Music

Avec Avec: Plastic Soul Redux

Plastic Soul Redux is a psychedelic-nerdy hybrid of elevator music, fusing everything from anime voices and painful video game sound effects to groovy synth riffs and choppy bass beats.


Avec Avec

Plastic Soul Redux

Label: Mush
US Release Date: 2012-01-24
UK Release Date: 2012-01-24
Label website
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

Elevator music is a reassuring break from silence, allowing you to avoid awkward conversation on your way to the 22nd floor or to believe there is still someone on the other line during a phone call; but whether it’s 15 rounds of Pink’s “Raise Your Glass,” a Beatles medley or a cheery ragtime tune, you eventually want it to end. Avec Avec’s first original release arrives at this same affect. This four-track EP entitled Plastic Soul Redux is a psychedelic-nerdy hybrid of elevator music, fusing everything from anime voices and painful video game sound effects to groovy synth riffs and choppy bass beats.

Avec Avec is the solo alias of Takuma Hosokawa of Osaka. Hosokawa has released several remixes, bootlegs, and compilations under the name Avec Avec—most notably his remix of Brothertiger’s track "Lovers". This self-made electronic guru got his start in the Japanese underground music scene as a member of the duo Sugars Campaign. He began his solo career in 2011, and quickly gained acclaim from internet audiences.

Often compared to, but vaguely similar to such artists as Cornelius and Bibio, Hosokawa uniquely blends styles ranging from glitch to dub-step to hip-hop and even '80s synth-pop. However, his glittery and entrancing patchworks lack the same variety as in songs from Cornelius and Bibio. Hosokawa's original compositions all seem to incorporate the same syncopated melodies along with the same shifty beats.

The album's first track, "Plastic Soul" blends smooth piano riffs with jagged, electrifying synths. Horn-like sounds pour out like a theme song on a PBS children's show (Reading Rainbow and Mr. Rogers come to mind), making this one of the easiest songs to listen to on the album. The song also slightly dabbles in jazz and R&B styles. Appropriately named "Plastic Soul", this track also sets the artificial, yet emotional tone for this record.

"Y&B" is straight up disturbing, blending violent video game noises and a creepy, repeating "hee he ha." This song is almost murderous and wickedly sustained with what seems to be 30 seconds of sound loops for nearly four minutes. "Y&B" is like nerds-gone-evil, and would certainly go well with any torture related video game.

"Kuzuha No Sunday" sounds like a mall arcade, including the children winning brightly colored stuff animals. As soon as you want to hate Avec Avec and the songs on this album, you begin to recognize some of the music's delightful qualities. There is some kind of cuddly subliminal message in this track that makes you want to listen to it one more time. This song is like a sweeter and more adorable version of Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites".

Right now, "Jimmys" is a top rated Avec Avec song, and it's easy to see why. Sticking to his usually bounce and fluff, Hosokawa incorporates little chipmunk voices, making this one of the world’s most adorable dubstep songs.

Most appropriate for alarm clocks and cell phone ringtones, Plastic Soul Redux is not for everyone. Although you'll never want to sit and listen to this record intently, one thing cannot be denied: if this album was playing while you were stuck on hold, you'd groove to it.

4

Music

Books

Film

Recent
Film

The Dance of Male Forms in Denis' 'Beau travail'

Claire Denis' masterwork of cinematic poetry, Beau travail, is a cinematic ballet that tracks through tone and style the sublimation of violent masculine complexes into the silent convulsions of male angst.

Music

The Cradle's 'Laughing in My Sleep' Is an Off-kilter Reflection of Musical Curiosity

The Cradle's Paco Cathcart has curated a thoughtfully multifarious album. Laughing in My Sleep is an impressive collection of 21 tracks, each unapologetic in their rejection of expectations.

Music

Tobin Sprout Goes Americana on 'Empty Horses'

During the heyday of Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout wasn't afraid to be absurd amongst all that fuzz. Sprout's new album, Empty Horses, is not the Tobin Sprout we know.

Film

'All In: The Fight for Democracy' Spotlights America's Current Voting Restrictions as Jim Crow 2.0

Featuring an ebullient and combative Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy shows just how determined anti-democratic forces are to ensure that certain groups don't get access to the voting booth.

Music

'Transgender Street Legend Vol. 2' Finds Left at London "At My Peak and Still Rising"

"[Pandemic lockdown] has been a detriment to many people's mental health," notes Nat Puff (aka Left at London) around her incendiary, politically-charged new album, "but goddamn it if I haven't been making some bops here and there!"

Music

Daniel Romano's 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' Is His Ninth LP of 2020 and It's Glorious

No, this is isn't a typo. Daniel Romano's How Ill Thy World Is Ordered is his ninth full-length release of 2020, and it's a genre-busting thrill ride.

Music

The Masonic Travelers Offer Stirring Rendition of "Rock My Soul" (premiere)

The Last Shall Be First: the JCR Records Story, Volume 1 captures the sacred soul of Memphis in the 1970s and features a wide range of largely forgotten artists waiting to be rediscovered. Hear the Masonic Travelers "Rock My Soul".

Music

GLVES Creates Mesmerizing Dark Folktronica on "Heal Me"

Australian First Nations singer-songwriter GLVES creates dense, deep, and darkish electropop that mesmerizes with its blend of electronics and native sounds on "Heal Me".

Music

Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff Tells Us "When It's Sweet" It's So Sweet

Neo-soul singer Otis Junior teams with fellow Kentuckian Dr. Dundiff and his hip-hop beats for the silky, groovy "When It's Sweet".

Music

Lars and the Magic Mountain's "Invincible" Is a Shoegazey, Dreamy Delight (premiere)

Dutch space pop/psychedelic band Lars and the Magic Mountain share the dreamy and gorgeous "Invincible".

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" Wryly Looks at Lost Love (premiere + interview)

Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.

Music

Big Little Lions' "Distant Air" Is a Powerful Folk-Anthem (premiere)

Folk-pop's Big Little Lions create a powerful anthem with "Distant Air", a song full of sophisticated pop hooks, smart dynamics, and killer choruses.

Music

The Flat Five Invite You to "Look at the Birdy" (premiere)

Chicago's the Flat Five deliver an exciting new single that exemplifies what some have called "twisted sunshine vocal pop".

Music

Brian Bromberg Pays Tribute to Hendrix With "Jimi" (premiere + interview)

Bass giant Brian Bromberg revisits his 2012 tribute to Jimi Hendrix 50 years after his passing, and reflects on the impact Hendrix's music has had on generations.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.

Books

Ignorance, Fear, and Democracy in America

Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.

By the Book

Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto (excerpt)

Just as big tech leads world in data for profit, the US government can produce data for the public good, sans the bureaucracy. This excerpt of Julia Lane's Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto will whet your appetite for disruptive change in data management, which is critical for democracy's survival.

Julia Lane

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.