High New Music Albums from Japan: July 2022

According to the rising temperatures, Japanese artists turned up the warmth in July with a variety of hyper-fast, remixed and electrified releases. In our newest evaluate of one of the best albums of the month, we function Starkids’ member Benxni, Sen Morimoto and Illiomote in addition to a relaxing album from Tomotsugu Nakamura. There’s additionally a bonus point out for Fragrance.

Benxni — Concrete

Referred to as the primary producer of hyperpop band Starkids, Benxni launched his first album in July containing 10 songs, totaling a mere 24 minutes of playtime.

If expletives had been censored, we would most likely be unable to take heed to round 80 % of the second monitor “Bass Hit.” It is loaded with as many X-rated phrases as it’s with shattering synth. The chords stripped again to trance-esque ranges create a frenetic kind of power, punctured by booty bass hits for example a degree.

“Solely One” sees Benxni proving a degree, proclaiming “we have solely obtained one life,” between euro-dance kind percussion and sport console clicks. “What’s Subsequent” sees the acquire turned up and the velocity slowed down. Then there’s the muffled bass accompanying Benxni’s self-affirming lyrics: “was once the primary now we are the opener.”

Benxni is joined by fellow Starkids member Lil Roar on “Maha,” the speaker-shaking, large room monitor with an addictive reverb impact. “No No” is arguably the calmest tune on the album, with Benxni showcasing versatility together with his voice and lyrics. It is the closest you may discover to a rap monitor on the report. “Zoo Shit” sees Benxni alongside bandmates and others from the Tokyo hyperpop scene. “Useless” is an unabashedly pop-ready monitor, with chords unusually paying homage to a pop punk monitor.

In comparison with Benxni’s prior releases, Concrete exhibits a willingness to let go and shout from the rooftops. Play it loud from a automobile, with the roof down.

Sen Morimoto — Sean Motorola

Sen Morimoto’s 2020 self-titled sophomore album will get the remix therapy on Sean Motorola. The album hosts a slew of Japan-based artists giving the extremely lauded originals a brand new spin.

Hyogo-based Kan Sano steps up first, with a vaporwave slant on the unique downtempo “Woof.”

Maika Loubté turns Morimoto’s jazzy “Symbols, Tokens” into a good, bubbly quantity, including a considerably darker edge to the unique monitor. “Nothing Is not Very Cool” is an acapella jazz affair, simple to see being carried out at Tokyo’s Bluenote jazz membership. Till Foodman glitches it into house, sending Morimoto’s vocals into disarray as a novel melody line.

The unique hip-hop on “Deep Down,” that includes Aaamyyy (whose new tune positioned in final month’s round-up), will get a spin in what’s presumably my favourite remix on the entire album by Tamanaramen. Aaamyyy’s vocals are distorted, layered after which looped some extra.

The sleazy sax within the background of “Love, Cash Pt. 2’” is essentially untouched for the primary a part of ermhoi’s remix. The second half sees the unique flip principally disappear into an ermhoi monitor in what’s the solely questionable remix on the album. It is an fascinating tackle the remix idea.

General, the album supplies the optimum stability between outdated and new, highlighting in any other case unnotified parts of the unique launch.

Illiomote — Side_effects+

Illiomote, a duo who’ve been producing for over 5 years, have moved away from the indie-sound of their earlier releases into extra digital territory. Their inexperience within the discipline is betrayed by an incongruous pairing of beats and lyrics however there are a few stand outs.

“Nothin’” exhibits a promising R&B lilt to Yoco’s husky vocals, over a distinctively poppy beat. “Folksong’99” is a heartfelt, stripped-back acoustic affair. “Take an opportunity” is a surprisingly catchy rock tune, albeit with an over-programmed drum machine. “Onemoretime” looks like an ode to Hilary Duff’s tracks of the early 2000s, which is not any dangerous factor. Quite the opposite, the music scene of late looks like a rewind and reprogramming of that period.

Illiomote undeniably want some work to hone their abilities however as soon as they’ve determined upon their desired sound, the sky is the restrict.

Tomotsugu Nakamura — Nothing Left Behind

After a month of hyperpop and digital releases, it is time to take it again to fundamentals with this minimal acoustic album from Tokyo-based sound artist Tomotsugu Nakamura.

Expertly mastered by Taylor Deupree, Nothing Left Behind supplies a lesson in sitting again and taking inventory of the world round. “Poolside” options light plucking over a characteristically analog synth drone, delicately traversed with a tender feminine vocal pattern. “Fluffs” is a looped, pensive affair, highlighting Nakamura’s refined sound collage.

The naming of “Glass” is evident throughout the first few seconds as glassy clinks punctuate the opening bars. With “Transmitter,” Nakamura’s love of strings is evident. Guitar strums and plucks glide by way of the monitor.

Every tune is a rigorously composed journey, opening regularly and constructing to the tip notes. Nakamura performs it secure and we really feel calm. It is an important album for closing your eyes and letting go.

*Bonus*

Fragrance — Plasma

I’ve not too long ago rediscovered Fragrance, the pioneering Japanese music J-Pop trio. A latest dialog with a well-respected producer led me to hunt out and provides them one other likelihood. In flip, I’ve recast my opinion on the band, who’ve been a continuous fixed on the mainstream Japanese music scene for practically 20 years.

Composed with precision and mastered with aptitude, the tracks are typical J-pop songs, taken as they’re. Fragrance’s newest launch, Plasma is stuffed with big-beat, catchy productions and sing-along lyrics. An awesome pay attention on hangover days.


If you happen to’re a Japan-based musician, please ship any forthcoming releases over to: editor[at]tokyoweekender[dot]com. Embrace the topic line: “FAO Music Editor.”

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