Although I enjoy many Japanese musical exports washing up on our shore, I’m always unsure as to what exactly swirls through their imaginations. Whether they are making a mockery of American rock, pop, or techno and transmogrifying it into their own bizarre remix is yet to be determined. Regardless, the results have been quite puzzling and enjoyable altogether. The mysterious Nigo is no different. Part indie-rock, part space-opera, part pop experimentation, their Ape Sounds is a sharp left turn from the path that the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds was initially traveling.
Ape Sounds boasts cameos galore from the likes of Ben Lee on the ultra-catchy pop-rock of “Freediving” and Money Mark abusing his trademark keyboards on the lounge-funk track “The Very Urgent Dub.” Even Mo’Wax label head James Lavelle throws in his two pounds on the samplified hip-hop thump of “March of the General,” perhaps the highlight of the record. If you welcome a little spontaneous brainrock into your diet, Ape Sounds perfectly sets the mood. Following in the hallowed footsteps of the Boredoms and Shonen Knife, Nigo is to leave their imprints on our soil, hopefully opening the doors for more Eastern acts to come.