When I first came to Japan, almost five years ago (damn), I would go to random shows in Osaka. Just…look over venue’s homepages, click a few links to MySpace, and then say “fuck it” and head out to the event despite knowing very little about the artists playing and even less of the language. One of the absolute earliest shows I went to…potentially the third ever…featured a handful of groups, some of who were very good and others totally forgettable. My favorite from the night was a trio called Bang Bang Balloon, who played electro-pop in the vein of Perfume, who I had spent the last month falling in love with. I followed them, and soon after changed their name to Nuxx. They released a very good album, and were quiet for a bit.
I’m conflicted about their return single, “Distancer.” It touches on a few of the things they did very well – the vocals, for one, have a bounce to them that reminds me of their earliest, ecstatic material – yet the specter of EDM hangs over it, too. Just look at that video, where did they get that money from?? It’s a trend happening all over the place – more and more J-pop acts you would expect to have a high video budget are adding in drops and wubs and the like, and I think it’s one of the reasons Perfume’s music has gotten a bit weak as of late. “Distancer” – I like everything here that isn’t what I’d expect to hear at Ultra.