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Biollante “Alone in this World”

by Patrick ST. Michel

Special To The Japan Times

Tokyo’s Biollante has found a clever way of standing out among the ever-crowded field of Japanese bedroom music producers — get melancholic.

The creator’s debut album “Alone In This World” (feel the sadness already?) fits like a glove among the works of at-home producers and netlabel enthusiasts. However, “Alone In This World” is different thanks to Biollante’s decision to compose the bulk of it in a minor key and from there incorporate instruments such as guitar and piano into the electronics in order to drive home the emotional aspect.

“Alone In This World” doesn’t just succeed on it’s ability to make you want to drink red wine and gaze out the window on a rainy day. Biollante (named after one of Godzilla’s monster foes) has a strong grasp on electronic music production and, over the 11 songs on the album, the album’s beats successfully mimic hip-hop (opener “Azure Skies,” whirring late cut “Swish”) and U.K.-style dubstep (“(Steps)”). Biollante has also tagged these Bandcamp tracks as “trip-hop” and “chillwave” — the prior ringing true on the sparse “Skeletal,” the latter not really coming through beyond Biollante’s constant use of synthesizers. Save for a few moments where everything become too muddled, the songs here are well put together.

But dozens of bedroom producers in Japan can assemble a track that sounds good. Biollante shines when it weaves piano and guitar into it. “Azure Skies” is a pleasant bounce, but when a piano line grinds up against the bass, the song becomes world weary. “False Love” is built around some sad guitar notes, bringing to mind Illinois emo rockers American Football more than any beatmaker. The most powerful moment on “Alone In This World” comes at the start of “Fluid Motion,” where a snippet of sampled dialogue says “Life goes on” before the song erupts. These moments, which highlight the emotional core of “Alone in this World,” make Biollante worth checking out.

Biollante’s “Alone in this World” is available for download at the band’s Bandcamp page at biollanteisborn.bandcamp.com.