Topping off a weekend of great concerts was an international showcase at Eclectic that included a few up-and-coming acts from Japan. The three artists—And Vice Versa, Magical Mistakes, and Seiho—put on a righteous show and opened up my eyes to the music scene coming out of Japan.
The three musicians from Osaka have been on their Spring Fever U.S. tour since late March. Touring from coast to coast, Seattle to Baltimore, they have no doubt raised awareness of the music coming out of Osaka across the U.S. It was only too kind of them to wrap up the tour at Wesleyan before heading back home overseas.
Vice Versa’s unique blend of deep throbbing bass lines, ambient noises, and exciting spikes of electronic squeaks was one of the highlights of the night. “Twins” proved to be one of the better songs of the concert, and was the highpoint during And Vice Versa’s set. Used to tease the show, “Twins” featured a great combination of a surprisingly simple beat, and a spectacular background noise of distorted vocals to set the mood. A sparingly but perfectly utilized electronic keyboard wrapped up the song well. The track was exemplary of And Vice Versa’s music, characterized by the balanced handling of basic sounds, which set a nice down-tempo mood perfect for late night chilling.
Magical Mistakes brought a more up-tempo style of electronica that kept listeners more on their feet, as it used myriad types of sounds in imaginative ways. “Forest Floor” was one of the best tracks of Magical Mistakes’ set. The most obvious component in the song was the constant usage of water-noises. Throughout “Forest Floor,” it was possible to hear water being poured and dripping. Like And Vice Versa, Magical Mistakes skillfully used vocal components as instrumental sounds. The constant tapping of a light bouncy synth added great texture and depth.
My favorite part of “Forest Floor” was the outro. It was an interesting drop that finished the song, and continued off of a small but effective crescendo. Magical Mistakes’ addition of horse hooves trotting away into the distance was also distinctive.
Seiho completed the trifecta of artists performing at Eclectic. Aside from a stunningly awesome outfit, the Osaka local brought his exceptional blend of jazz infused electronica to Wesleyan. Definitively urging the crowd to dance more so than his fellow performers, Seiho showcased his style well with his newest track, “Crazy Nail Polish.” From the very beginning of the song, it was clear that Seiho understood how to integrate a certain brand of funk and jazz into modern electronic movement. The groovy little synth that opened the track paired perfectly with the distorted quirky vocals. Every time “Crazy Nail Polish” slowed down the pace, the crowd was treated to a decidedly jazzy feel that exhibited Seiho’s formal jazz training.
With a night ranging from cool kick-back vibes to an awesome dance party, Wes definitely got a great taste of the Osaka music scene.