Apr 4, 2012

2012: capsule - STEREO WORXXX

Anyone with a love for electronic music or knowledge of the Japanese music scene is sure to have picked up an album by capsule. Having built up an impressive discography of over a dozen albums, they are one of the most prominent electronic music duos currently stationed in Japan. Their style is an instantly recognizable blend of droning beats, infectious melodies (provided by Yasutaka) and beautiful female vocals by Koshijima Toshiko both very much influenced by acts like Daft Punk. Originally drawing comparisons to the highly influential shibuya-kei movement the duo has become increasingly focused on electro and dance music; Yasutaka moving more and more to the forefront of the music. This is very evident on their newest album STEREO WORXXX (all capital) where Toshiko is slightly less apparent, although she does sing on most of the songs.

Despite this the album is one of their strongest efforts yet, and has a lot of inspired melodies and songcraft. Anyone fearing that capsule might have "sold out" especially taken in consideration Yasutaka's latest collaboration (Kyary Pamyu Pamyu; a stylized-pop artist known for her song "Pon Pon Pon") need not worry here. The songs shift between exercises in almost kitchy droning electronica with sparse vocals to beautifully realized electro pop anthems, striking a tasteful balance between accessibility and genuine artistry. In fact capsule prove themselves to be one of the most consistenly great electronic duos currently producing music. One can only hope their next album is as catchy and ensnaring as this.