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New Seiho: “The Vase”

Today, Seiho’s new album Collapse comes out globally via LA label Leaving Records. It’s a big moment for an artist who, five years ago, was playing sets in small underground clubs in Osaka and launching his own record imprint. Yet Collapse isn’t a stab at crowd pleasing dance, but rather an album jumping from energetic numbers to more abstract passages. All credit to Seiho — this will be his biggest release to date, with the potential to reach the most people, and he’s making something challenging and not willing to settle. (Though, hey, he has pop outlets too, which helps)

“The Vase” highlights Collapse’s less immediate side. It is a jazz-accented passage featuring very little percussion — a few stray beats and clangs pop up, but it never settles into anything — featuring some garbled voices underneath and plenty of space. It works well with the video (above), but as just music, it finds Seiho actually turning towards his past a bit — in recent years he’s gotten attention for anthemic cuts, but here he takes cues from his really early work, displayed most prominently on his 2012 album Mercury. That full-length, his first, had clear jazz influences, which pop up frequently on Collapse — albeit in far more fractured ways, as “The Vase” shows. Listen above.