PUT THIS IN YOUR DEN to take a trip through the auditory landscapes of Japan via the palette of Bodikhuu. Absolutely killer in the diversity, this beat tape somehow never loses its conceptual focus. Completely rad and a must own for those who dig instrumental hip hop.
Available on pink iridescent swirl vinyl, limited to 100
Mongolian producer Bodikhuu takes a sonic journey through Japan in the form of 13 instrumental hip-hop vignettes. A rich collage of cast-off sounds and razor sharp interpolations of city pop, obscure Japanese jazz, and 80s J-pop, all expertly chopped up on one of the few MPC-1000s in Ulaanbaatar.
"I wanted to portray the 80s Japanese atmosphere through my style,” Bodikhuu writes from his home in Ulaanbaatar, the coldest capital city on earth. “Even though I have never been there, this is my way of saying that I have seen the place.”
Unable to travel to Japan, Bodikhuu instead conjures an imagined city through sound. “Tokyo” evokes the neon, sweat, traffic, exhaust, gloaming towers and “monotonous lonely lives” of the sprawling megalopolis through its music. The album is a rich collage of cast-off sounds and razor sharp interpolations of city pop, obscure Japanese jazz, and 80s J-pop, all expertly chopped up on one of the few MPC-1000s in Ulaanbaatar. Faded voices over thundering drums give tracks like “Office Melancholia” and “Subway” a sense of place and emotional weight uncommon in beat tapes. In our new reality, where we all yearn for places we can’t reach, Bodikhuu’s lonesome aural sojourns hit especially hard.
“Tokyo” builds on the international success of 2019’s “Rio/Bodianova” (the first Mongolian hip-hop record on vinyl), which found Bodi traveling through Rio on a lush bed of 1970s bossa nova and tropicalia. On this album, we’re jet-propelled into the 80s - all smooth surfaces, shimmering synths, and twinkling lights. Collaged cut-up artwork by Digital Sting (FeelFree Hi-Fi), warm analog master from Dave Vettraino (International Anthem) and loud-cut 160gm vinyl from Smashed Plastic in Chicago complement Bodikhuu’s considered beats.