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Downtempo Tuesday: Daisuke Tanabe

Daisuke Tanabe

A real up and comer in the electronic/downtempo scene. Relying more on electronics and unusual sounds, be brings a soft, ambient, and almost melancholic mood to his platter. I would dare say to categorize him as the experimental man of downtempo. His work is definitely no easy listening, though if you are not a stranger to electronic and downtempo, Daisuke Tanabe is just for you.

Kick starting his musical career at the ripe age of 16, he has garnished himself with attention from the underground electronic scene. Eventually, he released albums on big name indie labels, such as the notorious Ninja Tune.

Delicate as his work sounds, they pack quite the punch. Even though the ambiance, spacey sounds, and glitches dominate his music, he incorporates a good beat and edgy sounds to balance them out. His work is creative and conceptual. I know I say this a lot, but Daisuke Tanabe is truly one of a kind, as I have never heard anything similar to his style. And I like that. 

There is only one issue I have with Daisuke Tanabe. He needs to become well-known. His work flying well under the radar is almost a deadly sin. So go on, explore and taste his wonderful servings he conjured.

Another fresh downtempo harvest from The Music Farm.  



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Mr. Flash

Mr. Flash

This first thing that comes to mind when I heard Mr. Flash‘s music was a similarity between him and Justice, except more dancy/poppy. Is Justice a bit to dark for you? Mr. Flash provides a similar tone, but in a lighter note. He also makes mid-tempo songs, which is always a plus in my farm.

For the most part, he has managed to stay underground. It was only by chance that I stumbled upon him, and I couldn’t thank chance more enough. He only has a few solo albums and a handful of remixes, though it is enough to get me hooked. Reminding me of Justice is already an excellent start. Start pickin’ when the pickin’ is fresh.



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Downtempo Tuesday: Chinese Man

Chinese Man

This week’s Downtempo Tuesday will be dedicated to Chinese Man. Chinese Man actually isn’t Chinese. Actually, it should be men. This French group is quite something. They make sense from nothing, at least that’s what I feel when I listen to their tunes.

I was exploring their songs and every song sounded completely different than the previous one. Seriously. Some songs sound experimental, some songs are formulaic downtempo, some are ambient, and some have singing. I am usually a fan of artists who have and develop upon their own style, but Chinese Man is all over the place. This may seem counter-intuitive, but I’m diggin’ their stuff.

For the first time, I’m actually kinda lost in where to start. For beginners, they’re the more experimental type of group where they aren’t afraid of introducing new sounds that aren’t usually used. The nice thing is that they don’t go overboard with new sounds. In other words, they use a modest helping of it to really set off the song in a new spice.

From what I can notice, they take inspiration from bossanova, jazz, hip hop beats, and ambient/lounge. A similar list can be said for Thievery Corporation, but Chinese Man takes a whole new approach by composing an eclectic collection of songs, with the dash of unorthodox I might add. Not to mention their music videos are mad intriguing to watch.

Chinese Man is definitely out there at that musical boundary, constantly pushing outwards to discover and create new sounds to tingle your eardrums. Though they recently have wandered into the realm of dubstep and rapping, they still have that downtempo essence. The song ” I’ve Got That Tune” really captured my attention, while “7th Street” further enticed me to delve into the abyss of Chinese Man. Other pieces that furthered my fandom for them are “Ordinary Man” and “He Said”.   

From ambient lounge to nu-jazz to mid-tempo dance, there is something for everyone. The produce gets fresher and fresher. Tis’ the season to harvest.

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Shing02 has a very unique background. His motherland is Tokyo, Japan, though he also grew up in Tanzania and England. Needless to say he has been exposed to multiple, clashing cultures at a very young age. Eventually, he settled down in San Fransisco Bay Area/Oakland when he was 15 and ended attending Berkeley for college. There, it was hard to avoid the hip-hop scene. To top it off, those submerged into the hip-hop world in that area are also activists, such as Asian-American activists (for civil rights).

Naturally, Shing02 (Shingo Annen) picked up hip-hop and rap and incorporated political and social messages in his music. His style is one of a kind. His flow is unorthodox, borderline conceptual. For example, one of his songs uses a constant pitch with minimal altering. His popularity slowly snowballed after his first hit, Battlecry, the introduction song to the anime series Samurai Champloo. His fame soon came to fruition, as his work took to the ears of his hometown and Japan. He is know for many of his collaborations with both American and Japanese hip-hop and rappers. Shing02 is a rarity. He can rap in both English and Japanese fluently. A majority of his full length albums are in Japanese, though he has rapped in English along with the beats created by none other than the late Nujabes.

Look for Shing02‘s entirely English album RxOxTxO in the near future. In the mean time, skim over the menu of his past work.

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