CRYSTAL Reflection Overdrive

CAT No. FLAU91
Release Date: 2021-05-07
Format: DIGITAL/LP

東京のシンセディオ、クリスタル5年ぶり2枚目のアルバムは、相変わらずの80sなフィーリングながらもフューチャーファンクとテクノ歌謡のフレイバー強めな大注目作。近年はクラブ寄りのかっこいい路線の曲も多かったものの、きわどい曲を作るというコンセプトに立ち返り、YMO、1986オメガトライブ、米米クラブ、一風堂などを思わせる歌ものにも果敢に挑戦。変わらない過剰なシンセと前作よりも少し肉体的なリズム感で迫ります。

Late 2020 saw the release of CRYSTAL’s Ecco Funk EP, inspired by 1992 Sega Megadrive classic Ecco the Dolphin. And hot off the back of those small-scale synth explorations, the duo kick things off in 2021 with their second full-length release, Reflection Overdrive.

The scene is set with YMO-inspired ‘Disco na Koi’, a bouncy track that also takes melodic cues from John Lennon’s ‘Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him’. Between the phasing chords and kalimba synth, Ryota Miyake (vocals, composition) stretches out his voice with lines about microbes dancing in a forest.

CRYSTAL has always been experimental, but this album sees the duo returning to their roots — taking a retro-futurist approach to synth but refitting it with bold, modern sensibilities. But inspiration also seeps into the release via ‘90s pop outfits like KomeKome Club, WINK and Ippu-do, further solidifying the duo’s unique sound that steers clear of city pop revivalism.

True to form, frenetic basslines rip through the album: tracks like the ‘Phantom Gizmo’, strewn with MIDI, and the album reworking of Ecco Funk’s titular single. Elsewhere, Matias Aguayo lends his talents to ‘Kimi wa Monster’, complete with its angular, collage construction, and Vincent Ruiz playing bass on the frantic ‘Taxi Hard’, which sounds something akin to a cosmic racetrack.

But CRYSTAL’s latest outing isn’t always about breakneck speed. It also takes time to sit and reflect. One moment you’re swimming through space age undersea soundscapes in the form of ‘The Golden Disc’ — a nod to Sheila E. — the next you’re in the midst of Gorillaz-esque melancholy in ‘TV Fuzz’, featuring Julián Mayorga on vocals.

With influences taken from far and wide, Reflection Overdrive is true to its name: a mirror held up to music, styles and artists that have come before, all reflected through a magnifying lens of boundless creativity for a true journey of an album.

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Track List

Disco na Koi
Phantom Gizmo
Taxi Hard (feat. Vincent Ruiz)

Northern Taurids

Ecco Funk (Album Version)

Solidary Sonar

TV Fuzz (feat. Julián Mayorga)

Kimi Wa Monster feat. Matias Aguayo (Album Version)

The Golden Disc

Refraction Overdrive

Slow Universe

Press Quotes

Reflection Overdrive incorporates city pop, electro synthesizers, video game aesthetics, techno, and new wave influences – Vinyl Factory

Bouncy, playful electronic music from the Japanese duo with the delightfully cheesy madcap air of ’80s and ’90s video game soundtracks – Bandcamp (new & notable)

…vibrant with racing synth and neon basslines; original work from a different timeADSR Collective

beautiful addictionIggy Magazine

retro-future. fusion-galore. Shimmy-excellence – Comeherefloyd

wonderful Japanese playfulness
Beatrader

très futuristique et décalé – Djolo

synth funk retro futurista – Mickeys Weekly

The guys share the style with all their hearts, dive headlong into the old-school pop sound of the 80s and this nostalgic performance will definitely become a cult among vaporwave connoisseurs – Myshka

CRYSTAL Reflection Overdrive

CAT No. FLAU91
Release Date: 2021-05-07
Format: DIGITAL/LP

Track List

Disco na Koi
Phantom Gizmo
Taxi Hard (feat. Vincent Ruiz)

Northern Taurids

Ecco Funk (Album Version)

Solidary Sonar

TV Fuzz (feat. Julián Mayorga)

Kimi Wa Monster feat. Matias Aguayo (Album Version)

The Golden Disc

Refraction Overdrive

Slow Universe

東京のシンセディオ、クリスタル5年ぶり2枚目のアルバムは、相変わらずの80sなフィーリングながらもフューチャーファンクとテクノ歌謡のフレイバー強めな大注目作。近年はクラブ寄りのかっこいい路線の曲も多かったものの、きわどい曲を作るというコンセプトに立ち返り、YMO、1986オメガトライブ、米米クラブ、一風堂などを思わせる歌ものにも果敢に挑戦。変わらない過剰なシンセと前作よりも少し肉体的なリズム感で迫ります。

Late 2020 saw the release of CRYSTAL’s Ecco Funk EP, inspired by 1992 Sega Megadrive classic Ecco the Dolphin. And hot off the back of those small-scale synth explorations, the duo kick things off in 2021 with their second full-length release, Reflection Overdrive.

The scene is set with YMO-inspired ‘Disco na Koi’, a bouncy track that also takes melodic cues from John Lennon’s ‘Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him’. Between the phasing chords and kalimba synth, Ryota Miyake (vocals, composition) stretches out his voice with lines about microbes dancing in a forest.

CRYSTAL has always been experimental, but this album sees the duo returning to their roots — taking a retro-futurist approach to synth but refitting it with bold, modern sensibilities. But inspiration also seeps into the release via ‘90s pop outfits like KomeKome Club, WINK and Ippu-do, further solidifying the duo’s unique sound that steers clear of city pop revivalism.

True to form, frenetic basslines rip through the album: tracks like the ‘Phantom Gizmo’, strewn with MIDI, and the album reworking of Ecco Funk’s titular single. Elsewhere, Matias Aguayo lends his talents to ‘Kimi wa Monster’, complete with its angular, collage construction, and Vincent Ruiz playing bass on the frantic ‘Taxi Hard’, which sounds something akin to a cosmic racetrack.

But CRYSTAL’s latest outing isn’t always about breakneck speed. It also takes time to sit and reflect. One moment you’re swimming through space age undersea soundscapes in the form of ‘The Golden Disc’ — a nod to Sheila E. — the next you’re in the midst of Gorillaz-esque melancholy in ‘TV Fuzz’, featuring Julián Mayorga on vocals.

With influences taken from far and wide, Reflection Overdrive is true to its name: a mirror held up to music, styles and artists that have come before, all reflected through a magnifying lens of boundless creativity for a true journey of an album.

KEEP READING