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Go Forward: Hello And Roll’s “Gunjyou”

Hello And Roll have been creating indie-pop for a few years now, dabbling in swift songs and ones unfolding at a slower speed with extra drama on top. “Gunjyou” follows the prior’s script, and that’s probably for the best as the trio work best when skipping ahead. This one works in all the emotional zigs and zags needed, and does so at a quick pace highlighted by the group’s harmonizing. Listen above.

New Smany: “Maboroshi”

For a while there, a lot of artists embraced hushed vocals set over slowly unfolding electronic backdrops. That musical foundation, though, seems to have become a little less prevalent in recent times. Smany reminds why it can be so affecting, though, on “Mabroroshi,” a song from her forthcoming full-length album To Lie Latent. Everything moves slowly here, from the muffled beat to the acoustic guitar plucking interrupted by electronic ripples. Smany’s own vocals appear just as unhurried, as she lets every syllable roll out in a way that their impact isn’t wasted. This slow build only makes the moment when the tension ramps up via some late song noise, introducing a little unease into an otherwise easy song to meld into. Listen above.

New Stones Taro: “Insane” EP

It feels like Stones Taro has been keeping busy in 2019, releasing on all kinds of labels and generally just delivering quality each time. The Insane EP comes from Italy’s Bellissima!, but follows in the footsteps of the tracks he’s put out via Japan’s NC4K. These are slightly loopy house tracks teasing a little bit of that “lo-fi” sound but never indulging in novelty. Stones Taro sticks to a club-ready bounce on the title track (and the acid-smeared remix that follows), letting the vocal sample handle all of the hazy feelings. Get it here, or listen below.

At Long Last, “Delicious Beats 4 Sale​!” Compiled Completely

Over the past year, Kool Switch Works’ Delicious Beats 4 Sale​! series has been giving space for artists both frequently present in the country’s footwork and ghettotech communities, and those often working outside of it, a chance to share new tracks. It hasn’t been just limited to those styles, as they’ve also given artists such as Foodman room to explore his sonic take on what an oyaji sounds like (like someone vomiting, it turns out) and Limited Toss the chance to go really long. Going through four comps isn’t too daunting a task, but Kool Switch Works just made it much easier by bringing all the songs together on this complete set. Get a great overview of dance music over the past year below, or get it here.

Fantasy Maker: Lil Demotapes’ “Wanna Be Your Idol”

There’s a delicate dance going on “Wanna Be Your Idol.” Lil Demotape — the team of Valknee and Ryopichi — isn’t an idol project exactly, seeing as those involved lean closer to rap than anything else. Yet “Wanna Be Your Idol” embraces the cheery pace of idol pop, if not quite adhering to that corner of J-pop totally. Valknee still raps over the house-inspired bounce, and the whole number sounds closer to Tomggg channeling RIP SLYME than anything from Dear Stage. Yet the pair nail the bubbly energy, and most importantly craft a really great hook for this one. Get it here, or listen below.