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by Ryo Miyauchi

by Ryo Miyauchi Foreign Correspondent Music

Tricot | Repeat

Tricot pack a lot of musical ideas into a single song — and they unwind or abruptly pause their guitar playing, all based on a sense of intuition. However, the band also prizes economy on their latest five-track EP, a set that’s tightly sequenced…

by Ryo Miyauchi Music What Would Meek Do?

DaBoii | Neva Lookin Back

The first taste of the ever-cocky DaBoii’s latest solo project — outside his group, SOB x RBE — came back in May, with “Onna Gang,” a track showcasing an unmistakable Bay Area slap, and one on which the rapper boasts, “90s baby, middle-fingers to the new school.”…

by Ryo Miyauchi Foreign Correspondent Music

Maison Book Girl | Yume

Maison Book Girl don’t craft full-fledged songs so much as attempt to make sense out of cacophonous noise. Toy flutes, jagged guitars, and pensive pianos sound-off at once, but don’t fully communicate with each other, providing a slightly out-of-sync feel to the idol group’s unique pop style. Producer Sakurai Kenta constructs the…

by Ryo Miyauchi Foreign Correspondent Music

Kayoko Yoshizawa| Jyoyuu Shimai

Kayoko Yoshizawa has approached songwriting as a process somewhat akin to writing a storybook since her 2013 mini-album, Majo Zukan, building her elaborate pop songs around the narratives of various fictional protagonists. But while her previous full-length, Yaneura Ju, heavily indulged in the world of make-believe — both…

by Ryo Miyauchi Foreign Correspondent Music

Tofubeats | Run

“Do you have an album you recently liked?” Tofubeats cried out on 2017’s “Shoppingmall,” the lead-off track of their last album, Fantasy Club. There, drowned-out by noises of the modern world, digital-pop producer Yūsuke Kawai still desperately yearned to connect with anyone who was willing to listen…

by Ryo Miyauchi Kicking the Canon Music

Outkast | ATLiens

For an idea of where Andre 3000 and Big Boi’s heads were at after their first album, look no further than the infamous 1995 Source Awards. The massive New York crowd booed Outkast as the duo took home the Best New Rap Group award. But they…

by Ryo Miyauchi Kicking the Canon Music

EPMD | Strictly Business

Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith nicked expensive names to big up their first effort as EPMD on debut Strictly Business. That was just how it was done back in 1988, a much-touted golden age; the scene resembled the wild West when it came to label-funded creative freedom. Still…