Marino – Lollipop+ [EP] – 4/5
The re-mastered and re-issued version of this ‘cult classic’ (apparently), a solo artist with a short 23 min EP of picopop/Shibuya-Kei madness, produced by a member of ‘Plus-Tech Squeeze Box’ and another member from ‘Capsule,’ it is their influences that are unmistakable in this piece. From the overtly ‘cute electro’ tone in the second track demonstrating capsule’s trademark sound, to the frantically paced ‘Strawberry,’ the guitar solo in particular instantly reminding us of the other producers part to play; their input is prominent in the end result, but it is all just a support for the new talent on display.
It is the influence of marino herself that brings the new element to the table; her DJ origins at times lending themselves to a distinctly ‘dance’ like style with a simple rhythm and prominent beat taking the forefront. Throwing in a multitude of elements to the mixture in a superfluous manner to create little touches of flavour; glockenspiels, accordions, guitars, keyboards and other instruments are all rammed into this short piece, never drawing focus from the bold high pitched vocals reminiscant of something between an excitable child and a chipmunk and all the more adorable for it.
But despite this, there is little new really being brought to the table; both the producers have taken up a large enough chunk of their own styles within the composition that she at times begins to lose her identity. There is an incoherency between the tracks, each one seeming to do things a little differently resulting in an assortment of flavours, and not all of them are good; the three bonus tracks in particular feeling like B-sides that didn’t originally make the cut, the vocals feeling like an entirely new singer. Looking up pictures for this artist, there are about as many of her as there are of her cat 'Mikomonta' and various elaborate cakes she’s made. If that doesn't tell you what to expect from her music im not sure what else will.
Highlights: フレイバー (track 2), Strawberry