Asobi Tokumaru

Not quite Fresh on the heels of the Polyvinyl showcase post I did a few weeks ago, I have received some sweet mail. Check it out!

Port Entropy Full
Port Entropy Detail

Although I really enjoy Asobi Seksu and Shugo Tokumaru in their own rights, the purchase of these two albums would have taken less priority with me were they not pressed onto LIMITED EDITION COLORED VINYL. There is a gnomish collector in me who strokes his whiskered chin at the prospect of owning some physical object that not many others have (75% of my Zelda collection is golden cartridges), and so when I realized that the special pre-order for Deerhoof Vs. Evil was sold out, I dumped the limited editions of Fluorescence and Port Entropy (pictured above) into my digital cart and checked out.

[Ed.’s Note: I was originally going to use this space to launch into a personal narrative about object-based nostalgia and whether or not it can be engineered in other people via posthypnotic suggestion, but perhaps that’s best saved for another blog.]

Colored waxes are great fun and all, but ultimately, we buy music so that we may listen to it which I did after a solemn ripping-of-the-plastic ceremony and subsequent examination of the wares. Port Entropy is almost a year old, and so I was no stranger to its charms. Asobi Seksu, on the other hand, was an experience for which I had only been prepared by the release of the lead single “Trails” (covered last time).

What I tend to do with Asobi Seksu, and suspect many others do, is compare all their work to Citrus, an album whose front end was so immediately captivating and swagged out. The unfortunate result of this is wondering whether anything the band does afterward will be “as good as Citrus was.” Instead, it helps to think about Fluorescence as the evolution of the sounds the band has developed and honed over the years; it possesses a different sound than its predecessors but is very clearly an Asobi Seksu album. All the components are there — distorted guitar backdrops; catchy sometimes-Japanese lyrics; a faintly dreamy sensibility about things — they are all just presented in a new way.

Whether the music “sounds Japanese” or not is a muddy, complicated question but there are definitely less songs performed in Japanese than on past releases; if memory serves, “Trance Out” is actually the only J-speak track Fluorescence offers, if you don’t count the J-mumbling featured on “In My Head”. There is also a Deerhoof remix of “Trails”; effectively, one New York band with a Japanese female lead remixing another New York band with a Japanese female lead. Does this pedigree make the track any more (or less) Japanese? 誰が知っているか?!

Ponder these question and more while listening to this bugged out remix of the lead single:

Asobi Seksu – Trails (Holy Other Remix) (MP3)

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