Hotel Mexico + Jesse Ruins + Sapphire Slows: “Yubiwa”
“Yubiwa” is the Japanese DIY-recording scene’s equivalent of The Avengers, a long-awaited meeting of some of the most popular bedroom-based projects in the country today. This song brings together the shadowy Jesse Ruins (signed to Captured Tracks), swirling-pop maker Sapphire Slows (Not Not Fun) and the hazy rock of Hotel Mexico (Double Denim). Despite having connections with Western labels, “Yubiwa”arrives as a limited-run cassette and digital download, with all profits going towards victims of last year’s Tohoku earthquake. Each contributing artist manages to standout sonically over “Yubiwa’s” nearly six-minute playtime, but no single one dominates the song, with all three styles striking a captivating balance. Hotel Mexico’s guitars, drums and singing drive the song forward, while Sapphire Slows fills the remaining space with clouds of synth and vocals. Jesse Ruins, meanwhile, adds electronic touches that give “Yubiwa” the same other-worldly sound and just-before-sleep feel as the project’s individual work. It’s a great showing for all three artists involved, but an even better triumph for Japan’s ambitious DIY music scene.
Only 100 copies of the cassette are available, though folks outside of Japan can buy the track digitally on Bandcamp
Written by Patrick St. Michel