Surveying Beats in Space’s New Releases from Gonno and Crystal

 

Sunao Gonno

Listening to a guest DJ set on weekly radio show Beats in Space a few years ago, a strange deep house track emerged in the mix and caught my attention. It had the incessant kick of any number of great house tracks, but unusual idiosyncratic elements began to swirl about it: a skronking saxophone and some deep menacing laughter. When I finally found the culprit (and paid the Yen rate for the record), it was a mysterious Japanese producer known only as Mick and the track had the ludicrous title of “Macho Brother.” He only had two credits to his name, the last one coming 10 years prior.

In the early aughts, certain Japanese acts emerged in the US: Nobukazu Takemura released a run of glitchy yet whimsical albums on Thrill Jockey while Boredoms’ frontman Yamatsuka Eye began releasing tribal, ritualistic absolutely bonkers remixes of both his own band as well as DFA act Black Dice.

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