Thursday, September 04, 2008

Shugo Tokumaru

I'm not really sure where to start with Shugo Tokumaru. I guess I could make the statement that he's the male version of Asobi Seksu. He's from Tokyo and sings in both English and Japanese... but that's about as far as that comparison could go. As a point of divergence, Shugo crafted his third and latest album EXIT in his bedroom with a Mac and some mic's. That point alone doesn't demand much attention in itself until you consider the fact that the album's ten tracks draw upon over fifty instruments for their composition. Fifty instruments, which include traditional Japanese instruments, modern instruments, oddities like ashtrays, almost all played by Shugo.

With such a diverse collection of musical sounds, one would expect an album of eccentricity, and you'd be right. The album flits about on flights of fancy. Take for instance Button, the fifth track, which you can hear below. Call me crazy, but it sounds like it could be an unreleased Beatles track from The White Album sung in Japanese. Much of the rest of the album has the same multi-textual, fanciful, eccentric feel to it.

Most of the album is sung in Japanese, but Shugo's voice is so melodic that your ears just might over-look the fact and take it as another instrument. Regardless, if listening to lyrics you can't sing along with bugs you, you'll probably want to skip this album. If you can get past that point you'll find an album that puts together divergent musical chords in ways that amazingly work.

Visit his website, his label Startime International, and become his friend on MySpace.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this album is a legit piece of art..