Tuesday 26 August 2014


To make something like this – already so cosmically engaging and bustling with energy – to sound as interesting and exciting as it does for as long as it is must take some skill, some talent, but also hard work, patience, and, of course, good ears. To keep it so full of life all the way through, with its dramatic acrobatics, to maintain unending zest and intrigue, this takes love – not necessarily for the finished product, because a day is not there for the sunset alone, but for the process of creation itself: for the movement, order and flow of action.

Wow um ok, so that's what Japanese trio Pa's Lam System kind of does here in their latest track called 'Like A Lady', synonymous with the words sung by its ornamental sped-up female vocal sample. It's a song that stays fresh all the way through. Nothing is overused: a water droplet plinks only, "Hey!" samples are used with consideration, an arpeggio that weaves dreamily in and out of the forefront, a vinylesque drum and bass sample rattles only in one place… And that's not to mention the composition itself, the expansive rainbow chords and their wild somersaults and mad flips, the contented magical melody in the song's calm finale, the virtuosic power of the drums, the flighty adventuresome synth solo, the bass like controlled explosions of pure silk gloss underpinning all of the above greatness. It really takes your mind for a ride.

Also it might just be me, but it's mastered low enough to be able to turn the volume right up… it's kind of satisfying that I go to turn the volume up on this one and it's already FULL PELT ✔

  • This fantastic slice of inverted-Jersey-Club footwork from these Maltine playmates stands next to a very different but also quite amazing beast called 'Twin' by Hyper Juice on the 2-track Hypa'slam EP, a collaboration between the two artists available nowhere except on your computer for streaming.

☟ Pa's Lam System Social Media Presence ☟

Monday 25 August 2014


Onda Suave! Cool name. I don't know what it means, but it sounds good. Rolls off the tongue. It's just as well because this guy, real name Harold Ordonez and from New Jersey, makes some cool music, too. It's very nice (despite being started as a self-described hobby, but isn't everything, to start with anyway?).

Case in point is 'Charm'. It's a reworking of the brilliant 'Midas Touch' by '80s synth-pop outfit Midnight Star . The bassline of the original makes a return, sped up to an ecstatically danceable tempo, which makes it sound more disco than anything else but kinda like, doesn't matter what it is. Because it's GOOD: Glamorous hedonistic retro-futurist boogie kinda good.

Carved from the original, vocals becoming a flashing neon mosaic of their former selves, cut with abstract surgery and reverbing away into the unending midnight strings, the syncopated funk chords shivering with groove. Add in the satisfying dynamic of muffling all treble in a satisfying plunge-pool of sound for the ears and you got something here that's gonna pull you in and hypnotise you into a foot-waggle, a head-nod, a full-on-body-moving experience.

☟ Onda Suave Social Media Presence ☟

Sunday 24 August 2014


There's a reason why this kind of music never really took off, or in fact wasn't even born out of a cold country. Well, actually, who knows the actual direct correlation, but basically it's very sunny music and it is & will be eternally associated with California. Which is where this four piece, Hot Flash Heat Wave, come from – specifically, San Francisco.

But location-schmocation, right? 'Dirty Dreamer (XXX)' is a lo-fi nu-doo-wop coastal groove, claps and stabs of golden guitar following a timeless pattern that is soaked in nostalgic americana. Vocals cut through in distorted serrations of sound, a who-the-fuck-cares lassitude simmering within, even though it's filled with hum-along hooks. Speaking of which, dig that bright guitar lick that pops up as a pre-verse treat, utterly dripping with cool.

More slapdashery arrives towards the end of the track, where a guitar solo breezes in a virtuosic tangle, something so totally satisfying about that sound: the perfect excitedly euphoric crescendo to a track seemingly inspired by swift, raucous romances.

☟ Hot Flash Heat Wave Social Media Presence ☟

Saturday 23 August 2014


For a song called 'Dusk' to sound like actual dusk is, well, you'd kinda expect that to be the case. But somehow not as accurately as Janette King has done it. The track perfectly captures the stuttering fade-out of evening, the slow grudging descent into night as the air fills with twilit sounds, part unnervingly evocative of our mortality, part beautiful.

This is a grand piece of ambience crossed with off-kilter hip-hop style beats, following a seemingly arrhythmic pattern, with the fizzing punch of its snares and somehow urgently ticking hi-hats, pulverising kicks with that thud leaving poignant trails of dust having been disturbed.

All the while, piano plays in jazz slant, dark-world lounge bar melodies tinkling beside aching synth strings, squelchy bass underpinning this in no small part, with this fantastically stark BIP noise every now and again. What with the truncated synth solo at the end, a resonant, soulful snippet describing the sun hitting the horizon, throwing its last oranges and pinks across a serene and sea.

Janette King herself is a musicmaker from Vancouver, with an as-yet-unnamed EP apparently on its way. With stuff this good, it'll be nice to see what she's got in store for us next.

☟ Janette King Social Media Presence ☟

Thursday 21 August 2014



Another Lazy Interview. #HaterzStayBack

But in all seriousness, a trio of very nice musicmakers making unique music step up to the plate and hit three over-the-fence home runs. Yes, it's Kero Kero Bonito (or KKB as you are quite at liberty to say)! This 3-piece are doing good things for music. Why? How? Well they make a kind of pop music, a weaving together of gleefully pedestrian bilingual rap, minimalist drum machine dancehall, and cutesy melodies: something they've tagged "ultrapop" and something that I doubt you've ever truly heard before. You may've heard incubative versions of it, but nothing like this. No no no.

They dropped their debut mixtape / album Intro Bonito last year, and made it freely available, but NOW they are releasing it on Monday, officials, on nifty record label Double Denim. I talked about the first offering from that mixtape (which is now strangely the LATEST track to be taken from the album) called 'Sick Beat' – a great introduction to the wonderful world of KKB, and interesting in that Sarah raps about playing or, actually, being sick at videogames, with the line "It's often said, I should get some girly hobbies instead" just about summing up the unfortunate opinion of the general populace (probably). GAMES FOR EVERYONE is what we say.

There's also a very fun video for call-and-response style track 'Kero Kero Bonito' – super colourful and nicely random, why not watch it?

Anyway they're just about blowing up right now, and with the album being released on Monday, what else is there to do but be dunked concisely into the "playful/strange" swimming pool that is KKB as they collectively quickfire-answer these damn lazy questions of ours.

Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do?
We’re KKB, we’re from everywhere and we do our homework.

Why did you decide to start creating music?
Because the youth of today need a political voice!!!!!!!

How would you describe your sound? What makes you and your style stand out?
Bilingual schoolyard dancehall. Bilingual schoolyard dancehall.

Is there a perfect time and place for listening to your music?
iTunes, any time.

What inspires you most when writing a song?
Cats, dogs etc.

What is your most memorable musical experience?
We played at a local hall and the old people were dancing in a ring.

What are your favourite three songs at the moment?
Sarah: Chibi-Tech – Moe Moe Kyunstep (PART II - キュン -)

Jamie: Danny L Harle – All The Time

Gus: Pa’s Lam System – Like A Lady

Who do you most admire in the music world?
Jack Thomas and Hari Ashurst-Venn.

In your opinion, what is the future of music?

What's the future of your music - what do you hope to do next?
More chords – world tour.

What, aside from music, is most important to you?
Social media presence.


☟ Kero Kero Bonito Social Media Presence ☟


Saturday 16 August 2014


Ah! Oof! Shit yes! Do you know what I mean? That's basically the sound of someone enjoying a spot of music. Namely, it's me. But it's weird to think that I would never, ever have this kind of reaction in everyday life – I'm quite reserved really, in general. SO I CAN BE MAD WHEN I WRITE. AND WHAT MAKES ME MAD IN A GOOD WAY? SUPER GOOD MUSIC, THAT'S WHAT.

AN EXAMPLE (ok that's enough) an example of some super good music is the inexplicably talented Japanese producer Metome. My love affair with Takahiro Uchibori (the real name of Metome) began last year, with his incredible fusion of deep house, lounge and funk in the sample-heavy 'Water Cycle' – if you have never heard it, I supremely urge you to check it the hell out. This was followed up with the ultimate in sultry lounge romance: 'Take This Love' – which in turn was followed by more and more and more (JUST check his soundcloud).

But right now, Metome's latest track 'Salamander' has got me going. More overtly dance-oriented, it's the kinda thing that could whip a crowd into a foaming frenzy in just a few seconds. Hear why by listening to it with your ears.

Characteristically full of samples, the song is a stuttering machine-gun rattle of sounds, an assault of pleasure in the form of popping, juddering samples and a beat that follows it; a hail of holographic candies that burst all over your brain with all the same vibrancy that explodes in an abstract Kandinsky painting (for instance, a single snapshot taken at some point in 'Salamander' could easily look like this) – shapes and lines and colour! TRUE EXCITEMENT; this wild repetition leads into thick-curry-rich sparkling synth chords to slow things down, epically aligned, before jumping back into the fighting-grasshopper lightning tangle of sounds. What more can I say?

Metome on… → FacebookSoundcloudBandcampofficial siteTwitter

Thursday 7 August 2014


← #24: BO EN #26: KERO KERO BONITO →

This is the next in YES/NO's ongoing Lazy Interview series – a set of questions, all the same every single time, sent out to various artists that YES/NO particularly digs. It may be small-time, but it's still a chance to peek behind the curtain, crack the shell, or otherwise reveal something previously unrevealed about an artist. Basically: it's a Q&A.

Here for the twenty-fifth in the series is Tropes, an American beatcrafter who salvages hip hop and rap, new and old, flipping these already existing things into things that have never existed before, resulting in abstract, often mind-bending, chill-inducing, sun-laden beats that shine as bright – if not brighter – than the original source material. In this sense, he is not dissimilar to – but distinct from – vaporwave artists: our URL punks who take anybody's music, slow it down, speed it up, chop it up, make collages in homage of music they love, inadvertently (or ad…vertently…?) creating a whole ill-defined genre at the same time. It's great.

Recently, Tropes had the pleasure of playing a set at Boiler Room NYC, as part of their collaboration with cassette-only label, Dirty Tapes, officially known in this capacity as Dirty Tapes Radio 002. 26 minutes of beats that illustrate some alternative reality – you'd better check it out (you can also watch it with your eyes).

Without further whatevers though, please prepare to meet the jolly nice and down-to-earth man behind the moniker.

Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do?
I'm Keaton. I grew up in Iowa. I work as a graphic designer and enjoy making music.

Why did you decide to start creating music?
I've always had an interest, it started with percussion as a kid and moved to melody after that. Now I find myself doing both. I really just enjoy the act of creating and sharing music.

How would you describe your sound? What makes you and your style stand out?
Soulful, slightly smoke-infused, organic, maybe circular.

Is there a perfect time and place for listening to your music?
I'm not sure really, I think it can go with different moods or times of day depending on the feel of the track.

What inspires you most when writing a song?
I'm always following my ear so I get inspired by the melodies that are created by whittling away at an idea for a while. If I'm working with some samples, the majority of the time the end result will sound pretty far from the sample source, so I'm inspired by the whole process from the beginning to the end result.

What is your most memorable musical experience?
Definitely last July, visiting Brooklyn and meeting some really awesome people while getting to play some music.

What are your three favourite songs at the moment?
[omitted; hey – it's a tough choice!]

Who do you most admire in the music world?
People who are doing their thing whenever they can, without connects or an audience.

In your opinion, what is the future of music?
More and more music is becoming a mixture of the past, present and interpretations of what the future is and will/can be, with fuller sound and all. I think the future of music is going to be really diverse because of our urge to partake and draw inspiration from culture, and the internet makes sharing it simple.

What's the future of your music - what do you hope to do next?
I really just hope to keep doing what I've been doing. I feel blessed and I hope to keep enjoying it and hopefully play out.

What, aside from music, is most important to you?
Staying grounded by friends, family and the outdoors whenever possible.

← #24: BO EN #26: KERO KERO BONITO →

Tropes on • FacebookSoundCloudBandcampTwitterTumblr

Wednesday 6 August 2014


This latest track from Luviia is just beautiful. But who, I hear you cry out, is Luviia? Well, let me tell you. He's a beatmaker (that's putting it lightly) from Tainan, Taiwan; I first stumbled across him since he created a beat for fellow Taiwanese artist, Aristophanes, a damn awesome female rapper whose flow is just magical, and whom you should certainly check out.

Well known by now for crafting effortlessly stunning beats, his latest, 'Into The Vortex', is a snapshot of particularly otherworldly bliss. The title is basically on the money, since – although only clocking in at 1 minute 35 seconds – it pulls you into this flood of soul-ripening hip-hop, fading in with this highly texturised waves-lapping-at-the-shore sound, with supreme ripples of guitar playing in laid-back lounge loveliness.

This is all topped off with this narcotically staggering beat marked by rain-stick snare sounds, arrhythmic hi-hat shuffling and gentle, depth-charge bloop kicks, whilst rumbling sub-bass creeps all around, fading out into oblivion towards the end – a timeless wonder.

Instrumental hip-hop can be polarising ("where's the rap?" some people question blankly), but when it's this good, this obviously atmospheric, lovingly crafted, there can be nothing better than kicking back and escaping for as long as the beat exists.

Luviia. on • FacebookSoundcloudBandcampTwitterTumblr

Tuesday 5 August 2014


Been meaning to post something about this for a while now. Better late than never though. So here it is. It's by a guy who goes by the name of No Rome (irl: Rome Gomez) and he's from Manila – actually, he's the brother of Ulzzang Pistol: they're both part of the tight-knit, underground collective Youngliquidgang, or YLG to be brief, one of a few in the capital's bustling music scene (another being, for example, Buwan Buwan, headed up by Similar Objects).

Mastered by collective-mate SOUL_BRK, 'Heaven' is basically a beautiful song. I thought it was beautiful when I first listened to it, but it wasn't until I was in the shower a few days later when the vocal hook came back to me: I found myself humming it (and noticing, also, that it sounded a little like Rikrok's part in 'It Wasn't Me'). This two line fragment repeats throughout, lending the otherwise chill-hop-leaning track – itself awash with a fluid cascading koto-esque instrumental, chopped and looped, with sub-bass blasts – an R&B flavour. Punchy beats with satisfying sharp and shiny hi-hats drive this mantra forward, becoming deliciously rapid-fire and frenetic towards the end, with sampled punctuation in the form of "wow!" and another, wordless exclamation. It's difficult not to be drawn into its spiral of hypnotic repetition, which is to be fair dotted with dynamic breaks and additions along the way.

It's when you hear about the background, the context of this song when it becomes even more poignant and even moving. Within the space of a week Rome lost his grandfather, and his friend Guillo Cesar Servando, a fellow student at De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde, who was killed in a fraternity initiation. The lyrics take on a more poetic edge in this instance; every time I hear his voice singing it's easy to feel the emotion. On the other hand, they're neutral enough so that people hearing it for the first time can still vibe to it and sing along, as with any catchy pop song.

and i’m playing with the radio sound, i don’t wanna hear what’s going down
and i wish i was with you now, heaven probably told you to say goodbye

Yet another (but the greatest, I think) in a string of cool songs from No Rome, another URL-based J-culture-appreciating talent of Manila with big things ahead of him – it's almost guaranteed.

No Rome on • FacebookBandcampTwitterTumblr

Monday 4 August 2014


Beginning with an onset of fuzz, and what sounds like a faint Windows XP error sound, Japanese producer Daisuke Tanabe's latest track 'Paper Planes' is yet another step in an incremental climb to greater and greater heights, glitching onwards and upwards.

It's a complex weave of rhythms in three parts, going through some type of mystic lounge punctuated with reggae-esque soft-synth stabs in the first, to a volumised half-time-footwork mid-section, ending at the final third (not before an audacious & astounding second-long cut in sound) with a bristling beat that's filled with as many noises as you'd hear in some busy forest. The bass here skips in and out, cut beautifully and jiggling with fun wobble, double-timing what was previously slowed in a jaunty finale.

Throughout, it's a cascade of sounds: bells, chimes, sheafing metallics, blips and bops, and a whole host of percussion that ranges from thin, phantomatic snares to juddering woodblock percussion. Lush. That's the word.

I'm well excited to say that it's taken from Floating Underwater, a forthcoming album from the musicmaker himself – with mastering from field recording magician, Yosi Horikawa. It'll be available from 15th September on German label Ki Records and Cat Eat Mosquito, a new, independent label from Japan which (I think) is Daisuke's own brainchild.

Check Daisuke TanabeFacebookSoundcloudTwitter