Monthly Archives: December 2014

Yokan System: A Dream You Never Wake Up From

In advance of their early 2015 European tour, synth duo Yokan System have a new video for the tune A Dream You Never Wake Up From, out from UK label Ample Play Records (that’s Tjinder Singh from Cornershop’s label). It finds the duo reinforcing their identity as purveyors of sometimes brutally minimal synthpop, with a lot of the pop removed and a side order of eerie, electronic psychedelia added, like early Human League via the Cocteau Twins. It’s a short track at two minutes that builds and ebbs away through the addition and subtraction of mantric vocal layers rather than any sort of traditional pop structure, which only adds to its tantalising mystique. With the duo’s other project, the more rock orientated Praha Depart, on a pretty low-key tip lately, Yokan System’s current state of activity and forthcoming album is getting the full attention and focus of two of the finest indie talents in Tokyo right now.

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Iyaiyaenn: Pants no Hakikata

Pants no Hakikata

Download, self-released, 2014

Iyaiyaenn’s softly sung, quirky, piano-led nursery rhyme pop is in a lot of ways deeply representative of the spirit of its generation, skirting clear of both the mainstream and anything that might be seen as a clear criticism of the mainstream. It’s a small sphere of immediate reality wrapped up in a cocoon of whimsy: a cosy, prettily decorated little inner-sanctum for people who want to escape from the world.

While in other hands, this could seem a contrived pose or schtick, there’s a disarming and thoroughly straightforward charm to Iyaiyaenn. This charm is reflected in tunes themselves, which are simple yet intricate, Eri “Peropon” Horibe’s piano adding a graceful embroidery to the childlike melodies. For all the air of naivety the band evoke, there’s undeniable musical skill and songwriting talent in these four songs, and never at the expense of letting you feel at home.

At the moment, this EP only seems to be available as a download card purchased from the band directly at their shows, although much of it seems to be around to listen in one place or another, albeit not always in the same version.

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