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Vibed Out: Gropas’ “Rising Up” And “Seashore”

Today was the first time in a long day where the temperature in Tokyo resembled Spring, and lord knows those same numbers next to the Celsius symbol won’t be back for a few more weeks. Maybe that’s why these two songs by Shoji Ishiguro, a bass player who records under the name Gropas, blindsided me today, after an afternoon spent wandering around without a coat. Or maybe I’ve spent so much time with stuff that samples the smooth sounds of the past (or, like, commercials and the inside of elevators) and turns it syrupy that hearing someone earnestly going for a sea-side vibe hit me as fresh. Whatever it is, Gropas makes some slick songs for warmer climes, his bass playing being the backbone but with all sorts of other details layered in. “Rising Up” is the better of the two, featuring a brief vocal sample manipulated into a quick thing, and surrounded with pops and small electronic touches that make this more than the poolside soundtrack at Sandals. “Seashore,” meanwhile, imagines what American Football might have sounded like had they wanted to make their own “Kokomo,” except that they got rid of the words and let the music set the scene. Get it here, or listen below.