Sunday 25 August 2013


Jazzy jazz jazz. Lounge jazzy loungey jazz. That's what first springs to mind when I listen to this fantastic new song by the aurally appealing Japanese producer Metome (aka Takahiro Uchibori). It's called 'Vital Signs' and it is nothing short of bursting with life, love and romance. Takahiro was kind enough to answer some questions in a small Q&A with me, and it's clear from his answers that music for him - the same as for many people - is the most personal creative medium. It's certainly the one that works for him; he uses the medium with expert precision.

There is always something exceedingly - well, sexy is the wrong word here but it often is the right one - romantic about Metome's songs: not Romantic (daffodils and Byron etc.) but romantic. 'Vital Signs' could be illustrating that awakening of feeling that occurs right at the start of a romance or relationship or fling or whatever - the vital signs are just beginning to show.

And that's exactly how it goes in the song. There are no drops, no build-ups, just a consistent twitching of soulful samples set off against setting-the-mood electric piano that simply oozes jazz-cool and lounge-chill - imagine if the start of all relationships sounded like this: offhand nonchalance and indomitable yet coolly understated confidence.

Do you see what I mean or am I crazy? Interestingly also it is a song of two halves: the first is fidgety with nervous stop-starts, the second (starting at 2:09) is more relaxed and eased into itself - only because of a thicker sound, helped by long sustained chords - the beat more regular, too. In any case, this is just a small observation - whether it was intentional or if it was not, who knows.

But what is really nice is the sampling. Metome is always really good at chopping up those samples and scattering them to grow and sound just how they're supposed to sound - like little flowers. I understand it can be quite hard doing this kind of stuff, very intricate, and how effortless he makes it seem is testament to his extraordinary talent. Just, well, what more can I say, just listen to those samples. And the beat... oh my goodness. Slow-tick hi-hat, liquid clap, soft kick. Just perfect for this song.

I can't say anymore I'm too hungover.

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