Trekkie Trax had a pretty big 2016, the high-charged netlabel gaining more and more visibility across the board with their take on contemporary electronic styles. Now, it seems like more established names are taking notice. In the same way that Maltine Records — the community-building online entity that came up the generation prior) — and the wonky sound they fostered eventually started creeping over into mainstream J-Pop, Trekkie Trax’s harder-hitting club stylings are starting to pop up. And now, some of the imprint’s bigger names are working with bigger, more mainstream names. There’s a whole roundtable talk to about what this all means, but I’ll probably always come down on rather having J-Pop bring in lesser-known producers to work with them than creating soulless versions of the same sound. And anything that breaks up the monotony most J-Pop embraces, the better.
Daichi Miura got in on this last year, recruiting Seiho for the woozy “Cry & Fight.” For newest single “Excite,” he brings in U.K. garage study Carpainter to help produce (he splits credit with Kanata Okajima), and the end result is a whirring bit of pop, fidgety but ultimately focused. Listen above.
Elsewhere, Masayoshi Iimori produced “Honne,” a song for the rapper Dotama, who has become quite popular thanks to various TV appearances (it helps that he finds an original delivery that fits him, rather than go the “I heard they have rap in Atlanta, I should do that” style that dominates other corners). The producer’s clattering sensibility works well on a song where Dotama delivers theatrical, at-times shouty verses. Listen below.