J.O.Y. : Sunplus 12
I have to hand it to DFA Records. I was skeptical at first. Everything I read about the New York dance collective and label suggested that they were just too cool for school — hipper-than-thou arbiters of “in.” And for the record, I never believed in any of that crap. But they changed The Rapture from Gang of Four Jr. to a legitimately amazing dancepunk combo. And they were responsible for unleashing Black Dice into the world. Being a fan of both Echoes and Creature Comforts, I quickly became a fan of the label and all of the projects to bear its name.
One of the newest singles on the New York electro-hub is “Sunplus,” a freaked-out bizarre dance track by Japanese duo K.U.D.O. and Kan Takagi. Thanks to a vocal performance by The Boredoms’ Yoshimi P-We, the track is lent a squeal-y, unsettling primal identity, though its music and percussion are plenty out there on their own.
It’s weird, there’s no doubt about that, but “Sunplus” is a surprisingly accessible, almost go-go like psychedelic dance track. The bassline shimmies and shakes, while Yoshimi sings and squeaks over a groovin’ beat chock full of bell sounds and other weird inclusions. The track comes off as a cross between Pizzicato Five and Animal Collective, as it sounds fun and kitschy, but completely offbeat and unconventional.
The remix on the flipside is equally fun, though less retro sounding and more sample-heavy. It’s not too far removed from Bjork’s “Human Behavior,” though a lot less radio friendly. Yet, it too is accessible and enjoyable, despite a reluctance to stick to conventional structure and melody.
Though “Sunplus” is just one single (albeit one with a remix), it’s a fine double-sider that’ll give you a pleasant distraction for a few minutes. And you can dance to it, too.
Bjork – Human Behavior
Black Dice – Cone Toaster
Emergency Broadcast Network – 3:7:8
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.