Shuta Hasunuma: Pop Ooga Plus

[24 August 2009]

By Deanne Sole

Busyness is one of this album’s themes, the constant occupation of space, the distraction and immersion of the listener in keyboard, artificial drum, voices singing in Japanese and English and a skipping, regular tone that sounds like a nursery rhyme being played on an off beat. Like so many other Japanese releases outside the spheres of pop, rock and trad, it reminds the listener of the possibility of precision while at the same time pointedly avoiding it. “I could be hard if I wanted to,” say these glitch-blits with their charming, frizzy edges. “But I don’t. Don’t call me a machine. I declare my independence. I like your messy human ways.” Noises that might have been cold and precise are instead warm, upbeat and willing to shamble and hug. Pop Ooga Plus seems less monotonous than Hasunuma’s last effort, 2007’s OK Bamboo. An extroverted album.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/109660-shuta-hasunuma-pop-ooga-plus/