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Yoshino Yoshikawa "Yumetatsu Glider"

by Patrick ST. Michel

Special To The Japan Times

Tokyo producer Yoshino Yoshikawa has often described his work as “ultrapop,” and for a while that term made perfect sense. Yoshikawa created busy, buzzing songs in the mold of Yasutaka Nakata. With names such as “Kawaii Candy,” they were a colorful rush of synthesizers and digitally manipulated vocals. He still champions the term, but his music has been shifting as of late. He now works with idol groups making reeled-back productions, and on the new “Yumetatsu Glider” EP, he has crafted a laid-back collection serving as “short stories about summer in Tokyo.” They show off his sonic range, and together it’s a lovely set compiled for relaxing afternoons.

Yoshikawa used to sing his vocals, running them through various digital processes that would result in them coming out one after the other like an electronic building block. The three original songs on “Yumetatsu Glider,” though, find him working with female singers, whose vocals he leaves mostly untouched. Piano guides the title track along, offering an understated backdrop for singer Yuzusa to deliver an easy-going style that only peaks near the end. “Last Summer,” meanwhile, surrounds the chirpy voice of Suzushiro with bell chimes and echoes of her voice deeper in the mix as she sings about melted ice cream and tea, among other daily observations.

Save for a remix of “Yumetatsu Glider” by American electronic artist Meishi Smile (whose Zoom Lens label released this EP), only Yoshikawa’s “Lovely Rainy Day (Future Forecast Mix)” featuring vocalist Noto sounds out of place due to slight digital overindulgence. It opens with the singer’s voice trickling down the song in short blasts, like she has been rendered a Vocaloid, while the rest of “Rainy Day” includes more outright electronic noises than anything before it. Yet it is actually a different version of a song already released, and this version is far less manic as its older incarnation. Which makes it fit in even better here, a collection showing Yoshikawa can be as relaxed as he can be busy.

Yoshino Yoshikawa’s “Yumetatsu Glider” is available for download at the Zoom Lens Bandcamp page: