Oooo-eeeeee, wow, so, this is supremely pretty. More than that it's scene-conjuring, evocative, heartbreaking, heartwarming, tear-inducing, smile-making – it's 'Mega Drive' by Becky Sui Zhen aka Sui Zhen (aka DJ Susan), a musicmaker and all-round atmosphere creator from Melbourne, Australia.
'Mega Drive' seems to call out from an unplaceable, nonexistent retro-futuristic crevasse deep in the music world – there is something otherworldly about it, a gracious gentle delicacy achieved by the mix of plaintive, unthreatening keyboard-demo beat and the endearing vocals, like insubstantial wisps of clouds making their way across a splashed-orange sunset sky, or like friendly ghosts trying to make contact. The very title is a conjuring of nostalgia: the Sega Mega Drive: symbol of lost youth for a generation torn between the analogue and the digital age.
Synth strings follow the vocal melody somewhat with effortless simplicity, still that beat gently blooping with its semi-tropical snips of sharp percussion, decayed bass rolling itself around the bottom end of the track with a reserved attitude, wobbling slightly like the blurred edges of memories that make you laugh and cry, the whole thing pockmarked with indistinct shouts of "hey!" rising up as if somebody's trying to wake you up from a dream.
The aesthetic Sui Zhen has employed here is one that seeps into your spirit, cradles your sense of self with a forlorn feeling, effuses the reverie of the past from a chasm of abstract memories. It's like… the sense of unutterable longing for childhood and all its beautiful accoutrements, its comfort and its wonder and the sense of time being elongated into a fantasy future as yet undisturbed and waiting to be discovered, happy days of innocence and simplicity. That's how I understand it anyway.
- 'Mega Drive' is taken from Sui Zhen's very very recent EP, Body Reset, a beautiful collection of introspective songs much in the same vein as this one, exploring "the resetting of both body and mind" and "influenced as much by late nights in Koenji, Tokyo as at an onsen/sauna in the mountains of Nagano," and released by boutique Tokyo-based label eskers.
- Purchase Body Reset on tape cassette here. (Also, don't you just love the art? The green and pink colours go together just perfectly~).
- Sui Zhen was part of the Red Bull Music Academy in 2010, alongside Daisuke Tanabe, and has previously worked with Andras Fox as Sui + Fox.