Mihimaru GT


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Mihimaru GT spends a lot of time bridging gaps. On Mihimarise, they specifically bridge the gaps between J-urban/R&B and J-pop, between J-pop and turntable-heavy hip-hop, and at least briefly between pop and reggae. The album opens in standard form for the duo, with a series of high tempo pieces and a bouncing backing mix that allows the two included styles (rapper Miyake and songbird Hiroko) to play off of one another repeatedly, and for the more sultry lyrics to slink around the harder-edged rap portions. After a grandiose and classical introduction, the sound morphs its way into relatively safe territory, pieces of turntablism scattered throughout songs are buoyed up by Hiroko's vocals. There's a healthy dose of pop throughout, though the resulting genre is never made entirely clear. The duo seems content to trade off styles from song to song, never settling on one genre or energy level. Between verses or vocal accentuations, bursts of scratching and beat juggling fill the gaps. Between verses of spoken word or rap delivery, hints of lighter vocals fill the gaps. There's never a space to fill, a seam to join. Despite this, the pair is able to make their sound somewhat expansive, not becoming closed in as such dense productions normally would be. There's never a dull moment here, making Mihimarise a decent choice for the intrepid listener curious about the band. As a special treat, there are appearances here from both Kusuo and Tokita Shintarou (half of Sukima Switch).