Monday, July 12, 2010

Ichi Ni San Shi on Super Secret Records

Super Secret records out of Austin recently sent this single from hometown locals Ichi Ni Sa Shi or 1,2,3,4 which I think is Japanese? (yes-ed) Inspired by the Kraftwerk song 'Numbers' that also speaks to the makeup of the group as well... there are 6 members on casio, guitars, trumpet and beats. They all add up on these three tracks to an impressive amount of crystal clear digital electronics and multi-layered instrumentation all in service of ultimately crafting shifty pop music.
It's especially reminding me of the Flaming Lips 'Yoshimi' album, (which in my defense was my only real introduction to those guys). Bill has that upper register voice like Wayne's that comes across sincere with a hint of prettiness that doesn't ever get precious. It's sort of an angelic layer over harsh clicks that they get to mesh together. I think that's the other thing I'm picking up on that they share with The Lips is that throwing themselves towards that challenging experimentation. The songs don't just lie on a single melody and then a major or minor variation for the chorus... they're really looking to go somewhere sonically, every single verse. They aren't relying on just the programming of sound effect cd's and samples, they are deliberately blending traditionally played familiar instruments with a foreign electronic percussion noise.

Then there's a tiny bit of the Magnetic Fields love of weird unrecognizable rhythms. All of the electronics are approached in that lighthearted way, it's not oppressive, it's literally a sandbox of effects...but the focus always stays on a hook. As many things are going on in the background there remains a pop core that holds the entire thing together really successfully with the seemingly minimal and slick production of Yaz.
They are in the middle of throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks...but they actually get a recognizable subject out of what's left. The amount of elements builds every track like 'everything' which starts out with their crystal electronic programming and vocals and imperceptibly gains mass all the way to the end, swapping out the too distinctive sounds every few measures to see if they can audition something else.

Nice cardstock insert with art from Bill Jeffrey with thanks and track details.

Super Secret Records Says:

Here's the debut Ichi Ni San Shi 7inch. The band describes themselves as “pop music battling it out with inventive beats” and “...if Jack Kirby and Gary Numan had a baby...”. The 7" is limited to a total of 300 copies; 200 black vinyl and 100 colored vinyl. If you want to order from me, you can send $6 via PayPal to

1 comment: