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Tag Archives: the mari on the beach

New The Mari On The Beach: Lovely, Pretty, Cute & Happy

Here’s an album title that sums everything up neatly. The Mari On The Beach’s Lovely, Pretty, Cute & Happy collects the Osaka group’s “pop tunes,” with an overriding theme of “speed, density and catchy.” They did a pretty solid job of putting this album together going by those guidelines – Lovely, Pretty, Cute & Happy avoids any of the instrumental tracks that were all over Play Music, Sing A Song and also avoid anything that leaned experimental from Get Out Of Making Music. This means no “AM Boy, FM Girl,” which would have been welcome here, but other than that omission this set features catchy numbers like “Galaxy,” “Poland Girl” and “Debonair Drive.” The one new addition isn’t even that new – the lovely, fast “Kiss Me Quick” is a cover of a song by the Osaka band Neurone…which might have been what The Mari On The Beach did before The Mari On The Beach. Still, here’s a great starting point for The Mari On The Beach and a ready-made summer playlist. Listen below.

New The Mari On The Beach: Play Music, Sing A Song

Osaka’s The Mari On The Beach put out a new album online last week called Play Music, Sing A Song, the follow-up to last year’s lovely lo-fi pop collection Get Out Of Making Music (advice they did not follow, thankfully). This album moves a bit away from the guitar-pop that dotted The Mari’s 2011 album, the group now exploring the sounds they can wring out of their guitars and keyboards. They still have a few instances of straightforward song goodness – see the “The World” or the indie-pop skipping of “Opening Theme,” the most conventional track on the album – but the bulk of Play Music focuses on instrumental (or at least, mostly instrumental) songs where the emphasis gets placed on the sounds themselves. “Commuting To Work Through The Woods” presents what The Mari can create using what sounds like a single keyboard, while “Mariko” touches on spoken-word moodiness. Elsewhere, they dive into cut-and-slice productions and hard-rock spectacles. The most intriguing element of the album, though, is the drum noises…whereas Get Out Of Making Music carried a lo-fi sheen that sometimes hurt the overall quality of the songs, Play Music sounds crisper, especially the drums which shift shapes from track to track. The great moments of pop remain, but The Mari are just as keen on experimenting with sounds here. Listen and buy the album here.

Make Believe Mix For March 2012 Featuring Madegg, DUB-Russel And Rapunzel8083

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March ended up being a bit of a strange month, at least by the looks of the mix. There are moments of straight-forward pop, like on TalkingCity1994’s “Long Hot Summer Remembered” and The Mari On The Beach’s “AM Boy/FM Girl.” Yet even those otherwise pleasurable cuts go through filters that turn them into stranger things. Elsewhere, Madegg acts like Madegg, while Tokyo’s DUB-Russel offer up a cacophonous number that is far more than just noise. Finishing the mix is Rapunzel8083’s constantly morphing “月光,” a journey all its own.

Below is a list of artists and songs appearing in this month’s mix, in chronological order. Click the links to read more about them and find out how to buy/get their music. All artists featured gave me permission to include their music in this mix.

TalkingCity1994 “Long Hot Summer Remembered” – From the I Can Feel Your Soul EP. Free download here.

Madegg “Zudon” – From the Teach EP, on Flau Records. Buy here.

The Mari On The Beach “AM Boy/FM Girl” – From Get Out Of Making Music. Buy it here.

DUB-Russel “Choose Low” – From Prank Poles. Buy here.

Rapunzel8083 “月光” – Online upload. Listen to more here.

Get ‘Em Out Of The Bedroom: The Mari On The Beach

In an ideal world, bedroom projects could one day be spotted by the right people and given the opportunity to record somewhere allowing for more polish. In Japan, a few artists manage to rise above the bedroom-pop tag – Taquwami and Jesse Ruins could fool you with the quality of their recordings, and there are others too. Then there are bands like Osaka’s The Mari On The Beach. They’ve put an album up online called Get Out Of Making Music that shows an outfit capable of writing both catchy pop-rock and faster, more aggressive blasts of music. Tracks like “Is This A Love Or Not?” and “Mari On The Beach” flirt with bossa nova, and then a few tracks later gets pretty punky with “Poland Girl” and “Big Boredom In WWW.” Capping Get Out Of Making Music off is the ridiculous power pop of standout “AM Boy/FM Girl,” which opens with an effect mimicking switching radio stations and then jumps into gooey pop territory.

Thing is, The Mari On The Beach deserve a nice studio and a good producer. The musical smarts and ability to write a catchy tune are there, but as “bedroom music,” a tag they use, this sounds imperfect. The vocals sometimes sound too dusty, and on “Is This A Love Or Not?” they sound like they are being sung through an ancient Teddy Ruxpin. Other times the self-recorded fuzz distracts from the great melody. This style can work…Teen Runnings intentional decision stands out…but The Mari On The Beach deserve something better quality. Fingers crossed they get it. Listen to the album below.

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