High New Music Albums from Japan: June 2022

Following a brief wet season, which was spent at dwelling listening to new Japanese music, we now have the Japanese summer time with its abundance of happy-go-lucky mosquitoes and treacle-like humidity. This additionally means staying inside underneath the cool air-conditioner to take heed to extra music.

So, let’s take a look at the very best new Japanese album releases from the previous month, together with a swathe of digital goodness. We start, although, with the extremely summery new document from Shintaro Sakamoto.

Shintaro Sakamoto — Like a Fable

Veteran Japanese musician, Shintaro Sakamoto, remains to be going robust since in comparison with his cult band Yura Yura Teikoku. His newest album, Like a Fable, coincides properly with the rising temperatures in Japan. It is excellent for warm summer time nights.

The opener, “That was Unlawful” is a gradual chugging quantity, full with a trumpet, plodding alongside over Sakamoto’s half-spoken vocals. The album will get into extra upbeat territory with the subsequent music that would simply be a brass-band quantity. “You are still OK?” options slack guitar and foreground percussion with snappy hi-hats. Sakamoto’s vocals groove alongside upbeat, joyfully asking “Are you OK?”

The title monitor transports the listener to a Hawaiian seashore. Repeated backing vocals croon over the hula rhythm and funky bass as Sakamoto paints the image of an idyllic story-like romance.

Elsewhere we see harmonicas in “Unhappy Errand,” a subdued Sakamoto on “Star” and a wiggle-inducing maraca jazz rhythm and sax on “Thickness of Love.”

It is laborious not to attract comparisons to Sakamoto’s up to date, Haruomi Hosono. Placing them onto the identical playlist is an apparent factor to do. And really helpful. That is excellent for holidays and enjoyable within the evenings.

Zombie-Chang — Stress de Stress

Stress de Stress is the fifth album in Meirin’s kooky Zombie-Chang venture. Following on from earlier lockdown album Take Me Awayit is her hardest album but and references varied private lockdown tasks from Nintendo to knitting.

Beginning with “Swap,” the album begins because it means to go on. With laborious, club-focused drums taking priority over vocals which act merely as a pattern with an ultimatum to bop, the opening monitor takes no prisoners.

Subsequent up is “No Toierugenki,” a donkfest, paying homage to old-school raves within the fields whereas Thatcher was in energy. On first hear, the music is definitely a dancefloor-made banger, however the lyrics — concerning psychological well being and the power to talk about what’s unsuitable, betrays a want to converse to her youthful viewers.

The lyrics in “Stress” and “T’inquiete Pas” additionally contact upon psychological well being and emotional struggles which makes us marvel how Zombie-Chang’s lockdown expertise performed out.

The songs themselves are laborious and the album is a far cry from her authentic incarnation practically seven years in the past, once we noticed cutesy, acoustic kookiness. Now now we have a Zombie-Chang with elevated clubbing expertise and a want to create songs for the brand new clubbing technology.

In Japan, specifically, clubbers have proven a specific fondness for laborious fashion raves and no-holds-barred clubbing since restrictions have eased. That is an album that speaks on to these folks. It even distributes recommendation for the inexperienced, recasting Zombie-Chang as an unlikely clubbing senpai.

MIRA新伝統 — Noumenal Eggs

Tokyo underground experimental audio-visual duo, MIRA新伝統(MIRA) launched their first EP since Torque in 2019. That was a harrowing 20-minute piece coping with psychological trauma and abuse. Noumenal Eggswhich takes inspiration from varied Tokyoscapes, would not get any simpler to listen to and we’re grateful for that. The entire album options extremely modern manufacturing from Leray and wrenching vocals from Honami.

“Internet hosting of an Inorganic Demon” options crackles and demonic crunches, while “Disembodiment” encases Honami’s tortured gasps alongside auto-tuned vocals, creaking of an unidentified object and eerie synth. A disturbed world for every enraptured listener.

“Noumenal Eggs” attracts from SBKVLT-esque melodies and shattering chimes scratch throughout the monitor, haunted by femme ASMR vocals within the background.

“Chronosis” enters a dripping cave, beating out percussion on steel pipes and rising overhead. The album closes with Ziúr remixing “Dissembodiment” who someway creates an much more dissonantly haunting model of the unique.

A incredible album. Very worthwhile listening for these daring sufficient.

Yuzo Iwata — Kaizu

Yuzo Iwata hails from Hokkaido and splits his time between Sapporo and Berlin. Influences from each his homeland and present base in Germany are evident within the album, Kaizu. Meticulous sound design betrays his musical upbringing at legendary Sapporo membership, Valuable Corridor, honed through Berlin.

“Neverland” is a big-beat chugger, with distinguished bass retaining the Paradise Storage-esque synth leashed alongside squelchy acid licks. “Enjoyable Membership” harks again to Fabio’s roots with an unabashedly enjoyable, busy home monitor. One may think about seeing DJ Harvey popping this on at a summer time competition. Ahead to “Heroes Present up Late” and we catch a thought of, retrospective Iwata, his Brazilian roots on present with a homage to bossa nova. Joao Gilberto would have grooved to this on the membership.

The b-side reaches peak time as Iwata will get right down to enterprise with a slew of no-holds-barred percussion. “Gamelion” is a percussive dance flooring journey, effervescent synths with wild Indonesian fashion tribal techno rhythms make for a face-screwing name to the ground. “Sundance” is one other dancefloor tip. The closing monitor, “Time 2 L” is a romantic retrospective of electrical guitar and hen calls waving goodbye.