The Bearsuit label continues to enhance its reputation as our foremost purveyors of quirky and innovative oddities with pretty much everything they put out. This release from Tokyo's Hayato Takeuchi continues this fine run, blending delightful pop melodies with departures into the bizarre over five tracks of some of the most engaging music you'll hear this year.
Exactly what you'd expect from Bearsuit, in other words. Takeuchi once recorded under the name Bubbly Folks and recorded a track for the label's excellent compilation Tomato Sauce Lasers, Sausage Lassos two years ago. The track he contributed then offers a hint of what's on offer here but it's Takeuchi's fondness for repeatedly bemusing, surprising and delighting the listener that makes this such a great listening experience.
The word 'repeatedly' is used advisedly because that's essentially how it begins, with the repetitive, hypnotic 'Etude G-12', but lest you think this experimental masterpiece will lay its mighty footprints across whole the collection, be prepared to be danced around in a kind of Mr Kite-like daze to the big top extravaganza that is 'Mr Henderson No Ai To Replica', a wonderful piece of whimsy that features in my Dandelion Radio show this month.
From there, you're not so much dragged back to earth as propelled into space ready for the head-journey that is 'Anata To Watashi No Kyoukaisen', which ends the album with a cosmic embrace that leaves you somewhere between the mind thrill of a Stephen Baxter novel and an encounter with The Clangers.
It's great, in other words. Get it here.