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by proswell

Amaterasu 03:33
Rakusui 04:31
CRT 02:57
Usanpo 04:15
Mori-Shio 03:12
Amanogawa 04:52
Ikiryo 03:03
Kannazuki 03:18
Yuki-Onna 02:25
Tenmo 02:51
Take-Noko 03:22
Taut Lip 03:34
TMF xxx 04:10


It's a new year and a new start for most, but Touched Music continue with what they've been doing all along and throw down a refreshing release to help along the moody month of February.

Proswell (of Merck, Schematic & Eerik Inpuj Sound) puts his veteran skills to good use and channels the power of the Goddess of the Sun & Universe, and rightly so names his latest album after her - 'Amaterasu' is a great way to start off the year.

Taking its name from the title, the opening track truly does shine in the heavens with other-worldly beats and soundscapes that take me from track to track without hesitation, and it's just the kind of thing I need in my life right now.

There's a definite Asian influence here with throwback sounds to video games aplenty, riffs and melodies that rival some of the best Japanese soundtracks out there. Some of the beats and blips couldn't have been executed better even if Proswell decided to Address the Yamaha YM2612 sound chip found in the Sega Mega Drive directly himself.

'Usanpo' is a lovely weird little track, with funny syncopation and a very low and muted rolling bass sound. All the while it's carried through with a steady marching pace with plenty of stops and variation - and then all the pent-up energy from previous minutes comes out at once, an outpour of rhythm and stab to finish things off. The style of this track flows over to the later-appearing 'Take-Noko', using heavy delays & sudden bursts of rhythm that leave a lasting impact after each phrase, quickly becoming my go-to tracks.

With a bold beat, 'Amanogawa' starts out eccentric start but stabilises nicely, it's another track that boasts a fantastic ending, as do many on this release. The sinister tones of 'Ikiryo' give way to even more sinister tones in 'Kannazuki', with scatterings of electro beats and consistent dark feelings.

Never having really explored chip-tune too heavily, I'm surprised that I enjoy 'Yukionna' - it's a really good use of the style and has none of the harshness I would expect from a song of the genre. It displays itself as a valid use of the techniques and fits in very nicely where it is placed in the flow of things.

The whole album is defined by unexpected cadence and harmony, sometimes dissonant and it's very jazz like. He knows the rules but he's choosing to break them anyway, this is never more apparent than in tracks like 'Morishio', that combines all the feelings experienced so far and feels like I'm in a smoky neo-Kawasaki underground drinking hole - a perfect mix of glide and vibrato that feels like a Streets of Rage level on steroids.

To top it all off I couldn't be happier with the last track, having spent most of 2012 listening to both Gareth Clarke & Mark Swift, this takes me right back with a fusion of British seaside Wurlitzer charm and ever-changing melody and drum programming - top stuff.

Available as a limited run of 100 CDs* with very pretty artwork like a walk in springtime Ueno Park, and as a digital release in all your favourite formats.

* Sold Out :<


released January 31, 2020

Audio + Artwork by Joseph Misra
Mastered By Loz Grover
Originally on Touched Music


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proswell Chicago, Illinois

co-curator of eerik inpuj sound + early 2000s merck records alumnus

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