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Shiny Minimalism: Toki Asako “Ranhansha Girl”


I’m glad Toki Asako decided to include a lot of mirrors in the video for her latest single “Ranhansha Girl,” because it makes describing the track as “glassy” a lot easier. The song open with a stammering series of electronics before working some shiny bell chimes into the song. “Ranhansha Girl’s” real triumph though comes via the game of J-Pop-Jenga the folks behind this track played while putting it together. Asako’s latest is a pop song deconstructed to its most bare form, starting with only slight instrumentation, beat and voice. As everything develops and more twinkles get added, the song starts taking on a more robust shape…a heavier beat, some busy-signal electronics bending in the background, completely pointless violins (the songs one flaw). The proceeding reaches peak excitement at the chorus, where all the sounds come together to form a catchy but still minimal hook. Credit also goes to Asako, who sings smoothly over the just-there music. Just as catchy as anything on the Oricon charts, and way more intriguing.