TRACKS FROM THE DEEP WEB: Takako Minekawa, "Plash"

Takako Minekawa - "Plash" (Fun 9, 1999)

Care to guess which keyword I put into Google to stumble upon this track? “Japanese electronic music”? “Shibuya-kei”? Actually I asked the search engine a genuine question: “who’s the woman behind the Playstation ads?” You know, the one who says "Playstation” in that voice. Turns out it belongs to Takako Minekawa, whose contribution to a piece of the video game franchise isn’t even the most notable thing in her long career.

Her most known album is 1996′s Roomic Cube, a Shibuya-kei classic. The musicians in the niche Japanese scene of the ‘90s took inspiration from old, obscure vinyl imports bought from their nearby record store. For her album, Minekawa took upon a collection of jazz, ‘60s French pop, and early electronic music. As the record’s “Fantastic Cat” might attest, she wrote a collection of spaced-out pop that mashed together her listening habits.

By the time she got to “Plash,” though, her influences crested into a more solidified jazz pop. Its home album, Fun 9, gets more stoned out than this; “Fantastic Voyage” sounds like a bong rip not unlike what you might find from Madlib’s sample stash shared with MF DOOM. “Plash,” then, is ihe album’s pop single. I’m mostly entranced by the skittering drums that likes to pause on their own accord. Minekawa, meanwhile, remains cool throughout as she sings nothing above her signature whisper. It’s exactly the manner you imagine when you see her sing through that hairbrush.

RYO MIYAUCHI