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New Mecanika: Newtone

Here’s a nice case of a circle coming together. The past two years have made it clear that a new generation of artists are coming up in Japan’s electronic underground, and that they appear to have spent at least some time digging into Maltine Record’s catalog (not to mention tofubeat’s work). So Mecanika putting out an EP via the netlabel is a nice development — not the first time an artist inspired by the label in question released via them too, but still a fun development. Newtone gathers three songs from the young artist, showcasing their laid-back approach to dance-pop. Unlike Mom, Native Rapper or Lulu — artists who I’d put in the same general category — Mecanika excels at blending into his music. The title track is an easy-going keyboard number backed by a nuts-and-bolts beat, and it elevates up when Mecanika’s voice comes in. It swoops along with the song, more an instrument mixing well than a wildcard element (Mom’s Baby Like A Paperdriver comes to mind there). “Beton” picks up the energy a touch, while “18” finds Mecanika inching towards something easier to call pop (while still flexing clever production details — I’d be happy to hear an instrumental, to really soak in all the details), and in either mode the vocals line up just right. Get it here, or listen above.