It might be overselling it a bit to say that electro producer OMODAKA, aka Soichi Terada, became an overnight sensation. But not by much.
Terada has been making music under the OMODAKA name for a few years, but it was only after the video for the song "Kokirikobushi" from his 2006 album Cantata No. 147 began making the rounds on the blogs (*ahem*) that people quickly stood up and took notice. He was later featured in various press overseas and eventually even managed to tour in America a couple times.
While the man behind the mask (oh yeah, he wears a traditional miko (shrine maiden) costume and porcelain white mask when playing live) may still be something of an enigma, his music is anything but mysterious. His chiptune inspired electro tracks are always bright and upbeat, produced with the sharpness and clarity of a true pro.
Plum Song is the first OMODAKA release in 2009 (and, presumably the only one). How does it stand up to the hype and the past discography? Let's take a listen after the jump.
The easiest thing to say is that, if you have liked what OMODAKA has done in the past, then you have no reason not to immediately buy this EP. Plum Song might be more of the same, but it also shows OMODAKA stretching out just a bit. In fact, the title track is probably the most like his past work. It's a down-tempo yet infectious song, once again featuring Kanazawa Akiko and her signature traditional vocals over OMODAKA's chiptune-inspired sounds.
Things get a bit deeper on "Tankou Bushi," the following track. The first half is a deep, droning break-step with a monotone bell chiming throughout, guttural chanting monks in the background and various blips and shakes sprinkled over the top. Then the beat changes up entirely and suddenly the song takes a hard 90 degree turn into a celebratory, fireworks-filled theme fit for the ending to any Super Mario game.
"Hohai Bushi" is again similar to his past work, sounding a bit like "Monkey Turn." Akiko takes the lead, adding that odd juxtaposition of traditional vocals with a playful, modern-day electro sound. The Ep wraps up with "Tawaratsumi Uta." This one is an upbeat dance track with a straight beat and some swanky lounge instrumentation to go along with the low-bit bleeps.
While Plum Song might not exactly be a giant leap forward for OMODAKA, it is nevertheless a very strong release that shows signs of development. While he seems content to keep releasing these smaller EPs and single instead of all-new albums, it would be interesting to see what might happen if he took a bit more time to explore more experimental territory. "Tankou Bushi" proves the OMODAKA can do some really interesting things and still make a mesmerizing song. Perhaps the most we can hope for is simply more, whatever form that more may take.
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