Curbside Jones - The Cherry Blossom Effect: Trance(End) Edition
Austin, TX artist Curbside Jones re-releases his critically acclaimed album The Cherry Blossom Effect: Endless Dream Theory in a re-mastered Trance(End) Edition with new artwork, expansion songs and unreleased material with production from Curbside Jones, Corey Arnell, BeRight and new contributions from British producer Phill Blanks and Japanese producer Free Design. Each free download comes with a digital booklet, wallpaper and alternate artwork by Curbside Jones himself. Physical copies of the album are available in limited quantities and can be ordered via Curbside Jones’ bandcamp. This project is officially sponsored by Back2Pluto.com and ReUpSpot.com.
dj honda ft. Mysonne - “All I Need Is Love”
dir. Mills Miller
This might be the most random collaboration ever, but it doesn’t sound too far fetched. Japan’s dj honda, well known for his collaboration with NY veteran Mos Def on “Travelin’ Man”, links with another NY emcee Mysonne on the dark but uplifting track “All I Need Is Love”. Hopefully this means there’s a new dj honda album coming soon.
160Or80 - 160Or80
Japanese music collective 160Or80 releases their debut self-titled compilation album featuring their full roster that combines the realms of rap, chillwave, trap and the juke/footwork style. This might be the first time we’ve heard the influence over Japanese rap, and the results are very refreshing. S/O to Summerbreeze!
Picnic Women - II Women EP
Picnic Women is a producer based in Japan that specializes in the Juke genre. Here is his latest work, the three-track II Women EP, which has already sold out in physical format since it’s release this past Sunday. The intro track, which also happens to be the title track has to be one of my favorite singles released this year so far. “II Women” is simply a sample of Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” that just gets bombarded by drums. The two other cuts are more abrasive and bring the energy to higher levels. Very enjoyable electronic/instrumental project and we can expect to see more mini ventures such as II Women this year. S/O to summerbreeze for the heads up.
Ryo Vibes ft. Andrew Bees - “Game Is Over”
dir. Edge Films
Follow me on this one. Ryo Vibes is a Japanese girl living in Los Angeles that raps in Japanese mixed with heavy Reggae influences. Yea, there’s a chance you’ve never seen or heard a combination like this before. All good. The world is huge, and this is proof. When I first heard of Ryo last year, I brushed her off for a bit (I see gimmicks everyday in my inbox, don’t judge me). Her other material is very dancehall based, but I believe this new track “Game Is Over” is a pretty accessible introduction for new audiences. At first, the Japanese-accented English lyrics on the intro chorus threw me off a little, but at around the 1:13 mark she kicks a crazy staccato flow and I was hooked. I’m anticipating how she’ll make an impact in the international music community with her distinct image and music in the future.
Best Of 2012:
Taquwami - “Λlieɳs”
Tokyo, JPN producer Taquwami provided me with one of those songs I will never ever delete from my musical library: “Λlieɳs”, and basically became one of my favorite producers out right now. This is probably the best example I can give for a well balanced fusion of techno, trap and chillwave. The track is a movie, yo. Peep the beat switch towards the second half. Gets me every time. Taquwami’s Blurrywonder EP is out now.
Shing02 - “愛密集 i miss you” + (Remix)
Tokyo/San Francisco’s own Shing02 returns with the new single “愛密集 i miss you” produced by fellow Japanese producer Yakkle. This is straight silk. Two versions of the song were released: the very smooth and soulful original and a slightly more upbeat and jazzy remix version.
Danny! - “Misunderstood”
ft. Lil B & Blu
Danny!’s Payback LP gets that extra boost with the release of the single “Misunderstood” featuring two Hip Hop enigmas Lil B the Based God and Blu. Adhering to the title of the track, Lil B talks about how he’s misunderstood, Danny! tells a tale of miscommunication while Blu spits a story so scattered that the listener fails to grasp the concept. Payback is out now via Okayplayer Records.
Taquwami - Blurrywonder EP
Tokyo, Japan based producer Taquwami linked up with upstart international label/collective Void Youth to create his debut Blurrywonder EP. We first heard of Taquwami through the excellent DOPEWAVE IS REAL compilation a few months ago and were hooked ever since we witnessed the (for lack of a better term) Ambientrap style he specializes in. Blurrywonder showcases Taquwami’s more ambient side; providing soft and soothing melodies amidst wild storms of drums that hit you in every auditory sense. Everything plays out like some sort of light-spectacle/love scene hybrid situation. Very out of body type of experience while listening to this EP. Blurrywonder is now available for $3 purchase or free Mediafire download. More to come from the Void Youth crew later this year.
Gary Samurai - “Ocean Floor”
Atlanta-based artist Gary Samurai handles the songwriting, production and artwork on the first single “Ocean Floor” off his upcoming debut album Lemuria. Not sure if it was intentional or not, but the way the vocals are mixed makes Gary sound like he’s rapping underwater. This complements the Bomberman Hero OST-sampled beat very well, resulting in an appropriately aquatic and hypnotic track.