I missed out on the Osaka leg of Max Tundra’s Japan tour this weekend, opting instead to follow Allstate’s advice and play Jenga. This wallet-conscious move also meant I’d miss out on the opening act, Kyoto-based artist Rei Harakami. I figured he’d be cut out of the mold as Ben Jacobs electro project, all manic and capable of firing samples off at slingshot speeds.
Turns out I couldn’t be more wrong. Harakami’s brand of electronic music is much more slow to unfold. He’s been at this since 1998 and has released several well-received albums during that span. His music plays out like an amoeba splitting up – the poppy “Nijizou” jitters and builds up for its first minute before suddenly turning into a sustained groove. That phase doesn’t last long, and Harakami is soon nudging the song in new directions. “Cape” moves a bit more glacially, waves of synth eventually transforming into an Oval-esque bit of warm glitch. The payoff of the similarly paced “Pone” is even better – a long wait morphs into a lovely nighttime number.
Below are a few of Rei Harakami’s songs. Check out even more than this, if you can.