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Gentler Hug: Aiobahn With Yunomi And Bonjour Suzuki’s “Magical Sweet Cake”

Perhaps most people hear the word “kawaii” in relation with music, and they think of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. But the electronic community in Japan features plenty of artists where that word — “cute” in Japanese — can easily apply, though in 2016 what exactly that means has changed. The word “kawaii bass” has been thrown around a bit, referring to a sugary-sweet take on dance music heavy on bells and maximalism, sorta a mutation on the energetic sounds found on netlabels. Producer Aiobahn certainly fell under this tag, but like a lot of artists where this could apply, he’s at least expanding on the smothering cuteness. “Magical Sweet Cake” still features music box flair and feathery synth, but it unfolds at a slower pace than most “kawaii” music. Guided by the whispery vocals of guest vocalist Bonjour Suzuki (and rounded out by another artist altering just what “kawaii” means in this context, Yunomi), Aiobahn aims for sentimentality rather than a crushing bear hug, “Magical Sweet Cake” mostly goes for sweetness rather than anything overly crazy (a few sonic touches deeper in the mix hint at the dancefloor, and ultimately feel distracting). And it’s good, showing new depth that works well outside of a Shibuya club. Just the latest twist in the sonic makeup of “kawaii.” Listen above.