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Modern Groove: New Songs From HiRO.JP And Frasco

Funk, boogie, acid jazz, city pop, even a little disco — all these styles have come back into vogue in some way or another in Japan. It has mainly been spurred on by young bands, some raised on Jamiroquai and others smelling an opportunity. Yet plenty of smaller acts have come around to it as well, and tonight let’s spotlight two. The first is producer HiRO.JP, who offers up a crystalline vision of ’80s boogie on “L’amour Disparu.” More so than most, HiRO.JP really goes for the retro feel, to the point this feels way closer to the actual instrumental struts lining ’80s Japanese boogie albums than the imagined versions of today. Listen above.

Next comes the latest from duo Frasco, who really need to get an album out. “Folding Chair” locks into a groove and chooses to ride that out rather than explore busier corners, as they did on their last couple of songs. Yet it proves to be a solid choice, as Frasco find a nice, sparse drive that builds up to a busier hook, featuring a slight electric hum around the singing and some woozy touches. Listen below.