J-Pop Will Eat Itself
Do As Infinity



in this series, clicks’n’cuts dilettante Francis Henville describes his descent into the netherworld of Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean commercial pop. Track by track, he navigates deeper into the genre, searching for ever-more-toothsome morsels with which to satiate his jaded appetite…

Do As Infinity
Buranko, from Gates of Heaven


Goosebumps ripple over my skin whenever this song begins. The first sound is Tomiko Van inhaling for a second before she belts out the first repetition of the chorus. After two syllables the band drops in, and with it the icy bitter euphoria of nostalgia.

Guitars in the world of Do As Infinity are whittled from bamboo and strung with steel spiderwebs. Flutes ripen on the branches of trees and whistle when the wind blows. Breakbeats are your footsteps. If you crack open an egg, you’ll find a tiny violin inside.

There are too many ways to love this song. The hook that sets up the verse will get stuck in your head. The shift in key signature during the pre-chorus sets up the chorus deliciously. The sustained chord that ends the chorus is resolved at the last possible moment.

For me the best part is during the second verse when we’re offered an unexpected (but not uncommon) “telephone vocal”—the whole mix is processed to remove the low and high frequencies. What’s original about DAI’s use of the technique is their application of turntablist reverse sounds that transition us back to the regular arrangement.

If there’s one thing I’d attack, it’d be the “hard rocking” lead guitar lines delivered by Ryou Oowatari. (Man, do I ever hate hard rocking!!) But they aren’t particularly long or distracting, so I live with them.

With “Buranko,” DAI have proved their mastery of songcraft and structure. The piece always seems to lift higher. The melodies, chord structures and arrangement all contribute to the expertly modulated alternations between tension and release. How appropriate, then, that the title of the song means “swing”.

A song made from the following ingredients: oranges, silicon, cucumber, aluminum, wine, dust, salt, concrete and bicycles.



By: Francis Henville
Published on: 2004-09-02
Comments (2)
 

 
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