[sic] Magazine

Japanese Gum – End Of Summer EP

This Genoa based, electronica duo pleased us greatly with their last album ‘Hey Folks! Nevermind, We Are All Falling Down!’ Not because it was a crafted, varied masterwork, but rather an unrelenting thrill ride that never dipped in quality. Also, because Japanese Gum are a bit odd. There is something crackpot about these guys’ vision – something unhinged. Maybe this is off-putting for some but for many others who enjoy a little eccentricity in their music it’s another reason for loving JapGum.

End Of Summer is truly bizarre. More than ever before, JapGum are pushing the envelope. These three songs are loose, unfocused and indistinct. The individual components all seem to be doing something different. Vocals are murmurs, flitting and flickering around the mix like fireflies.

Opening track ‘Eyes’ is the prettiest. Yet it has the feel of a closing track. And when I say closing, I mean stacking the chairs, locking the doors and saying goodnight to the Nightporter on your way out. Lacking definition, yet stately, ‘Eyes’ is a bizarre way to begin an EP. But that’s JapGum; half-arsed, slovenly yet still impressive for it. They’re the Dinosaur Jr of electronic.

‘In The Shadow Of A Hood’ is better. Like a chant emerging from eerie synth it gives the impression of building toward something and then just suspends. ‘Negatives Of Unborn Photographs’, with its loose, reggae vibe is the best of the lot. The bassline appears from behind clouds of effects like a great bird descending from the sky. This is electro trip hop of the most sombre variety. The trajectory here is ever downward. Imagine a mixture of Smoke City‘s, ‘Underwater Love’ (Levi ad) and New Order‘s, ‘We All Stand’.

They treated us more on the album but End Of Summer proves that JapGum have still got it. They’re the flakiest end of season chill out party hosts imaginable.

End Of Summer is available for free download now via the link below.