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

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.


Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less

If space is time—and space is literally time in the comics form—the world of the novel is a temporal cage. Manuele Fior pushes at the formal qualities of that cage to tell his story.

Manuele Fior's 5,000 Km Per Second was originally published in 2009 and, after winning the Angouléme and Lucca comics festivals awards in 2010 and 2011, was translated and published in English for the first time in 2016. As suggested by its title, the graphic novel explores the effects of distance across continents and decades. Its love triangle begins when the teenaged Piero and his best friend Nicola ogle Lucia as she moves into an apartment across the street and concludes 20 estranged years later on that same street. The intervening years include multiple heartbreaks and the one second phone delay Lucia in Norway and Piero in Egypt experience as they speak while 5,000 kilometers apart.

Keep reading... Show less

Featuring a shining collaboration with Terry Riley, the Del Sol String Quartet have produced an excellent new music recording during their 25 years as an ensemble.

Dark Queen Mantra, both the composition and the album itself, represent a collaboration between the Del Sol String Quartet and legendary composer Terry Riley. Now in their 25th year, Del Sol have consistently championed modern music through their extensive recordings (11 to date), community and educational outreach efforts, and performances stretching from concert halls and the Library of Congress to San Francisco dance clubs. Riley, a defining figure of minimalist music, has continually infused his compositions with elements of jazz and traditional Indian elements such as raga melodies and rhythms. Featuring two contributions from Riley, as well as one from former Riley collaborator Stefano Scodanibbio, Dark Queen Mantra continues Del Sol's objective of exploring new avenues for the string quartet format.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.