Back in the early 80s, my nerdish ways frequently brought me to the Casio display at the local K-Mart. I’d press the Demo button, switch the style to “New Wave,” and let the artificial rhythms pulsate. Today, with such synthesizers having been replaced by sampling sequencers, I must look to bold musicians willing to dabble in electro-cheese to get my fix.
Takako Minekawa’s new EP, Recubed, offers just this, on six songs remixed by such notables as Trans Am and Buffalo Daughter. The first track, “Fantastic Cat,” remixed by Pulsars, does indeed have a very Casio sound. It’s incredibly catchy and features Takako-chan singing breathy, kitty vocals. Another notable track, “Klaxon! (a New Type),” remixed by Buffalo Daughter, features guitar riffs that call to mind Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines.”
A weird fusion of teenage girl pop, ambient, hiphop, and rock, Takako Minekawa’s Recubed is an excellent example of how contemporary music is being reinvented in Japan. Emperor Norton Records, 102 Robinson St., Los Angeles, CA 90026; http://www.emperornorton.com