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)

This music sounds like what we thought future would sound like in the late 80s and early 90s. It’s the Sega Mega Drive as an album but in HD and super slick. These future funk ultra hyper disco synths make me want to eat foot long sherbert straws and play arcade games. SUPER FUN. For those who dig: the goofy electro futurism of Justice, Thundercat when he’s being a nerd, PC Music, future funk, Japanese synth pop… – Limited Addition Records

weird, unexpected, more than likely not right – but ridiculously enjoyable – Cyclic Defrost

it exists on its own plane…a feel-good album, one that can instantly transport listeners to an imaginative alternate universe that draws from past fiction, but looks towards the futureAudio Femme

a strong EP that pays homage to the bouncy melodies, slinky synths, video game influenced sonics and playful motifs associated with 80’s New Wave and synth-pop…Crystal has a winner in their hands – Scientific Inquirer

…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

delightful and dizzying bit of techno-pop throwback – Make Believe Melodies

très futuristique et décalé – Djolo

If there is a band that not only combines the pastel-bright to squeaky-colored sound colors, but also the avant-garde-optimistic, retrofuturistic spirit of the Yellow Magic Orchestra, the experimental, but always pop-affine way of working and thinking, the limber machine funk in a crisp, clear and everlasting pop into the present time, then the Tokyo duo Crystal – Groove

synth funk retro futuristaMickeys 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’s music always feels a little bit like constructivist art: A red triangle here, a blue square there, a black squiggle or two, all set in arrangements of bold, jagged simplicity – Yes/No Music

ベイパーウェーブ以降の80’sインスパイアながら世界観の作り込みに余念が無く、一切の“ヌルさ”を感じさせない内容…天然なのか確信犯なのか判然としない傑作 – Sound & Recording Magazine

シンセポップというよりは、そのジャンルはむしろ、YMOなどを経由しながらもP-Funk的なものにより近い、強力なデジタル·ファンクという位置付けの方が妥当だろう。つまり、そこには当然過去も存在するが、加えて未来へ向けた強靭さや…「きわどい曲を作る」というCRYSTALが持つ独創的なユーモアも詰まっているUncanny

フューチャリスティックでサイバーな質感をまといながらも、骨っぽいファンクや、80年代のテクノ・ポップ、更には当時のシンセ歌謡的な雰囲気すら引き寄せた内容は、現在世界的なトレンドとなっている〈ニュー・レトロ〉的世界観とも強く触れ合う – Mikiki

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