Wednesday, 1 January 2014

MIII EVERYTHING HAPPENS TO YOU

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL. What is a good way to start the New Year? With a list of resolutions and things to change about yourself, like some kind of end-of-year self-assessment? Maybe. I mean, it's not a bad thing to do; there's always room for improvement. One of mine will be to get up earlier. Because I woke up today on the 1st January 2014 and saw a glimpse of daylight – by the time I got to the window again it was dark. So I'm gonna wake up earlier. I'll have to hold me to that.

In other news, you could always just, I dunno, listen to a nice song that seems to be full of the promise of a New Year ahead, full of the potential and possibilities in each of these next few hundred days. Buuuut then again it's not so good to look far into the future. What is a good way to live, in that sense? Day-to-day? But then you like, can't have a calendar can you? What am I saying— this is nonsense. I've gotta stop and just introduce this song to you now.

It comes from Tokyo-dwelling 21-year-old Japanese producer called miii (real name: Mizuki Wada, who's also in band The Wedding Mistakes as well as being writer/editor for magazine, UNCANNY) and it is called 'Everything Happens To You' – whether that's in a positive-yet-envious or negative-yet-sympathetic sense, who knows, but it's certainly uplifting – it has an atmosphere to fit both a cathartic cure for being envious and a life-affirming pop of energy for those trampled by life's problems. It works wonders. Have a listen.

This is an genreless track in one sense, infused with things from pop, hip hop, juke, classical, but in another you can kind of rest it comfortably beneath the umbrella of Shibuya-kei and be done with it. If you're having trouble with it, that is. I know some people love their labels. But there are so many beautiful things in this song – from the eternal backing of an ever-so-slightly mournful organ to the occasional stabs of jaunty piano, to name just a couple. Then there's that plaintive flute synth melody running over the top – the song's refrain, and perhaps where most of its positive feeling comes from.

That's not all, of course. There's the indomitable beat, flying from here to there in maddening cycles of hi-hat fidgets, snare rolls and the odd woodblock tock, providing necksnapping bubbles of dynamism when it needs to. Then there's the vocal samples, which at times seem to follow the bass of the song (or vice versa) in a great partnership, giving it this gorgeously cute affiliation with harder, more urban music in an out-of-place yet genius stroke that often flavours this type of music. Then, and finally, there's the ending: squelching synth bass joins in with other sounds that appear out of the mix, finding affinity alongside the emotion-filled strings that rise up too; it's a whole mash of noises that suddenly fades into the winsome glare of the organ chords that led us into the song.

It's quite beautiful and it is the lead track from the EP of the same name Everything Happens To You, which is out as MARU-128 I-don't-know-when on the unique Japanese netlabel Maltine Records, who release everything on their site as a free download. On that note, I guess I should say that you can download one of miii's previous releases from Maltine, namely his Sunlight Disco EP (click!) if you want to.



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