A lot has changed for Tokyo’s CUZ ME PAIN label since they released their first compilation a few years back. AAPS called it a day, Jesse Ruins grabbed some blog love and got picked up by Captured Tracks, Lovers In The Wind remain a complete mystery and Melancholic Masculinity just goes by Masculin now. In early March, the label plans to drop compilation number two, featuring a lot of familiar faces from the still-fascinating shadowy Tokyo scene and a few new ones as well. The major projects that laid down the foundation for CUZ ME PAIN – Jesse Ruins, Nites, Faron Square, :visited, Atlas Young, The Beauty and Masculin – each show up on this new release. Sapphire Slows drops by for one song, while label friends Hotel Mexico and Magical Gang contribute remixes of a Nites song and a :visited jam respectively. Yet it wouldn’t be CUZ ME PAIN without a little mystery (or lack of information, at least), and that’s where two new acts enter the picture. Naliza Moo and Scum Boys both bring a track to this comp, but I couldn’t tell you much about them. Listen to a preview of each song on this release above.
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Tagged :visited., atlas young, compilation, cuz me pain, faron square, hotel mexico, jesse ruins, magical gang, masculin, naliza moo, nites, sapphire slows, scum boys, THE BEAUTY
New Make Believe Mix for the month of November! Seemed like a very electronic month, highlighted by moody tracks courtesy of Sapphire Slows, Neon Cloud and The Beauty.Yet it wasn’t all woozy electronics, as evidenced by the noise-coated surf rock of Friends’ “Our Love Is True” off their recently released Let’s Get Together Again record on Second Royal.
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.
Friends “Our Love Is True” – From the Let’s Get Together Again record out soon on Second Royal. Website here.
Sapphire Slows “Spin Lights Over You” – From the True Breath album out now on Not Not Fun. Available on iTunes now. Bandcamp here.
Boyfriend Material “Taiyō No Kisetsu” – Self-released. SoundCloud page here.
The Beauty “Littlebig” – Self-released, associated with CUZ ME PAIN. Bandcamp here.
Neon Cloud “○” – On Knit, streaming now, on Flau Records. Physical release out December 23.
Taquwami “Dawnz” – Self-released. SoundCloud here.
Photo courtesy of Muffet on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons
This one snuck out a couple weeks ago, but since we mark out for anything CUZ ME PAIN related in this corner of the Internet (with good reason!) let’s highlight the latest from The Beauty. “Littlebig” finds The Beauty continually pushing into more overt dance territory…the track gets slapped with the “disco” tag on Bandcamp…and mostly does away with the subtle darkness defining a large chunk of the label’s work and The Beauty’s recent “Fifth Regret.” A bright, glowing dance track. Listen below.
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Tagged THE BEAUTY
Talking about emotion in music is a tricky subject, because so often the writer secretly ends up projecting their feelings onto a song or album that could have come from an entirely different place. It’s an extreme example, but if you ever go to songmeanings.net to check out lyrics you’ll always find misguided, probably teenage thoughts connecting a song clearly about a car or the Iraq war with something happening to them. “This is just like my life!” Rarely it actually is.
The artists on the CUZ ME PAIN label specialize in sounds capable of crawling beneath your skin and making you think they know the inner workings of your soul, when in fact they are probably just producing really good club-meets-bedroom fare that happen to have ghostly vocal samples and melancholic names. This leads us to The Beauty’s new track “Fifth Regret,” a song that with every subsequent listen rings more emotional than the last. I fear I’m becoming that anonymous song interpreter, hurling my current inner woes onto a song that doesn’t even have lyrics, just other-dimensionally vocal blurbles. It, like most of the CUZ ME PAIN line-up’s output, is a well produced song that feel vaguely haunted, “Fifth Regret” boasting a nice bass line and those strange voices. Yet something else within this song strikes me, at least, making it one of The Beauty’s best efforts to date. Or maybe this is just like my life.
Remember the split cassette that recently came out on CUZ ME PAIN which caused us to gush about previously-unheralded bedroom popper Jesse Ruins? That entry mostly ignored the dude who nabbed the other side of the tape, THE BEAUTY. Now the all-caps artist has shared a new track from his end, called “Secret Diamond Deal.” Though not as revelatory – at least initially – as Jesse Ruins’ stuff, “Diamond” shows marked growth for The Beauty. It sometimes edges too close to pointless drone, but for the most part the song lets warm synth rays smother the listener. THE BEAUTY’s best touch here and on his previous releases remains his vocal stylings, a heavily manipulated robo-sputter buried well behind the veil of electronics. It’s a ghostly effect, a dieing computer trying to get one last sentence out before it’s all over. This tape just keeps getting better.
Oh expectations. Though sometimes capable of building a promising-looking group into something they can never actually hope to be, resulting in crippling disappointment, they can also sometimes lead one to believe something won’t be all that good and….zing!….it’s actually amazing. Given the artists I followed to reach THE BEAUTY, I fully expected something that would sound very “chill” and sort of wash over me like a wave. Listening to newest song “Match Point” though and I’m absolutely caught off guard at how danceable it sounds. One of the bigger knocks leveled at chillwave by its detractors is that it’s dance music no sane person could actually dance too…I disagree, but “Match Point” goes out of its way from the start to prove its meant to get people moving. It’s all about the percussion – nothing wimpy here, THE BEAUTY makes sure his drum sounds hit hard and are laid out in a way for maximum movement. The rest of the song shares a lot in common with other sounds coming out of the chillwave movement – synths that seemingly smother everything around them, voices obscured in a haze of technology – but makes sure to keep “Match Point” good for the dancefloor instead of the bedroom. Listen here.
Posted in Music
Tagged THE BEAUTY