The first song above, “Porn Dreams,” is a deceptive one. It’s a sparse number, one built of just a few electronic notes and some background whirring, which is less unsettling and more like being in an underwater cave. It slowly builds in intensity — new sounds drifting in, growing louder with each loop — yet overall it’s a pretty easygoing song. Coupled with the VHS/Windows 95 imagery and the project name X-Files, one wouldn’t be wrong to think maybe this Tokyo artist was an adept vaporwave maker.
Yet then “Are Dreaming Old Man” rumbles to life, a song that first sounds like it is decaying, the tempo fading away as the song moves forward. A hiss backs it…and then it overwhelms. The noise grows, and eventually those once dim synths find second life and join the squall, resulting in a beautiful track bringing to mind Oneothrix Point Never’s Returnal era but louder, something truly menacing lurking behind the pretty repetition.
This tension in pattern is what Sho Takeuchi…behind X-Files…does so well across the handful of songs released under the title. The very first one Takeuchi ever uploaded to that SoundCloud, “Physical,” loops a bouncy vocal sample deep in the mix, but above it synths glide up and down while nonsense voices fizzle across to add a little unease. It is simple, but done so well as to compelling.
X-Files can get more outright aggressive, as on the throbbing “Attack On Macho Rock” or newest (and most blistering) track “Long Live The Flying V.” And yet there’s soft beauty, like the piano guided “Anomy” (below). X-Files thus far has offered up so engrossing and attention-demanding songs, and is an intriguing experimental voice to keep an eye on.