Edit: Hey y’all – a quick introduction before you dive into my first article for The Indie Blender. My name is Kat, and it’s a pleasure to write for you. I’m a singer/songwriter (by night) who loves all kinds of music. It’s tough to narrow down favourite genres, but if you check into The Indie Blender every Monday to see what I’ve posted, you’ll get a taste of the spectrum. I’m also open to new sounds for review, so contact us if you have any suggestions.
In addition, I’m passionate about many other subjects, including languages. I learned Japanese over a decade ago, so my translation might be a little rusty. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy.
SEIHO HAYAKAWA (OSAKA, JAPAN), aka SEIHO, produces versatile, unusual, and addictive urban-pop within a suppressed public entertainment landscape.
Fueiho, aka Fuzoku Eigyo Torishimari Ho (in English, “Businesses Affecting Public Moral Regulation Law”) aims to moderate specific behaviours within Japan’s urban nightlife. For example, the law forbids dancing in nightclubs that operate after midnight to 1:00 am, depending on their location. Osaka – Japan’s third largest city – currently practices the most severe application of fueiho in the country. Unsurprisingly, Seiho operates out of Osaka, too; therefore, one could consider his musical efforts as rather valiant and noteworthy, albeit poppy and vacuous.
Shochu Sounds, his latest EP, was released in collaboration with Obey City (Brooklyn, NY) in 2014. It includes two tracks by Seiho: “Koi”and “Double Bed”. Shochu Sounds is a brief, yet accurate representation of Seiho’s self-defined urban-pop genre: retro hip-house synths, jittery, warped R&B samples à la Janet Jackson, post-dubstep production, and traditional jazz and Japanese instrumentation. It all snaps together rather well. It’s hypnotic, stylish, rhythmic, and vibrant, effectively pushing you to dance well past 1 am, a direct violation of fueiho rule.
“Koi” is spooky, relaxing, and lush. It begins with natural sounds of the great outdoors: birds chirping and water rushing over harp and piano, with just enough reverb to create a dreamy and endless space. Then enters a sullen koto, warped R&B samples from a recent decade, and poignant orchestral strings. This synthesis presents a fresh and upbeat interpretation of post-dubstep music.
Meanwhile, “Double Bed” nods to classic 90s hip-hop, opening with a familiar voice from not so long ago – a sample from the Fugees’ “Ready Or Not”. Hill’s vocals emerge from the walls of the next-door-dance-floor to join ghostly house synths, erratic beeps, skittish cracks; everything is framed in post-dubstep percussion. Again, Seiho punctuates his music with offbeat elements such as classical guitar and jazz trumpet, the latter largely due to the study of jazz standards during his early musical education in music.
Seiho has also released a number of singles via SoundCloud, including “GOLD”, “3D Printer”, “Night of Liar”, “Wet Asphalt”, and “Clipping Music”. Seiho further resists fueiholaw through the promotion of independent electronic artists through his Day Tripper label, and the foundation of INNIT, an electronic party night held in his native Osaka. Both Day Tripper and INNIT have survived since their establishment in 2012 – let’s hope they continue to assist local electronic-dance artists to overcome stringent legal barriers, and encourage the Japanese underground music scene to flourish despite a 1 am dance curfew.
編集：INDIE BLENDERのための私の最初の記事を読む前に、これは簡単な紹介です。私の名前はキャットです。それはあなたのために書くことの喜びです。私は夜のシンガー/ソングライターだ。私は音楽のすべての種類を愛する。音楽の私のお気に入りのジャンルを指定することは難しい。あなたは私が投稿したものを見るために毎週月曜日INDIE BLENDERをチェックする場合は、より良いアイデアがあるでしょう。私もレビューする新しい曲を探しているので、あなたが何か提案がある場合はご連絡よ。
Quite an interesting read on Osaka and its Fueiho regulation… Also fascinating, if not more or even ironic, is the presently underground (in both meanings of the word) electronic/urban-pop scene that is bound to become a real big thing. This is a win!