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Friday, Nov. 21, 2008

LISTENING POST

CD REVIEW

Capsule "More! More! More!"


Often dismissed in their early days as a poor man's Pizzicato 5, Capsule nevertheless quickly formed a reputation for themselves as torchbearers into the new millennium of the 1990s Shibuya-kei boom. However, as Pizzicato 5's Yasuharu Konishi's flirtations with manufactured pop as a producer working with Kyoko Fukada and Aya Matsuura never really influenced the mainstream, Capsule's Yasutaka Nakata dropped a bomb into the heart of J-pop with his electro-heavy work behind pop acts such as Meg and Perfume.

With "More! More! More!," Nakata seems to have taken the lessons from his mainstream success and applied them to his own band project. The 1990s Shibuya-kei influence is long gone, replaced by heavy electro synths and dance beats. Obviously drawn from the same place as Nakata's recent work with Perfume (particularly the trio's album title track "Game" and the excellent recent B-side "Edge"), "More! More! More!" nevertheless pushes the sound in a harder, more uncompromising direction, revealing how much he has been holding back in his more mainstream work.

As a followup to 2007's "Flash Back," it develops existing themes, with the glitter beat of "Phantom" inviting more comparisons with experimental postrock band Battles than Perfume, and "Pleasure Ground" demonstrating Nakata's love of Daft Punk. It's a thrilling, well-produced piece of work; however, while Capsule certainly have a grip on the zeitgeist right now, once the mainstream hype dies away, "More! More! More!" is likely to date quickly.


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