Ah, Japan. What’s not to love about you? Your forward thinking innovations in technology, your often confusing and disturbing commercials that mostly have nothing to do with the product advertised, as well as your wealth of forgotten and oft-overlooked talent in the EDM scene. I made a chance discovery of an artist who goes by the name of Macross 82-99, named after the popular sci-fi mecha anime series: 1982 being the year it was created, and 1999, the year in which the storyline begins. One of his latest full length efforts, A Million Miles Away, is available on bandcamp for as much or as little as you’d like to pay for it. No matter how many pennies, dollars, yen, or any other currency of your choice you decide to part with, this little known gem is more than worth the price of admission.
The album definitely has a mixtape feel to it but has amazing pacing; with tracks that range from original compositions with guest vocals to remixed disco funk classics that stay relatively faithful to the original with slight changes made to make them more danceable (or mixable, depending on which side of the turntables you’re standing on).
Take the track Asuka Bad Girl (w/Lancaster), which begins with bass turned way down with bouncy funk bass and piano underscored by glitchy percussion before exploding into a heart pounding mix of soaring synths, horns, funky guitar and bass lines. Not in a dancing mood? Romance that special someone with the velvety smooth Rhodes piano and vibraphone of the track Lovers (w/ Beat Poems) or the blissful sophisti-pop shuffle of Fugaz (feat. mothica). There’s something for everyone on this album, despite many of the vocal samples and lyrics being in Japanese. Here’s to hoping Macross begins to get some attention stateside.
The artist, of course…not the show.