Category Archives: Uncategorized

Make Believe Mix June 2012

This might be the most Kansai-centric edition of the Make Believe Mix, a nice sampler of sounds from all around Japan just in time for the summer. It starts with Tokyo’s LLLL before shifting to Osaka’s Post Modern Team. From there, we stick around in the city to listen to the recently formed Foodie and Les Glass Glace. Our stay in the region ends with Stuck In Summer’s “You,” and then it is a short train ride to Nagoya to check in on House Of Tapes. Last, we jet all the way to the western edge of the country, to check out Fukuoka’s Breezesquad and his remix of a Little Boots song.

Below is a list of artists and songs appearing in this month’s mix, in chronological order. Click the links to read more about them and find out how to buy/get their music. All artists featured gave me permission to include their music in this mix.

LLLL “Spider Web” – From the “Spider Web/Drafting Still” digital single. Get it here.

Post Modern Team “Heartbreak” – Online release. Get it here.

Foodie “Red Flash” – Online release. Listen here.

Les Glass Glace “Sumorsaete Daydream” – Online release. Listen here.

Stuck In Summer “You” – From the Stuck In Summer EP. Get it here.

House Of Tapes “Another Space” – Online release. Listen here.

Breezesquad “Shake” (Remix of a Little Boots’ track) – Online release. Get here.

New Post Modern Team: “Heartbreak”

This one just plopped down over on SoundCloud – Kansai’s Post Modern Team have another catchy rush of indie-pop, this one titled “Heartbreak.” The chorus makes you think this one might be a bit more chin-raised-high…”I get over you heartbreak.” The next line, though, is “every single day,” which implies the titular feel happens way too frequently to our protagonist. The emotions might be tough to read, but the music is simple and delicious – in the same mold of the group’s first release “Never Let You Down” except taken to an even greater extreme, “Heartbreak” is one giant hook…the only sentences in this song are the two above, though the way this song unfolds you swear a lot has changed. Listen below.

Make Believe Mix For May 2012 Featuring Canopies And Drapes, LLLL And The Paellas

Lot of great stuff in the mix this month – it starts with Canopies And Drapes’ sparse “The Door Into Summer,” warm but hiding a mysterious side. More outright joyful is Post Modern Team’s “Never Let You Down,” blessed with the sort of chorus that makes good weather even better. Tokyo’s LLLL and their warped take on J-Pop follows, and then it’s nothing but good vibes on Soleil Soleil’s “To Night.” Then a bit coming down with Lera Rae, before closing out with Osaka outfit The Paellas gorgeous “Lights.”

Below is a list of artists and songs appearing in this month’s mix, in chronological order. Click the links to read more about them and find out how to buy/get their music. All artists featured gave me permission to include their music in this mix.

Canopies And Drapes “The Door Into Summer” – From the And Putting Love Away EP. Buy it here.

Post Modern Team “Never Let You Down” – Online release. Listen here.

LLLL “Because Of My Eyes” – From the LLLL EP. Get it here.

Soleil Soleil “To Night” – Online release. Listen here.

Lera Rae “After The Beach Trip” – Online release. Listen here.

The Paellas “Lights” – Online release. Listen here.

New Rapunzel8083: “Soul Scream” UPDATE

The first time I listened to Rapunzel8083, it was a seven-minute song zipping all over the place, an interstellar epic told in under ten minutes. “Soul Scream” sounds “epic” in a different way, not defined by technical length or the same criteria used by a large chunk of the Internet (“just ate an epic DQ Blizzard YOLO”). No, this sounds like a three-minute version of the Tale Of Gilgamesh, the sort of epic noise reserved for a Roman emperor or at least a legend. Or, like, Khal Drogo from Game Of Thrones. The big draws of “Soul Scream” are the Middle-Eastern samples, from the throaty vocal sample to the music surrounding it. Rapunzel8083 lets these huge sounds dominate the song, save for the weird touch of what sounds like two people clearing their throats to one another. Every epic needs small details, though. Listen below.

UPDATE: Welp, the above song isn’t online anymore. Rapunzel8083 did post another…briefer!…track, which you can hear below.

Review: Canopies And Drapes’ And Putting Love Away

And Putting Love Away, the new EP from Tokyo’s Canopies And Drapes, takes its name from a line in Emily Dickinson’s poem “The Bustle In A House.” That work, a brief eight-line poem, deals with grieving following a death, ending with the lines “And putting Love away/We shall not want to use again/Until Eternity -.” Canopies And Drapes has the same thoughts on her mind, the three new tracks on this cassette focusing on lost love, and specifically where that feeling goes in the wake of the rupture. And Putting Love Away serves as a grim counterpart to last year’s Violet Lilly Rose Daisy, an EP which mostly focused on wants, of being consumed by the thought of another. Here’s what remains on the other side.

The subject matter isn’t the only aspect of Canopies And Drapes’ work that goes under a change on And Putting Love Away. Last year’s debut loaded up on dreamy synths and put an emphasis on CaD’s lyrics (especially lyric-book highlights “Live In The Snowglobe” and “Perfect Step”). Now, whether because she’s limited by the sonic capabilities of a cassette tape or just sonically restless, CaD’s is more concerned with minimalism and how her words sound. And Putting Love Away is a somewhat surprising change of pace for the young Tokyo artist, but one just as inviting and shady as her previous output.

Opener “The Door Into Summer” introduces us to CaD’s new approach, the twinkling overload of “Sleeping Under The Bed” replaced by bare-bones keyboard, some guitar and a nursery-rhyme-worthy beat. This stripped-down approach to songwriting places the emphasis on the vocals, and CaD’s voice rises to the challenge. The actual lyrics have become simpler than anything on Violet Lilly Rose Daisy – on “The Door,” she sings “how could I forget?/how could I help?/I still love you,” but the way those words are delivered fills them with emotional detail far more intriguing than anything a thesaurus could inspire. She draws out the first two lines, and then delivers the “I still love you” part so bluntly it sounds like she’s peaking out from a corner. Like her previous work, “The Door” boasts a strange unease, but this time it’s brought about by how minimal the song sounds. Something about its simplicity seems deceiving, so you play it again and again.

“Dead End” goes into similar eerie territory, chilly minimalism that leads way to cheesy – but still skin-crawling – horror-movie synths which bridge into the main part of the song, where CaD’s vocals practically run together to form a warm cloud of singing, the word themselves playing second fiddle to how everything blurs together. The other song, “Solaris,” chooses to be a little louder and its appeal lies in the sonic tension of the track, the claustrophobic instrumentation grinding against the sweetly sung lyrics (with a heck of a payoff too). The words are some of the least interesting CaD has penned to date, but again she’s learned how to deliver them in such a way so that a classic cliché like “there are millions of fish in the sea” becomes a sentence rich in loneliness and despair.

And Putting Love Away also comes with two remixes which don’t really add much following the excitement of the CaD songs. Moscow Club’s remix of “Solaris” is pretty typical remix fare (more electronics, basically) while Orland’s take of “Dead End” is less a remix and more of a sales pitch for Orland. If you like talk boxes and talking about how wacky the 80s were, here you go. If you like music that respects emotion, well………..

And really, that’s what is most impressive about And Putting Love Away and CaD’s musical output thus far – she’s constantly finding new ways of expressing complicated feelings, stuff way beyond “I love you” and “you don’t love me.” Last year she proved she could do that with short-story-like attention to detail, and on this release she shows she can ring the same feeling from just her sounds. Buy from here.

Watch (A Better Quality!) Video Of Sakanaction’s “Boku To Hana”

Much finer quality than when we first got a glimpse of this. Watch above, and have a nice weekend.

Pop-Office Cover Galaxie 500: “Strange”

This might be face-palm obvious, but the music media moves in cycles. Genre A might be popular this month, but give it some time and Genre B will be the one suddenly being upped by Diplo and written about by the New York Times. Funny thing is, the same applies to the contemporary music media discussing older artists. Case in point – My Bloody Valentine, who recently reissued their beloved catalog to a flourish of 10.0s and interviews. It isn’t shocking that lots of people are writing about My Bloody Valentine, yet what happens is MBV start seeping into other features and reviews that shouldn’t need to – like, oh, this one. My Bloody Valentine are the cool throwback of the moment.

At one point, Galaxie 500 sat in that position. Pitchfork wrote this oral history about them, and for a second they seemed to be the new “influential” group. Yet, like all of these revivals, that passed. Nagoya’s Pop-Office covered Galaxie 500’s Twinkie-anthem “Strange” recently, and it’s a fitting move for a group intent on doing what they want rather than what the blog-world demands. Their take on “Strange” sounds rougher, a little louder and more coarse, but still graced with the same floating beauty as the original. Galaxie 500 aren’t the cool sound of this instance, but their music remains great, more than an ABA throwback jersey. Pop-Office similarly don’t sound “cool,” but they sound great, so this is a lovely crossing. Listen below.