New Japanese Vibes (50) – Yasei Collective ‘Lights’

Yasei Collective return with their new track ‘Lights’ from their new album Lights, radiating their multi-coloured modern electro-pop sound world to great magnitude.

Lights’ breathes a gentler vibe than some of their previous material, drifting away with vocal utterances, otherworldly electronic textures and stuttering through an ambivalent rhythmic impulse. The track gradually climbs towards a clamorous wall of noise before cascading down for a voltage-coloured guitar solo to trigger another sonic crescendo. Each member also took the time to shoot video footages under the concept of ‘lights’, showcasing their own interpretations and another side to their personality.

Other Info/Context

  • Lights will be released on April 16th.
  • Find out more about Yasei Collective in my blog post here.

© Isaku Takahashi

ヤセイコレクティブ YASEI COLLECTIVE

Starting life in America back in 2009, ヤセイコレクティブ Yasei Collective moved to Japan to launch their name. Taking influences from jazz, afrobeat, electronica and hip-hop, the instrumental quartet boast a vibrant musical character, cooking up an electro-pop sound world that is highly entertaining and unique in the Japanese mainstream.

SUNDAY’ from the band’s debut album Really Real Live Vol. 1 speaks for their reputation as a noteworthy force in the music scene. Although the track starts off with a nice and simple synth-pop groove with the neon-tinged vocals of斉藤拓郎 Saitou Takurou, it belies the sonically turbulent journey the track takes in the 7-minute window. Saitou’s vocals maintain a common momentum, while the musical interest lies in the surrounding instruments and textures shifting between various tempi and colours (from easygoing downtempo to skipping afrobeat propulsions and glimpses of krautrock).

CHAT-LOW’ is an archetypal result of Yasei Collective’s variety of influences they list up on their profile information. Led by the heavily android-processed vocals of Saitou. One listen will navigate the listener through a roller coaster of musical expressions like the futuristic rhythms and textures of techno, the danceable funk grooves (evocative of artists like Jamiroquai) and the vigorous distortion and clamouring drums of punk rock.

Yasei Collective are equally mesmerising in a live context. So Far So Good is their latest album released (to celebrate their 5th anniversary), and this digest video testifies the band’s interest towards a potpourri of musical flavours, as they embrace experimental ideas in ‘Tabaco’, a Bonobo or Lapalux­­-like electronic universe in the subdued vocal moment of ‘Muddy Ship’ and strongly improvisational free jazz solos in ‘Tonight’.

Yasei Collective have come to epitomise the idea of a totally unique artist. Their wide-ranging musical tastes, their flavourful sonic palette and their strong ensemble camaraderie makes them a band destined for greater success.

Other Listening:

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (9) – ヤセイコレクティブ Yasei Collective ‘radiotooth’

As one skims through Yasei Collective’s musical interests and influences on their Facebook page and sees the likes of Aphex Twin, John Coltrane, Michael Jackson and The Beatles under one group, it makes it even harder to describe the band’s style in a short and snappy phrase.

‘radiotooth’ is their latest effort to blast an eruption of rich textures, harmonies and melodies. It immerses the listener in a fusion world where jazz and electronica meet one way. While the multi-layered android vocals of 斉藤拓郎 Saitou Takurou is at the heart of this song, the greater musical interest comes from the surroundings: funky afrobeat-influenced rhythms, free-jazz like piano figurations, warped synth riffs and an intimate soul-infused bass guitar solo in a latter half that suddenly shifts in time signature for a brief moment. The waves of polyrhythmic rushes married with the variety of instruments and textures makes the track complex and infectious in equal measure.

Yasei” translates as ‘wild’: the Japanese collective have certainly lived up to their name with ‘radiotooth’.

Other Info/Context

  • The single will be released on 25th Nov.

© Isaku Takahashi