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Foodman - Yasuragi Land Music Album Reviews

Foodman - Yasuragi Land Music Album Reviews
On his first proper full-length in three years, the Japanese electronic musician collages tiny sounds into intricate grooves that harness the wonder of everyday life.

Foodman’s music assembles tiny sounds into intricate grooves. Short clicks and pops, clipped gurgles and swishes, and miniscule snippets of synth arrange themselves into tangled rhythms that reference different types of electronic music, from house and footwork to classic video-game soundtracks, but always feel skewed and toylike. Often it sounds like a miniature approximation of dance music, as if he’s built a club out of a colorful assortment of Legos, just waiting for the tiny figurines to come alive and find their groove. It is a swirl of joy and creative energy, leaving an unmistakable impression of the Japanese producer’s wonder as he discovers the answer to the question “What happens if I do this?” over and over again. No matter how tricky or obtuse the beats become, a sense of gleeful exploration is self-evident.

The Lilliputian scale of the music highlights its warm playfulness. “I want to make music out of these fun little moments in our daily lives,” Foodman, aka Takahide Higuchi, said several years back. “I really value those psychedelic feelings that you can sometimes get from small things, like totally forgetting yourself while taking a bath because it feels so good, or while you’re eating curry at home....I want to transpose what I feel at those moments into music.” On Yasuragi Land, Foodman’s first proper full-length in three years, he digs further into this side of his music, leaning into the intimate familiarity of the acoustic guitar and scooping out any stray remnants of low-end from the mix. Yasuragi translates to “peace of mind” or “serenity”; it’s also the name of a Japanese bathhouse in Sweden, which might not be coincidental, given Higuchi’s documented affinity for saunas and spas. Though the music on Yasuragi Land isn’t new age by any stretch of the imagination, it reveals a calm and focused mind nimbly assembling hundreds of different sounds and textures just so.

Yasuragi Land has more in common with the whimsical cut-and-paste style Foodman perfected on 2018’s Aru Otoko No Densetsu than with the more straight-ahead, nearly club-ready EPs he’s released for Mad Decent and Highball in the past two years. It tends towards an omnivorous, throw-everything-at-the-wall approach, and though nearly every track has a loose groove tethering it to terra firma, syncopated hits and stray added beats can make it feel immeasurably complex. One of the album’s defining features is its very sparse use of bass, a technique that enhances the crispness of the sound. Endless kicks and heavy low-end throb can be exhilarating but also exhausting; at the end of each listen through Yasuragi Land I’ve felt rejuvenated and light, having experienced the music’s unencumbered energy and motion as a purely uplifting force.

The muted twang of digitally rendered acoustic guitar is a pervasive, but subtle, presence throughout. It often emerges as a counterpoint to the synth blips and intricate percussive taps, either wildly strummed, as on “Shiboritate,” or existing on the fringes, buried among sampled flutes, squeaks, and knocking claves, like on “Food Court.” Several years ago Higuchi relocated back to his hometown of Nagoya, and has spoken about the rush of nostalgia that came in the wake of his return, including memories of playing guitar and busking outside of train stations. His music has always existed just beyond the grid, but the guitar’s loose, untamed nature makes the album feel like the haphazard effervescence of the real world is worming its way into the vivid yet ordered digital environment. Those happy memories of first playing music for others seem to be a potent source of inspiration, adding to the album’s impression of gentle euphoria.

Whether it’s losing yourself in the gooey umami of a shoyu tamago—as the name Foodman suggests, eating has been a major influence on Higuchi—or feeling your body slowly being enveloped by steam, the experiences he draws on for inspiration are moments when the self dissolves into pure sensory experience. Yasuragi Land, with all its bizarre nooks and silly tangents, doesn’t attempt to replicate the stillness of those moments, but instead serves as a reminder of the spirit of curiosity that makes them possible. The album’s intricacy is an invitation to listen closer and decipher all his little sleight-of-hand details, letting the music’s simple joy excite its own small moment of everyday bliss.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Foodman - Yasuragi Land Music Album Reviews Foodman - Yasuragi Land Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, July 19, 2021 Rating: 5

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