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Capsule — Wave Runner

Capsule — Wave Runner (February 18th, 2015)

Japan                        Capsule — Wave Runner 
♣   WAVE RUNNER je úžasné EDM album: výsledkem perfektní kombinace CAPSULE soundu, (fanoušky tak milovaného) a dope elementů. Album reprezentuje jeden z nejoblíbenějších žánrů na světě. Krásně vytvořené prostředí, melodie, důraz na detaily, pořádné kapky a Toshiko zpěv jsou tavené dokonale a totéž platí o produkci alba, které vejde do paměti ze strany fanoušků na dlouhou dobu a to i přes pár slabších skladeb. WAVE RUNNER zůstává: solidní a konzistentní produkt, jedno z nejlepších děl diskografie tohoto dua. About time! Electronic duo CAPSULE, composed of well known DJ and producer Yasutaka Nakata and singer Toshiko Koshijima, have finally unveiled their long awaited new album, titled WAVE RUNNER, set to be released next year on February 18th.
♣   The album will come in two editions, Regular and Limited, the latter featuring a bonus disc with extended mixes of some of the album’s tracks, following the usual CAPSULE tradition. A making–of the jacket cover has been released as well, a short video that also give a preview of one of the tracks, which promises to bring the CAPSULE sound back to its badass club sonorities, after the (well appreciated) change of direction took with the previous CAPS LOCK.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Album release: February 18th, 2015
Format: Regular Edition (CD), Limited Edition (2 CDs)
Duration:     40:25 + 22:14 => 62:39
01 Wave Runner     1:17
02 Another World     4:26
03 Dreamin’Boy     5:21
04 Hero     4:12
05 Dancing Planet     4:52
06 Depth (vocal dub mix)     4:04
07 Feel Again     3:51
08 Unrequited Love     4:38
09 White As Snow     4:12
10 Beyond The Sky     3:42
Bonus CD:
01 Another World (extended mix)     5:45
02 Hero (extended mix)     5:52
03 Feel Again (extended mix)     5:26
04 White As Snow (extended mix)     5:11
—  Yasutaka Nakata
—  Toshiko Koshijima
By Alex Shenmue, Admin and Founder of Land of Rising Sound
Score: 8.5
♣   Since the first moment, everyone immediately felt that something was different when CAPSULE announced WAVE RUNNER, fifteenth studio album in the group’s discography and second release after their change of label to unBORDE Records. Well known producer Yasutaka Nakata and singer Toshiko Koshijima, pioneers of the post 90’s new wave of Shibuya Kei today Electronic acts, shown a never–seen–before boost in terms of promotion and general excitement in the last months, proudly showing to everyone how WAVE RUNNER is the most clubby and dope album ever produced by the duo thanks to heavy EDM influences showcased through digital singles and many teasers that made the hype fly high among the fans of the group.
♣   Still, to fully understand the nature of WAVE RUNNER is necessary to take a few steps back in the duo’s discography, as the above mentioned change of label is somehow involved in this new approach towards their last record: World of Fantasy and Stereo Worxxx featured valuable tracks (as in every CAPSULE record) and had a way more clubish personality than their previous works, proving that the group isn’t new to EDM sonorities, but it was a very personal and almost singular interpretation of it that worked but only for half: Many tracks on these two records felt like unfinished and had a repetitive nature, and while they can’t be labeled as bad, they somehow felt unpolished. After their contract with UNborde, the duo took a break and produced the particular yet appreciable CAPS LOCK, an electronic ambient record with no ties to the duo’s history, that represented not only Nakata’s interest of exploring new sonorities thanks to a vast musical knowledge and open mind, but also a needed break from Dance music, because something wasn’t working in the way it should have been with the last records.
♣   And so, here we are again: After a period of distance from club anthems, the duo is now back to rock the dance floor with WAVE RUNNER, an album that takes the core elements of western EDM and brutally shoot them in the ears of the listener. While good bass drops and cool synths can be a pleasure to listen, though, welcoming these influences in such a heavy way can be a risky and potentially lethal move. Luckily, Yasutaka Nakata is a producer that definitely knows his thing, and while someone was expecting the duo’s identity to be somehow compromised, ironically WAVE RUNNER is a record that’s more CAPSULE than anything we’ve heard in the recent productions of the duo, and a couple of tracks in particular are the proof of it: Another World is an upbeat and catchy dance track that features a vibe we’ve been missing for a while in the duo’s sound, and it feels like good old capsule (with lower case) once again, with incisive beats, high pitched synths and, most importantly, Toshiko’s singing that comes back to life to give that necessary personality and catchiness to the track. These are all signs of how the group’s identity is more alive than ever, something you can notice in Feel Again as well, a track that follows the same pattern as above but with a slightly more melancholic vibe and a catchy chorus that’s just capsule to the core, only contaminated by a very short drop that works as interlude in the middle of the track. ♣   It’s safe to say that these two songs are the most classic sounding compositions of the tracklist, as the rest of the record is almost entirely contaminated by pretty heavy EDM sonorities, something that doesn’t represent a problem as someone may think since WAVE RUNNER reaches its high peak right where the CAPSULE sound meets the above mentioned western influences.
♣   Saying that the result is perfectly balanced would be a lie (the album generally tends more the EDM side) but that’s not an issue as Nakata did a great job in adopting these influences on his style. He literally plays with the genre and models it at his own will while making it better than most of the western acts out there, leaving a fair amount of space to Toshiko’s singing and to melodic parts to then voluntarily punch the listener in the ears with some pretty dope and brutal drops that are as surprising as good. Not all the artists out there (especially in the EDM field) can give you goosebumps, but this album does it more than once during its duration: We could talk about the wonderful, synthtastic beginning of Dreamin’ Boy, of Toshiko’s soothing vocals in it immediately followed by an unpredictable and killer drop that takes the remaining time of the track repetitively but also progressing with details typical of the CAPSULE and Nakata productions, or of Hero, of its beautiful, revolutionary sounding atmosphere full of melodies and harmonic singing framed by classic dance beats and fresh synths, or of the brutality brought by White as Snow, that punches the listener in the face from the first second to then chill down in the middle with an almost oppressive vibe brought by Toshiko’s singing, to then progressively lead to what is probably the most badass and brutal drop of the album, a wonderful plethora of trance synths and heavy beats that will make your head bang so hard you will be afraid to break your neck. All of these tracks represent the core of the album and the result of what Nakata wanted to achieve by allowing western influenced EDM in his work, that reaches the high peak with what is possibly the best track of the record which is Unrequited Love, an amazing dance piece that will get stuck in your head instantly since the first second with its catchy melody, that leaves space to Toshiko’s amazing singing (she’s unleashed in this track) to then explode with fat beats and fresh synths following the main melody of the track: everything is fused perfectly in this song, from the drops to the verses, and the sound Nakata wanted to bring with this album is perfectly balanced here; Other than being a perfect showcase of this album and an outstanding composition, Unrequited Love is also one of the best CAPSULE songs in a while, which is something the fans were waiting for a long time.
♣   The remaining tracks try to offer some variousness to the whole record, and while Depth (vocal dub mix) can be taken as a nice and slow track that gives a bit of rest at the center of the album after the beatstorm brought by the previous songs, Dancing Planet is the weak point of the whole record: It doesn’t sound bad, but its excessive repetitiveness, the exaggerated length and its boring nature makes it pale if compared to the rest of the album, making it a pretty senseless piece that sounds like a leftover from the bad part of the duo’s record PLAYER. The ending track of the album, Beyond the Sky, is a good and enjoyable instrumental dance composition that closes the record greatly with a dreaming and cheerful atmosphere, even though the addition of Toshiko’s vocals and of a proper structure could have truly made it a memorable track; Nonetheless, it’s a nice closing to an album that’s entertaining from the beginning to the end, keeping the mood up until the last second.
♣   WAVE RUNNER has so much good stuff in it that it will take you a while to fully absorb it: It instantly blinds you with a plethora of amazing synths, heavy beats, wonderful vocals, atmospheres and brutal drops while growing from listen to listen, and when everything is finally clear, it’s easy to realize that this is one of the best and strongest CAPSULE albums in a while, that will meet the expectations of the fans and will drag many new ones into the music of Yasutaka Nakata and Toshiko Koshijima. CAPSULE took EDM from the western side of the world, fused it with their melodic and catchy sound identity, and did it better than most of the artists representing this genre in the world. Hopefully they will learn a thing or two from this.
♣   WAVE RUNNER is an amazing EDM album and the result of a perfect combination between the CAPSULE sound everyone loves and dope elements representing one of the most popular genres in the world. The beautiful atmospheres, the melodies, the attention for details, the badass drops and Toshiko’s singing are all fused perfectly and compose an album that’s gonna be remembered for a long time by the fans, and despite a few weaker tracks, WAVE RUNNER remains a solid and consistent record, other than one of the best works of the duo’s discography.
Vote: 8.5
Fortaken: http://landofrisingsound.com/
Website: http://capsule-official.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CAPSULEOFFICIAL
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CAPSULE.OFFICIAL

Capsule — Wave Runner



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