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New Soleil Soleil: EQ

It’s a little too early to start celebrating the decade in music, but Soleil Soleil’s EQ works as a nice cap to a stretch of time that saw the Kansai electronic scene just flourish. The Osaka producer orbited around parties like INNIT at the start of the 2010s, first releasing music under the name OMEGABOY (now all vanished) before taking on the new name and pivoting towards warmer-climes house music. EQ captures Soleil at their most blissed out, starting from the breezy bounce of “Sunrise,” wherein synthesizer adds a woozy affect to the track, to the total release of closer “Hologram,” which slices up pop-born vocal samples and places them against piano lines and synthesized sax blurts to create an early evening blow out. But the most intriguing bits — and the parts capturing the latter part of the decade best — come via collaboration. “Welcome To My House” finds rapper Sola The Luva making himself comfortable against one of the funkier beats Soleil has laid down, dropping lines like “yeah we break laws” that add a little tension to something that sounds chill rather than crime adjacent. Sola pops up again on “JK Rolling” (uhhhh, Harry Potter reference?) to deliver a more in-his-wheel-house rap over a shuffling beat, joined in the latter half by Kyoto’s Native Rapper (who we will get to later today). It’s a nice mix of ideas that have been percolating in this corner of Japanese music all decade long, synthesized in to one big blast. Get it here.