Kuuki No Soko

Radio Khartoum

Replicant is Sanae Yamasaki and Hideyuki Sasaki, and they play exquisite Japanese indie-pop. On a cursory listen, they remind me a bit of a Japanese version of Butterglory. Their songs, instantly catchy, rely on clever arrangements and effects that on first listen sound as if they don’t really belong in the mix. There are very few guitars to be found on this release as the tracks rely on keyboards, synthesizers and simple drum machines. Occasionally, as on the fifth track, “Nothing Can Stop Us,” a jangly guitar carries the music while the electronic instruments serve as a frame. Often very pretty, the arrangements display a flair for crafting pop gems that are at times wistful and belie a slight undercurrent of melancholy.

Pop music, the lingua franca of the indie rock kingdom is fortunately, not reliant on any known dialect or tongue, and this demonstrates why. I can’t tell if they are singing in Japanese or a haltingly, broken English. Either way, it sounds fine. The singers assume their role as another mix in this organic sounding release. Percolating rhythms, synthesizers that hum along their own strange trajectory, drum machines with their alien, yet soothing syncopation and the occasional wash of a guitar riff will have you floating along in pop heaven.

Replicant is the music you always expected to hear in the future. Although they rely on basic instruments and simple patterns, the result far and away transcends the elements used in its construction. This is a good album that is as sweet, light and airy as cotton candy.

Radio Khartoum:

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