, and offering a chance to highlight other creators doing good work (see last year’s Rubber Band EP by Hajime Iida for one prime example). Ice Do Haus by the project Ice — details hard to find about just who this is — might be the best example of what is possible through this avenue. The titular song, particularly the one with vocals, is a wild bit of acid house constantly on the verge of malfunction. And then the singing comes in, wild and fuzzed over, adding an extra unhinged energy to the rollicking track. Get it here, or listen below.
While we’re here…I wanted to do a post about Tofubeat’s cover of “Plastic Love” by Mariya Takeuchi closer to when it came out, but completely failed on that front. Partially because the story behind what has happened recently with the “Plastic Love” upload that helped turn it into a meme gets complicated: the original upload was taken down due to a copyright claim made by the person who snapped the photo featured in it, which created a vacuum for different “Plastic Love” uploads to enter and…it’s a mess! Tofubeats’ cover, then, signals the chance for an official version of the song — from the same label Takeuchi is on, even! — to enter and pick up some of the fragmentation. It helps that Tofubeats finds the right balance between reverent cover (those horns!) and update for 2019 (digi-touched vocals, especially for the final stretch). Listen below.