Music / CD Reviews | LISTENING POST

Latest release from Snail’s House is a love story for the ‘kawaii’ bass scene

by Patrick ST. Michel

Special To The Japan Times

Over the past year, an online-centric style of music dubbed “kawaii bass” (“cute bass”) has grown in popularity among Japanese producers. Inspired by the playroom bops of Tomggg and the colorful sounds of Yoshino Yoshikawa, artists embracing this microgenre overload on the sugar, loading high-energy dance numbers with helium-infused vocals.

While other kawaii bass acts get too sweet, Snail’s House balances digital sounds and piano melodies in a way that keeps hyperactive cuts such as “Bitter Sweet” from overdosing on sugar. “Love Story,” his latest mini-album, paces itself well, too, taking breaks from up-tempo electronica for breezy walkabouts such as ” ‘I Secretly Love You,’ ” which features woodwinds and a skippy keyboard progression. Still, when he lets loose, he shines, as on twitchy centerpiece “Koisuru SpaceGirl,” a number packed with digitally manipulated vocals capturing the fizzy feeling of infatuation.

“Love Story” by Snail’s House is available at 0101.bandcamp.com/album/love-story.