Picks of the Week #1

  • トクマルシューゴ Tokumaru Shugo – ‘Vektor feat. 明和電機

From carnival trumpets to vibrant percussion, トクマルシューゴ Tokumaru Shugo coaxes a pop atmosphere like no other. With the help of 明和電機 Meiwa Denki’s dazzling array of made instruments that play on their own, Vektor’ dances away in a fiesta of foot-tapping rhythms, South American instrumental colours, harmonies and riffs enriched with meticulous percussive timbres. No wonder he is gaining widespread attention from media and listeners from all around the world.

  • The peggies – グライダー ‘Glider’

The peggies is band of today. Made up of three girls born in 1995, they summon the vitality of female rock bands like SCANDAL to keep the girl band energy in the Japanese music scene alive. グライダー ‘Glider’ is taken from their album NEW KINGDOM released last November, and sees them literally soar above the stratosphere with their voltage-charged band sound, electrifying guitar riffs and somersaulting vocals that jump from feathery melodies to yells that strike sonic lightning.

  • Lullatone – ‘Working from a park bench’

Japanese-American ‘pajama pop’ duo Lullatone offer something a little bit different in their recent musical output. They set out a resolution from the beginning of this year: to upload new compositions every week. ‘Working from a park bench’ is one of their latest tracks to tread footsteps on their Soundcloud universe. Much more pop-like in vibe, the track immerses listeners in woozy reverse effects, twinkling piano riffs, mellow harmonies, plucking strings and a gentle heart-beating drum beat.

  • SKY-HI – クロノクラブ ‘Kurono Club’

After releasing his second solo album カタルシス Catharsis, SKY-HI unveiled his new track クロノクラブ ‘Kurono Club’ (‘Black Club’). The Japanese rapper and one-seventh of J-pop group AAA goes beyond his dexterous rapping skills and showcases his tender, honey-toned vocals in a mid-tempo R&B/hip-hop ballad filled with shimmering electric piano riffs, heavenly strings, crystalline backing vocals and a foot-tapping beat.

  • Cornelius – ‘Lazy’

Everyone’s been talking about the reissue of Cornelius’ 1997 album Fantasma. 小山田圭吾 Oyamada Keigo, the genius behind some of Japan’s most iconic artists including Flipper’s Guitar, announced the release of this limited edition featuring a bonus track called ‘Lazy’. This track is just one of 17 in the extended album, coaxing a vibrant cosmos of musical styles from indie rock, electronica, techno and hip-hop.

© Isaku Takahashi