As longtime BBBD readers know, I go through musical micro trends. Every couple of months I'll either reapproach old standbys (Pavement, Joy Division, the Unicorns, Beck) or delve into and explore deeper a genre or category of music that I've forgotten or just skimmed over.
This week (or month?) has proven to be a Japanese retrospective: I've been relistening to Cornelius' older stuff, my P5 collection, and a multitude of other independent, unnoticed, and undiscovered groups. (That language barrier and ocean really do us a disservice, I tell ya.)
Cut to the chase, Nik.
Second Royal/Toy's Factory's very own Halfby released a b-sides/rarities/extras compilation, Side Farmers, and a new single, "Slip On," a little while back, and they are very, very solid. Some of the Kyoto native's best work. Halfby is a notoriously quirky DJ; a jumble of styles and influences ... so many, in fact, that it's hard to place his sound in any categorization more specific than dance. He draws from World Music, the old school breakbeat leanings of Fatboy Slim, straight up hip hop, ambient mood music, and so much more. And confounding as it may be, he never winds up sounding derivative but completely unique and original. (But hey, with album names like Green Hour and Side Farmers, I suppose that's practically expected!)
Below are three fantastic tracks from Side Farmers; after the jump are a few music videos that the wonderful Kyoto design studio, Groovisions, made for "Rodeo Machine/Screw the Plan," "Slip On," and "Star Track." They are, uh ... very bizarre but incredibly charming in their alien animation.
Halfby - Scarecrow Man
Halfby - Impossible Carpets
Halfby - Farmer's Delight