Seven years ago the name Soichi Terada was rejected in the cultural spirit of the time. So far, the Japanese manufacturer has been largely silent, but this downtime has not been undeserved. After all, Terada was one of the artists responsible for the direction of Japanese house in the late 90’s and 2000’s. On his way Far Eastern records impprint, he formulated a deep house that stretched out of the jungle as easily as from oriental instruments, merging its cultural identity and perspective into a form that was dominated by Europe at the time. Terada the sound will have a stunning impact on the direction of club music, and his penchant for retro-syntax and borderline aesthetics will lead him to write soundtracks for games PlayStation. But as tastes evolved and changed, Terada retreated rather than succumb to the following tendencies. It took him a while to rephrase his next move after the peak, which inevitably changed the direction of the genre and changed the way people thought about the possibilities of music in video games. His reappearance in 2015 was not in full form; Sounds from the Far East was a retrospective compilation Terada a slightly forgotten work of the 90s, released on the field of the modern scene. The trial was successful, and Terada was again the focus of house music.
After this renewed interest in his work, the producer began to create new material. The result is there Asakusa light, his first album of original work in 25 years. Time could not be more perfect. Recently, nostalgia has become a powerful currency in dance music. After a global shutdown and a wave of electronic musicians seeking to create music inspired by the experience of isolation, the world is ready to dance again. It brings with it a craving for safer times, familiar space and a bygone era of club culture. The Y2K aesthetic movement at its peak. And the sound of the classic house of the 90s is being revived in club chains such as Honey Dijon or Weisseven making its way into the mainstream Gaga and Grimes. Terada incredibly fits into this conversation. He seems to be aware of that as well. Asakusa light it’s an album created on the same vintage synthesizers he used to compose his own Escape the monkey soundtracks and the same drum machines that provided the heartbeat of his 90s home. It’s an exercise in nostalgia inspired by the past, but Terada bet on the present. Speaking of the beginning of the album, Terada noted: “I tried to remember my feelings 30 years ago, but when I tried, it was very difficult for me.” The key to his access to this archive was his tools. “I’ve tried various methods, including digging up my old MIDI data and compiling, recalling old experiences.” And yes Asakusa light traces not only Terada reclamation of the dance floor, but rebuilding itself.
Download and stream Asakusa light here
The music on this album is classic, familiar, but the advantage of modern recording equipment means it Terada Never has a house sounded brighter and fuller of life. Bamboo Fighter takes a familiar house riff and adds a sonic, logical bass line, while waves of reto-synthesizers overflow the background. Then that would be stylish Crystal waters the vocal sample style instead comes in the form of a shakuhachi refrain. The effect is the same, if not more, exquisite and seductive than any pattern. Double spire this is a classic glossy Piano House, as it is Marimba although this track also touches on 8-bit breaks, video game accents and trip-hop percussion phrases. Marimba seems to take all the parts that make up Terada, from its origins in hip-hop to compositions for video games, and combine them into a magnificent four-minute retrospective. Video games continue to flourish elsewhere. On From duskthey add the energy of a new wave imbued with neon to a soft home Takusambient opens with loud 8-bit signals that pinge apart in space. So far Terada unquestionably revisits the past Asakusa light, he manages to avoid getting into something stereotypical. Although his choices and aesthetic palette of music here are rooted in the past, they sound classic rather than outdated.
Terada the music was always impeccably tuned; unreasonable, simple and sharp. His skill of weaving warm, down-to-earth notes of organic instruments with alien synthesizers and shaky bass is second to none, never creating anything that may seem dirty or out of sync. This makes the audition incredibly clean. Asakusa light bounces, overflows and sometimes dissolves into the world around, flooding everything with its sunny, neon glow. It’s a moment of full circle, not so much a return as a return home. This Terada reappears at a time when the sound he has helped to form may be more relevant than ever before, his presence is not just necessary. This is essential.
Listen Bamboo Fighter from Asakusa light below.
Watch out for Soichi Terada
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | SoundCloud
Soichi Terada – Light of Asakus