Nagisa Cosmetic – Nagisa Cosmetic – 3.5/5
Just when I think my quest for more of the short-lived Shibuya-Kei revival is coming to a head, the number of bands that seem to be mentioned rapidly dwindling, my quest for another fix has led my crack like addiction to lesser known artists. In this case, the duo known as Nagisa Cosmetic; a marriage between a Japanese fashion model (who after this only album, would pursue a career there) and the the electronica producer with far too much time on his hands, lending his signature style to the likes of Perfume, Marino and Capsule.
It is, however, Marino that this most closely resembles; it doesn't have the overt electropop melodies of Perfume, nor the chaotic freneticism of Capsule, and instead feels altogether more laid back and content to let things roll out slowly. Neither does it feel particularly adventurous, but then he doesn't really need to be as everything quite simply works. It's almost lounge-jazz like quality at times makes it feel suitable for elevator music for some sort of Japanese Pokémon centre; the simple catchy beat with a touch of 8-bit likeness in the use of glockenspiel complementing the rather more harsh bass of the drums to create a glorious contrast that only improves as more instrumentation gets layered on top, never bombarding with a broad tone but creating a number of converging thinner layers that at no point convolute the track with more lines than it can handle.
In fact, by comparison to the backing, the vocalist seems like an almost unnecessary component to the overarching sound. Beyond the cutesy but unenthusiastic cries of 'yay' and the like that she adds in the way of actual melody to the proceedings, there are no overt catchy chorus' like much of this producer's other work, and there are barely any lyrics at all (much of it is her just going 'nah nah nah'). Quite often she finds herself drowned out by the other instrumentation, though this gets no complaints from me. Kept short at under 30 minutes, I often find it ironic that the lengthier offerings in the genre seem sparse of creativity, and yet releases like this find the instrumental melodies coming thick and fast. It's unlikely to replace my favourites in the genre any time soon, but is nonetheless a solid effort from at least one half of this duo.
Highlights: Life Balance, I am a Computer