Though I originally scoffed at the idea…”hey, a blog for the scraps of music Pitchfork doesn’t want!”…I’ve got to admit Altered Zones has become one of the better mainstream-indie blogs (is that possible?) at covering interesting music coming out of Japan. They…and by they, I really mean the great blogs they’ve got feeding them content…devoted posts to acts like Hotel Mexico and Ice Cream Shout, and recently featured a post about an act new to me called Metrotune and their song “Casio Beach.” It’s a great track so I’ve got to admit it…Altered Zones, you got mad swagger.
The song in question could easily be pegged as “chillwave” and I’d have no qualms about that. Even ignoring the tags-you-could-apply-to-most-chillwave-act title, Metrotune’s potential breakout song relies heavily on Lifesaver-colored synths and some clever pitch tricks that falls somewhere between the all-encompassing haze of Washed Out and the retro-pop of Nite Jewel. Also like a lot of the acts thrown into this sub-genre, “Casio Beach” takes a lot of ideas from hip-hop production. So far, I’ve made Metrotune out to be another act doomed to be linked to “nostalgia” and similar sounding musicians hit by hard economic times…so I guess I’ll hope you trust me when I say “Casio Beach” is just a really great song that actually reminds me more of what Dam-Funk does then any of the above.
You can hear “Casio Beach” here, but take some time to listen to Metrotune’s other songs, most of which seem like beat sketches hinting at some pretty great drawings. The only other track there that feels like a fully polished product would be the skippy laser light show of “* Ver.” which sounds way more physical than the lazy beat of “Casio Beach” and shows how varied Metrotune can be.