Music / CD Reviews | LISTENING POST

Crystal “Monsoon”

by Shaun McKenna

Staff Writer

When I was first listening to Crystal’s “Typhoon,” I was, coincidentally, also watching radar visuals of Super Typhoon Atsani’s approach to Japan — and they matched the music perfectly.

This is less because of the storm Crystal whips up on the track — “Typhoon” sounds like organized chaos with cat-like screeches, errant dial-up sounds and a melody out of an old anime that seem like they’ve been thrown in at random, but come together quite well — and more because of the trio’s 2-D approach to making it. Weather satellite imagery goes well with the 1980s-style synth that dominates the “Monsoon” EP.

Crystal, which consists of Ryota Miyake (who also records as Sparrows), Keita Onishi and Sunao Maruyama, takes the weather theme to the EP’s other tracks, too: “Monsoon,” “Midi in the Cloud” and “Low-Pressure” — with the latter two opting for a smoother, top-down ride in a convertible vibe. “Monsoon” and “Typhoon,” which are more upbeat, wouldn’t sound out of place on a Yellow Magic Orchestra album, and all four tunes have a playful sense about them.

Crystal seems to delight in a bit of nonsense — and if we end up having to batten down the hatches for Atsani, a bit of fun will be much appreciated.

Crystal’s “Monsoon” is available for download at Flau Records’ SoundCloud and Bandcamp pages: soundcloud.com/flaurecords or flau.bandcamp.com/album/monsoon