For Immediate Release – AMR-36
AMR release: MIRUGA “BE FREE” – AMR-36R
Hayward, CA, USA – Wednesday February 17, 2016 – Altered Moods Recordings makes its first artist foray into Asia, more specifically, it sets its sights on Nagano, Japan, where it finds a fertile and quickly expanding underground scene and one of its key players, Yoshiki Tsuchiya, also known as Miruga.
Miruga has made a big splash in his relatively short arc as an underground artist. He came out strong in 2012 with “Human Tube” on Anton Zap’s bellwether Ethereal Sound label after a full-length digital album on Logos Recordings two years prior. The Ethereal Sounds release brought V/A opportunities on Statik Entertainment, Rawthenticity, and Badance, as well as a guest appearance on Keith Worthy’s worldly Aesthetic Audio label with “The Unusual Suspects, Vol. 1.”
It’s that connection that was the clincher for us to sign him – not because of that label’s notoriety, but because of how well Miruga attends to his craft. The most obvious benefit? Pads…when is the last time you’ve heard a song that was filled with pads? The trend of today’s “deep house” is acidic basslines and metric tons of percussion, and little else. But that is not how deep house emerged as a genre in the early to mid ’90s…in fact, in many tracks from that era, percussion and bass took a back seat to tapestries of dulcet tones with long attacks and releases – “walls of sound.” But today’s “deep house” cuts focus on filling dancefloors and the pad has retreated into the shadows, a forlorn, neglected element of a bygone era.
Not on this release. Miruga fills every nook and cranny of every track with delicious pad goodness. Just like how deep house tracks should be. Percussion is there, and it has a purpose…moving the listener through the various intricate chapters of each story. “Be Free”, the title track of the EP, starts off with a wispy, airy flute that intertwines with the pad and lifts you skyward. A funky, sparse bassline develops shortly afterward, and a sultry voice that reminds us all of the obvious (and yet, somehow, we always forget – perhaps we need more of it?) soon joins the fray.
“Blizzard” is the more charged, floor-friendlier track on Side S. Where you’ll find yourself sitting and looking out of the window at raindrops and overcast skies with “Be Free,” “Blizzard” roots itself on the floor quickly and confidently. A chugging, thick bassline gives away to even more pads that fold in and against one another. The pads warble through the remainder of the track as it builds into a peak where triangles dance lightly amongst the cacophony of drums, bass, and those lovely sweet analogue pads.
The back side of the wax features a dark, steamy midnight creeper in “Blue Space,” a controlled yet spastic ride at speeds far too high to mention on public roads. Ginsu-knife open hats set the tone and quickly propel the track forward. But what’s crazy is that Miruga drops in a piano as a lead to move you through the story. Just when you think there’s too much pad to be had, it gets ferociously cut to let the bareness of the track (along with the sharp drums underneath) show.
Finally, “The Old Beauty” … a beauty of a track and a harkening to the old days of deep house, where pads ruled and nobody gave a fuck where you played it. There’s no pretense here – one pad, one chord, with the rest of the track built firmly around it. First, the chugging percussion builds up, then Miruga brings in a piano bathed in reverb. For the piece de resistance, he brings in yet another piano and a second pad that weaves sonically around the first. This combination lifts our spirits every time we hear it.
And that is why we are happy to welcome Miruga as our newest member of the Altered Moods Recordings Collective. This vinyl only release will be available February 18, 2016.