害-TUNES Records V.A vol.1
This is a strange one, an indie label sampler that I picked up at Koenji’s Emban store. The title, “害虫曼荼羅”, seems to translate to “Bad Insect Mandala”, I think… Anyway, it’s from a label called 害-TUNES Records, which from the contents of the CDR seems to specialize in a sort of low-fi electronic hip-hop thing — a bit like if Osaka’s scum-rock scene were more urban-influenced. The vocals all have a rapping sort of flow to them, even when they’re just talking or shouting over cheap beats and noise.
The songs are dominated by two artists primarily (I say artists because who knows if each is a band or just one guy), 土支田MELLTZ (Doshita MELLTZ) and hipnohopss. Both follow the same template, which is to construct some trashy rhythm out of a drum machine or a synth, and then layer noise, synth bloops, and/or vocal shouts over it. hipnohopss tends more to the noise side: “NERVOUS” is just sheets of static over a low-end rumble as voices moan and shout. 土支田MELLTZ gets more beat-centric, though sometimes the beat is just a chugging synth rhythm.
Other artists include 芯グループ (aka “core group” I guess), with a couple of long tracks of chanting/spoken vocals over electronic grinding or bleeping; and audio貞子, who tosses in two trashy collage pieces.
If you’re curious about low-fi noisy work with a definite hip-hop influence, this could be worth checking out. See the label’s MySpace page for more info.