Top ten albums of 2015, #10: Suiyoubi no CAMPANELLA’s ZIPANG

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best201510bSuiyoubi no CAMPANELLA: ZIPANG

How can you sum up an album with such an eclectic mix of styles and sounds without falling into the trap of hammering out an indictment against the evils of major labels and the freedom that indies give you to experiment with more oddball ventures? You shouldn’t, because Suiyoubi is the exception, not the rule, the elegant fissure in a landscape of low-budget, bedroom-produced ideals of what “art” and “authenticity” is and how pop music presumably can’t come close. But ZIPANG is a pop record: it’s also a rap record, a house record, and a collection of sound effects put to rhythm. It’s polished enough to have dizzying highs (“Chohakkai,” “MEDUSA“) and confused enough for impossible lows (“TWIGGY”). It’s not a group at their peak, but rather, a group still scaling the mountain, still in search of a defining genre, but capable of churning out dazzling aesthetic set pieces in the ascent. The group itself also has a hard time tackling their identity: singer Komuai concedes that yeah, sure, they’re a hip hop group, but that also “there’s like, an idol world over here, and the J-rock scene over here, and off in the corner is the programmed beats place. I think we are sort of in the middle of all that.” That’s where you’ll find ZIPANG: smack dab in the middle of the Japanese music Venn diagram.

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3 thoughts on “Top ten albums of 2015, #10: Suiyoubi no CAMPANELLA’s ZIPANG

    • appearsdx March 16, 2016 / 11:46 am

      I think my favorite song of theirs right now is “Chohakkai,” the second track off of this album. There are so many great things happening in that song. Thanks for commenting!

      • brinkling March 19, 2016 / 9:41 am

        Oh thanks for suggesting that song!! I hadn’t heard it before but I really like it. I really need to buy a CD…Luckily they release a lot of music videos so I get to hear a lot of it, but obviously I’m missing out on some awesome tracks too.

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