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West Side Warmth: Onsen Compilation 2

Every region surely has something interesting going on…but man, I honestly think Kansai always has the highest volume of intriguing music going on (whereas Tokyo just has a lot). Onsen Records is based out of Osaka, and leans towards the beat music side of things…apt for the region…and the tracks on Onsen Compilation 2 exemplifying that style are solid, highlighted by Kid Yumi’s skippy, jazzy contribution and the slightly more avant “Lamento No Morro” from m1k2sh2. Yet what separates the set is the stuff that tries something different — The Neon City pops up here, with a muted bit of guitar pop called “The Life That Walks,” featuring her voice sounding like it is coming from a closest the next room over. U-Z’s “Slow Down” is close to a conventional beat, but moves at half speed and feels zonked out of its mind, a state all its own, while Mouse’s “Not So Easy” actually features some rap, which is a nice touch. Listen above.