Tokyo is always going to be the central scene for all Japanese music, just because of the sheer size of that metropolis. Yet the Kansai region…the area anchored by the triple-threat of Osaka, Kyoto and Nara…has been hiding some of the most interesting electronic noises in the country today. I’m not just talking about tech-rock bands like Nuxx and √thumm, but more bedroom-oriented artists using SoundCloud and Bandcamp to share their creations with the world. The ambient-leaning Luka Uemura and the technicolor-brain-bursting of Takuma from Sugar’s Campaign were recent examples, and now Kyoto whiz-kid (dude was born in 1992!) MADEGG steps up to take us in yet another direction. If Takuma is the Warp-ready guy and Uemura the one most likely to pal around with Tim Hecker, MADEGG is Kansai’s most likely to land on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint.
Not to imply he’s blasting us off into the far reaches of electronic space…he’s more like Teebs, capable of wringing big beauty out of his synths. “Hooen Forest” comes off like a gem rainstorm, clicks and clacks raining down as MADEGG weaves his beat and other noises through, leading up to the part late where he introduces those faded synth buzzes that end up being one of the cornerstones of his style. “Hooen Forest” is just a treat to listen to, like giving a grass-fed double cheeseburger to your ears.
That one’s tasty, but “Onoki” is MADEGG’s stroke of genius. It’s a slow burner, eight minutes of clanking beats and those dusty synths going off, a hundred other little touches floating within the ether that is this song. This one creates space, and sneakily sucks you into its void. Listen below.