Himuro: Mild Fantasy Violence

Don't be thrown by the brevity of Fukuoka, Japan-based Yoshiteru Himuro's Mild Fantasy Violence as its nine tracks pack more than enough detail into its thirty-three animated minutes to justify a full-length status. Himuro's machine music solidly draws upon hip-hop, arcade electro, funk, and dub and, though it's dense, his material rarely turns overbearing or claustrophobic (though the dystopic synths and distended beats in “The Cracks in Your Monita,” at times seem gripped in the thralls of a seizure). Most importantly, despite their detail, the songs are rooted in melody. The album opens strongly with the crunchy hip-hop flavour and roiling electro-funk of “My Beats Your Beats” before moving into intricate rhythm programming in “2MCs from Thailand”; Himuro elevates the piece by elaborating upon a groove of squelchy beats and voice samples with a funky melody built from jittery guitar hiccups. In the title cut, a softly glowing Kraftwerk melody slithers through the song's gleeful analog core while “Sunrise Sunset” brings the album to a head-nodding close with a mix of dub, electro, and hip-hop. Ultimately, one of the most appealing things about Himuro's music is that each song makes its case with dispatch and then moves on, making way for the next.

July 2005