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Hazey's Musings on Melodic Motifs - Shibuya-Kei on Sundays!

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HazeyTwilight
boyfriend in your wet dreams


Gender: Male
Age: 20
Location: Elmo Knows Where You Live
Ireland

#71 | Posted: 02/12/2018 12:29 | Post subject: Reply with quote
February 12th


Saturation by Brockhampton

BROCKHAMPTON: Releasing albums until you're blue in the face! Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all night!

I've known about these guys since last year (that's how everybody got into them, stupid), but I never listened to the Saturation trilogy because it all seems so daunting. So, bit by bit, I read up about the members, the history, the fanbase and also a few select singles just to get a better understanding of what this group was about. Which all leads up to the day when I finally listened to Saturation I. It started out really strong, with the first three tracks going in hard right from the get go. Menacing energy in the performances and production on HEAT, the catchy hooks on GOLD, and the clever references, similes and metaphors with a great subdued beat on STAR. However, the album peaks really early with those tracks. Don't get me wrong, I still think its pretty good, and even the last three tracks, while they don't leave quite the impression as the first three, showcases the other side of the group that's executed really well. However, a lot of the songs in the middle are rough around the edges in terms of its production and topics, whilst intrinsically personal, could've had a bit more nuance to them. I know I'm giving out controversial opinions about this very popular boy band and I expect a lot of the people on the discord chat will want to kill me afterwards, but I still think it's still a worthwhile project and, I've heard that the next two instalments are vastly better, so maybe they ironed out the kinks that dragged this first part down a little bit.

75
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HazeyTwilight
boyfriend in your wet dreams


Gender: Male
Age: 20
Location: Elmo Knows Where You Live
Ireland

#72 | Posted: 02/14/2018 20:29 | Post subject: Reply with quote
February 14th


Saturation II by Brockhampton

I want Kevin Abstract to be my Valentine, but I'm probably not even his type anyway...

Well here I am again with Brockhampton and the second part of the Saturation trilogy. While it does feel similar to the first album, it does some things different to stand out. The main big difference that caught my ears was that this sounded a lot more cohesive and everything that was good about the first album is just better on this. The lyrics and subject matter are refined (JUNKY is an absolute beast of a track, making it my favourite song by them so far) and the beats are mixed so well that I don't get that "some tracks overpower the other tracks" problem the first album has. Everything is in control and more focused on this album. There were some tracks that I didn't quite gel with, though. I think I like Brockhampton when they go all out with a topic, whether they're being vicious or goofy is when their songs are the most engaging, but their softer, ballad-heavy side, while still very pleasant, are kind of underwhelming in the grand scheme of things. But nonetheless, Saturation II is a huge improvement in almost every way possible, and that really makes me look forward to what the third one has in store for me.

85
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HazeyTwilight
boyfriend in your wet dreams


Gender: Male
Age: 20
Location: Elmo Knows Where You Live
Ireland

#73 | Posted: 02/17/2018 20:44 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Febuary 17th


Saturation III by Brockhampton

I don't know what else to say, since it's the third Saturation album, but that they just keep getting better and better with each release. I still have a couple personal problems with it, like with every album in the trilogy, some moments in some songs drag a bit too much, but apart from that, they pretty much perfected their formula for these albums. It just goes to show that quantity does result in quality if you have the right mindset. Can't wait to see what they do in 2018.

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HazeyTwilight
boyfriend in your wet dreams


Gender: Male
Age: 20
Location: Elmo Knows Where You Live
Ireland

#74 | Posted: 02/18/2018 14:09 | Post subject: Reply with quote
It's that time, again! Time for another instalment of...

Shibuya-Kei Sundays!!!

This week's album is...


Halcali Bacon by Halcali

RYM Genre Distinctions: Japanese Hip Hop, Pop Rap

I had more I wanted to say about this album originally, but I had a power cut earlier today and can't remember what I wrote in this post. So, I'll keep it brief: this album is just a ton of fun, energetic flows, vibrant East-Coast inspired beats, vintage yet modern (at the time) production. This album is just the epitome of pep and anyone who's into stuff like Kero Kero Bonito should definitely seek this one out. We need more Japanese girls doing hip hop, because it's incredibly enjoyable.

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HazeyTwilight
boyfriend in your wet dreams


Gender: Male
Age: 20
Location: Elmo Knows Where You Live
Ireland

#75 | Posted: 02/22/2018 01:29 | Post subject: Reply with quote
February 21st


Twin Fantasy (Face To Face) by Car Seat Headrest

This entry is going to take a lot out of me. Strap in, folks, it's time for some depressing bullshit!

So, I've known about Car Seat Headrest since 2015 through the /mu/ chart I adapted for bea ur welcum skrubs. This was also around the same time as their signing to Matador Records and released their major label debut, but I never paid much attention to the band outside of that year, which means that I slept on both Teens of Style and Teens of Denial the following year (couldn't listen to a lot of new music because of how fucking awful 2016 was). But throughout most of January this year, I rediscovered them again because not only did I felt like it but I also found it very comforting during one of the most emotional and stressful times of my life. That means I did end up catching up on those two aforementioned "Teens..." albums. They're growing on me for sure, in terms of Will Toledo developing and improving almost everything about his music since his Bandcamp days - from his abilities to playing his instruments, co-operating with more likeminded musicians to help see his vision through, the production being a little clearer, and his lyrics having more broader and wider appeal without compromising his strengths as a songwriter. But despite all the visible upgrades Will has received through this newfound exposure, there's still charm to some of his more lo-fi and isolated recordings, in particular the album we'll be discussing today: Twin Fantasy.

My first taste of CSH was through the original version of that album, later retitled Mirror to Mirror (*insert topical yet extremely lame Justin Timberlake reference, though that pretty much describes JT right now), back in 2015. The reasons for it having a massive cult following didn't register at first, but when I revisited it last month and read the lyric sheet alongside it, that's when it hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was (arguably I probably still am) in a state of confusion due to the situations I've been put in and put through this year, so its raw and unfiltered yet witty and sharp take on youth, sexuality and relationships was something that I desperately needed. Also the overarching concept that the album has is something that I could relate all too well to. Even though I gave up on trying to find love a long time ago after a lot of unrequited love from both parties, I still fantasise about being in a relationship with someone, most of my visions happen to be with boys. This used to be an occasional thing for me, but with everything in my life that's happening right now, I'm at that part of my life where I disassociate from reality and depend more on those delusions. Also being a depressed bastard helps things. So, suffice to say, this album came at more than just the perfect time for me. Even though it's rough lo-fi aesthetic detracted a lot from the album, and I'm dumbfounded that I even tolerated it when I first listened to it (but, then again, that's the sacrifice you get when you're subjected to music production courses for so long), it's still an album that I hold close to my heart.

Which brings me onto this new re-recorded version: Face to Face. I mean, it's nice that we'll have these songs at a higher fidelity, I thought to myself when I heard about it, but there has to be more to it than just a rehash with a new coat of paint. But, when I actually sat down and listened to it, I was surprised by how much of the original album had been re-worked to justify the new version. "My Boy (Twin Fantasy)" exchanges a lot of the excess reverb, probably to hide Will's at the time amateurish musicianship, for a more subdued perspective that gradually builds throughout the track. Definitely sets itself apart from the "woe is me" tone Mirror to Mirror went for - and that change in tone is a crucial difference in terms of looking at both versions. A lot of those shaky and indecipherable moments that Mirror to Mirror had in spades, probably from the shyness of Will's 19 year-old self not wanting anybody to hear him sing, is exchanged for a clearer and more confident approach, which has affected a lot of the tracks on here, even though the material hasn't been tempered with that much. It's only when you get to "Nervous Young Inhumans" that you start to see Will's current thought process intersperse with his past. Songs become groovier and energised with that track, "Bodys" and "Cute Thing", in which the synth lines and clarity add so much colour that the original lacked so much of. Then you get to tracks like "Famous Prophets (Stars)", which is an interesting infusion of the original narrative of Mirror to Mirror with the meta-narrative that Will presents on Face to Face, which is the crux of the revised album and is justification as to why the subtitles exist in the first place. But even taking that out of the equation, the song is still an intense track with its 16 minute run time, completely new lyrical passages replacing the old monologues, the jarring whiplash of piano in the middle and the crescendo featuring a brass section and Will screaming like he's breaking free from these past experiences that he needs to put behind makes this my favourite track on the album and is way more cathartic than the original. With the final nail in the coffin being "Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)", which sees Will retrospectively closing the final page of this chapter of his life and is ready to move on.

This revised version is quite the wake up call for Will, as it's not only an extension of the original album, but it actively reflects on the past and it's interesting to look back to see how people reacted back when you're in an emotionally confused state like he was. Mirror to Mirror focuses on the "now" and how you react in that space, and Face to Face is, quite literally, facing your reaction head on with a more mature mindset. I had to re-listen to both versions of the album a lot since it came out, so I could get a proper understanding of each one. I've come to the conclusion that both of these albums will appeal to me at different times in my life. I've been living in the "now" for years now, but if I ever happen to set my life straight, there will have to be a point where I will have to confront my past self and judge on how fucking stupid I acted all those years ago, and then a couple decades go by and look back on that past self and wash rinse repeat until I fucking die. But that's why this album is so important to me, even if it is just in the "now", as Will was able to capture the confusion of the lives of young people in a genuine, relatable and authentic way because he was also at that same confused state as the rest of us were at his age and gives us hope that, one day, we can overcome it just like he did.

95


told you this would take a lot out of me its nearly 1:30 am at the time of writing this ima go sleep no
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HazeyTwilight
boyfriend in your wet dreams


Gender: Male
Age: 20
Location: Elmo Knows Where You Live
Ireland

#76 | Posted: 02/25/2018 18:28 | Post subject: Reply with quote
no shibuya kei sunday this week. the reason why is that im going through a lot of hardship right now and that's messing with my mindset right now. this month has been particularly awful for me, as it's just been perpetual cycle of misery and grief. just a heads up in case you're wondering why im reacting a lot more emotional than i usually am in this diary throughout the rest of the year
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HazeyTwilight
boyfriend in your wet dreams


Gender: Male
Age: 20
Location: Elmo Knows Where You Live
Ireland

#77 | Posted: 03/11/2018 15:42 | Post subject: Reply with quote
After two weeks of hiatus, Shibuya-Kei Sundays!!! is back. Sorry for the extended wait, college and an interest in video games again occupied most of my time (knowing most of the soundtrack is Shibuya-Kei makes me want to play Katamari even more). But anyway, let's get on with the show with this week's album being...


L.D.K. Lounge Designers Killer by Capsule

RYM Genre Distinctions: Electropop

Short (34 minute album) but incredibly sweet electropop with slight house and lounge influences all throughout its run. Feels like I'm flying through an iridescent synthesised wormhole that has candy as debris before slowing down and having a smiling Japanese girl offer you a cup of green tea with extra sprinkles (generalisation much?). This amount of sweetness may turn some people off, and to be honest with you I wasn't expecting to be that much of it, but I still had a lot of fun with it. No real objective criticism or observations here, look somewhere else for that, I guess.

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Luigii



Gender: Male
Age: 23
United States

#78 | Posted: 03/11/2018 16:00 | Post subject: Reply with quote
HazeyTwilight wrote:
After two weeks of hiatus, Shibuya-Kei Sundays!!! is back. Sorry for the extended wait, college and an interest in video games again occupied most of my time (knowing most of the soundtrack is Shibuya-Kei makes me want to play Katamari even more). But anyway, let's get on with the show with this week's album being...


L.D.K. Lounge Designers Killer by Capsule

RYM Genre Distinctions: Electropop

Short (34 minute album) but incredibly sweet electropop with slight house and lounge influences all throughout its run. Feels like I'm flying through an iridescent synthesised wormhole that has candy as debris before slowing down and having a smiling Japanese girl offer you a cup of green tea with extra sprinkles (generalisation much?). This amount of sweetness may turn some people off, and to be honest with you I wasn't expecting to be that much of it, but I still had a lot of fun with it. No real objective criticism or observations here, look somewhere else for that, I guess.

85


Okay I am giving this a spin right now do to mentioning the house and lounge influence and man this album gets to it. Will give first thoughts after I'm done.
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Luigii



Gender: Male
Age: 23
United States

#79 | Posted: 03/11/2018 16:42 | Post subject: Reply with quote
That LDK record was excellent. Now I got to visit through Capsule's discog. Great.
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HazeyTwilight
boyfriend in your wet dreams


Gender: Male
Age: 20
Location: Elmo Knows Where You Live
Ireland

#80 | Posted: 04/22/2018 11:30 | Post subject: Reply with quote
So... I completely forgot that I was supposed to be doing this Shibuya-Kei thing every Sunday. I am so sorry for the lack of entries here, I've just been so busy finishing up my final college assignments for the year that I didn't have much time for this silly thing. But I thought that I squeeze in one more instalment of Shibuya-Kei goodness before the procrastination kicks in. So let's get on with this week's Shibuya-Kei Sundays!!! with...


For Lovers by Lamp

RYM Genre Distinctions: Jazz-Pop

I've always wanted to listen to a full album from these guys, because from the songs I had sampled beforehand, I really liked the acoustic, quaint, jazzy vibes they emitted. I finally went out of my way and dug up this release as my starting point, expecting a certain mood that I just described, and yeah they totally meet those expectations, and even went beyond that on certain songs. You do have the more sparse and bare bones on here, but every other song on the album has a fuller and amplified sound, incorporating piano (grand and electric), saxophone, strings and I even spotted some glockenspiel on one song. That I was not expecting. Despite that, every song here is performed really well (although I did spot some slight hiccups and uncertainty when it came to some of the cadenzas) and the chord progressions they embraces that cozy feeling you get when you listen to Jazz-Pop (with an aptly named title too). Listen to this on warm, sunny days with a little hint of clouds.

90
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