For an invitation into the latest crop of captivating Japanese house and techno, one should cast one’s eyes and ears towards the gripping sonic personality of Matsumoto Takuya.
The ethereal synth pads in ‘Drafting Under The Stars’ that lay out a smooth harmonic sheen is a clear sonic descendent from the celestial connotations of the title. However, the main interest lies in the samba-flavoured rhythmic vibes from the percussion and the scat-like vocal exchanges that both counteract the atmospheric opening and closing cosmic statements.
‘NY NY’ from his 2014 EP Ram is an interesting case of Matsumoto exploring colourful jazz sonorities in an attempt to blend the classic style with electronic musical filters. A simple harmonic riff introduces the tune, consisting of two chords embellished with a seventh and major seventh on the first and second chord respectively. Shimmering cymbals, snappy claps and a foot-tapping beat add rhythmic emphasis and excitement, while a groaning acoustic bass line brews a slightly mysterious quality throughout the track.
Assembly EP is Matsumoto’s latest effort in entrancing listeners with his groovy and polished house creations. ‘Trash Track’ is unique in the way it maintains both a laid-back vibe and a driving common momentum. A punchy bass and percussion line is the fuel to the track’s energy, while the airy synth harmonies and a distant symphonic string melody (perhaps more reminiscent of classic disco flavours) lay out a serene backdrop.
Matsumoto Takuya has the ideal creative package to be recognised in the electronic music scene. With support from Meda Fury, a London based label specialising in house music, perhaps it is only a matter of time until Matsumoto extends his fanbase beyond Japan and hits the consciousness of listeners in Europe.
- Rain Flower
- Vanishing In The Sand
- Jump Rope Music
© Isaku Takahashi