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Listen Back 10-21-10

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Time again for another Listen Back on what the Jtor staff has been listening to this week!

We've got a pretty eclectic collection this week, but then again that's really nothing new for us. From Electro rock to jazz to "expertly crafted referential rhymes," we've got you covered.

How about you? What's new in your audio-life?

Zac Bentz

iLL
Minimal Maximum

iLL just released a new album, which is pretty crazy. I mean that it's crazy he's released another album this year already. Talk about prolific! But it's just as good as always, if maybe a bit more-of-the-same-y. His last one, Turn A, which was actually a collaboration with a ton of amazing musicians and producers, was probably his best album to date. But Minimal Maximum is still really good and worth checking out.

Shobaleader One
d'Demonstrator

In the non-Japanese category, Shobaleader One is a new sort of side project from IDM/glitch/electro rock master Squarepusher. He's been extremely cagey about who exactly is in the band, but whatever the case, it's quite different than his usual stuff. It's much more straightforward and almost pop-ish at times. But it's all great.

Colette Bennett

The Brilliant Green

All about The Brilliant Green right now thanks to a friend's recommendation. I'm especially loving "Rainy Days Never Stays" and "Los Angeles".

Also..Yamapi videos. Not cause the songs are good, cause they aren't, really. Because when he dances he moves in this way that's like...kind of...

*passes out*

Peter Cerlienco

Glay
Rock 'N' Roll Swindle

 

 

Hell this song is cool! Glay are a band I only recently discovered, and I'm glad I did. I foresee that they will be an important find for my J-Rock journey. Although I'll place bets that everyone but me has already heard of them. I've listened to a few songs and by what I can tell, they do have some material that ventures into pop, but I can handle that. They became successful around the mid 90's, along with X Japan -- one of my motivations to check them out in the first place. I'll be listening to this until I get sick of it.

 

Jeff Chuang

Maaya Sakamoto
Down Town

Maaya Sakamoto's latest single is a three-fer. I suppose this makes up the fact that they are all covers for 70's oldies. I like the jazzy arrangement and she has what it takes to make it work for the title track, sans the bass. It's not as good as the original, but I can listen to her squeeze out an "Uki Uki~~~" all day long. The third track, Kanashikute Yarikirenai, is a much needed improvement over the Folk Crusaders original. It really works, and her vocals actually suits the autumn-melancholy thing that song has going for it. Either way, it doesn't affect people smitten with Tamayura's OP, which is not very different from the original.

Mike LeChevallier

Das Racist
"Rapping 2 U"


One of my favorite mixtapes in recent memory (and one of my favorite recordings this year, period) is Das Racist's Sit Down, Man. When it comes to expertly crafted referential rhymes, there are few who can hold a candle to this up-and-coming group. I had been listening to Sit Down, Man so thoroughly, replaying the tracks over and over again to pick up all the nods to various bits of pop culture past and present that it took me a good while to finally get to "Rapping 2 U", which is track 11 on the set. Within the first few moments, I was awestruck at what I was hearing. An already stellar collection of songs had just been lifted up multiple levels due to the background sampling selection here: "Song of Four Seasons" by Minmi, which is also the ending theme to Samurai Champloo.

What Das Racist does with the track is very clever, cutting out just before Minmi goes into the chorus, and then rapidly echo-stuttering her vocals to the point where it sounds like they're being sung from inside an underwater cave. As if the excellent musicality isn't enough, Das Racist's lyrics support such a high bar established by the beats (I'm out swinging a salami at any prom queen that wants me). If you can't find anything to enjoy here, you've clearly got a Costanza dick. You know, like the show, Seinfeld.

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Zac Bentz
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Filed under... #Japanator Original #music #top stories

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