You may well of heard the singles, released late 2018, early 2019, as limited coveted 45s. But there’s a now an album from Japan’s Coastlines. A collaboration between DJ / Producer Masanori Ikeda and Takumi Kaneko, keyboardist with the power trio, Cro-Magnon.
The album collects the four tracks from those singles, and expands their number out to ten. Sampling surf rolling in and segueing between them. All Cantoma-esque Nova Bossa Novas. Bumping on sunset with Leon Lowman. Moving to the rhythm of a gentle tide, and characterized by cascading keys. The Jazz-informed piano solos betraying Takumi`s time spent studying in New York. The bold beats borrowed from House`s boom, and set to a “Balearic” chug, serving as a reminder that Masanori was DJing in London when everything went Acieeed.
Ralph McDonald`s East Dry River gets covered. As does Azymuth`s Last Summer In Rio. The latter perhaps the album’s centerpiece. A near ten minutes of slapped bass and steel pans, that sounds like Marcos Valle seducing Mtume. There are more steel pans on Maracas Bay. A laidback Reggae lilt. Japanese Lovers. Like Sexy TKO or Little Tempo. Sakamoto`s You’re A Friend To Me. The closing Down Town is a subtly strung, uplifting end-of-the-night Boogie.
Originally born out of soundtrack commission, and conceived as a kind of Library Music homage, Coastlines is neither cliche nor trope. Their compositions instead are a stripped back Fusion. Like the classic arrangements of their legendary 80s counterparts. Musicians such as Hiroshi Sato, bands like Casiopea. The production though is very much Now, not then. Not retro, just proper.
You can order a physical copy of Coastlines directly from Flower Records.