1. The first time I talked to Erik Luebs…who records under the name Magical Mistakes, it was for an article about INNIT, the party he and several other electronic producers (Seiho, And Vice Versa, MFP and more) were throwing in Osaka. At the time, he lived on Kyushu, Japan’s Western most island,so I asked him how the music scene was out there. He mentioned Oil Works, a collective featuring a producer named Olive Oil. I eventually listened and liked it…but I don’t think I ever wrote about them there.
Well, let’s fix that in advance of Olive Oil’s new album, out April 22. The music Olive Oil makes exists somewhere in the same space as Magical Mistakes, Madegg and And Vice Versa, a somewhat jittery electronic approach featuring samples, like a hip-hop beat gone scramble-minded. You can hear “Ki Me Mo Tengsight,” a short but nice preview of the new album above. Or the soul-sampling “Eye’m Gonna Make It,” a tempo trickster, below.
2. Japanese music is not cool now, and it probably has never been particular cool…and probably never will be. Still, there has been a shift in Western artists embracing J-Pop in the vaguest possible ways (a very different path than artists who know Japanese music extremely well and potentially suffer because of the association…such as bo en and Meishi Smile…and the people in PC Music, who I get the sense know their shit). Sweden’s Lo-Fi-Fink took a trip to Tokyo in 2012, and Harajuku pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu left a deep impression on them…according to an interview with Thump doubling as a post premiering new song “Pirate Radio,” which the outlet refers to as J-pop inspired. Now, Lo-Fi-Fink don’t say that…they hint at Kyary’s music helping to influence a cheery atmosphere, which is fair, though I’m not sure why one would have to bring Kyary up at all. Especially since “Pirate Radio” sounds like every Lo-Fi-Fink song I’ve ever heard…upbeat and catchy and pretty good.
Anyway, Lo-Fi-Fink seem earnest enough and they at least doubled-down on the Japan thing by having Seiho remix the song, which you can hear below. It is a bit wonkier…more tight bass slaps, more sudden shifts, more house sounds!…and ultimately more Seiho than J-pop, which is for the best.