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Music
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Various Artists

The Definitive Japanese Scene Vol.1

(Mule Musiq; US: 27 Apr 2009; UK: Available as import; Internet release date: 27 Apr 2009)

This compilation of Japanese house music starts with its three most amiable and human pieces of music: Olive Oil’s “But Not Enough”, Karou Inoue’s “ESC”, and “Midnight Muse”, by Righteous. All three different, they have a nice eccentricity when you compare them with the other eight tracks in the collection. There is a squeak, a boom of piano, a sound like a fat strip of Velcro being fiddled with. If you were looking for something on Definitive Japanese Scene that expressed a specific Japaneseness then you might find it in the intersection of the squeak and the boom, the lean calibration of opposites. Toward the middle we move into tracks that use conventional instruments, electric guitars, sampled rock-band noises, backed by a regular bump. By the end we’ve reached tracks that might almost be anonymous: they have been refined down to the shape of a needle caught on a record: tump tump tump tump. Mono-minded numbers, they’ve got one excited groove in their heads and they stick to it. A well-ordered, well-selected assortment, and an introduction to the Mule Musiq stable.

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Righteous - Midnight Muse
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