Tag: Superhuman Happiness Hands

New Video: Tokyo, Japan’s LITE and Their Funky Take on Prog Rock

Comprised of Nobuyuki Takeda (guitar), Kozo Kusumoto (guitar / synthesizer), Jun Ozawa (bass) and Akinori Yamamoto (drums), the Tokyo, Japan-based instrumental rock band LITE have over their 14 years together and four full-length albums and six EPs developed both a national and international profile for mischievously playful and complex compositions featuring edgy riffs, complex rhythms and a prog rock and math rock-leaning sensibility, a well-regarded live show and a relentless touring schedule across the US, Europe and Asia. And with “-D,” the first single off the Japanese quartet’s fifth full-length and second proper Stateside release Cubic, the band has released a composition that playfully bridges funk, jazz, prog rock and hip-hop as angular guitar chords are paired with a regular yet ethereal horn line from trumpeter Tabu Zombie, a sinuous bass line and old school-like breakbeats which hold together a composition featuring three distinct yet incredibly funky sections together. Sonically, I’m reminded of the Josh Roseman Unit‘s Treats for the Nightwalker (in particular, their rendition of Burt Bacharach‘s “Long Day, Short Night,” which Dionne Warwick sung) and of a contemporary batch of Afrobeat and Afro-pop inspired acts that includes Superhuman Happiness (think of “Half-Step Grind” off their excellent Hands) and others.

Cubic is slated for a release through Topshelf Records on Friday and the Japanese quartet will be touring to support and build up buzz for the album with a handful of West Coast tour dates, which you can check out below. And interestingly, as the band was in the middle of seven date West Coast tour, they released an official music video comprised of the band performing the song in a studio in front of alternating colored lights — and in some way it gives a sense of what their live show would be like.

Comprised of Nobuyuki Takeda (guitar), Kozo Kusumoto (guitar / synthesizer), Jun Ozawa (bass) and Akinori Yamamoto (drums), the Tokyo, Japan-based instrumental rock band LITE have over their 14 years together and four full-length albums and six EPs  developed both a national and international profile for mischievously playful and complex compositions featuring edgy riffs, complex rhythms and a prog rock and math rock-leaning sensibility, a well-regarded live show and a relentless touring schedule across the US, Europe and Asia. And with “-D,” the first single off the Japanese quartet’s fifth full-length and second proper Stateside release Cubic, the band has released a composition that playfully bridges funk, jazz, prog rock and hip-hop as angular guitar chords are paired with a regular yet ethereal horn line, a sinuous bass line and old school-like breakbeats which hold together a composition featuring three distinct yet incredibly funky sections together.  Sonically, I’m reminded of the Josh Roseman Unit‘s Treats for the Nightwalker (in particular, their rendition of Burt Bacharach‘s “Long Day, Short Night,” which Dionne Warwick sung) and of a contemporary batch of Afrobeat and Afro-pop inspired acts that includes Superhuman Happiness (think of “Half-Step Grind” off their excellent Hands) and others.

Cubic is slated for a November 18, 2016 release through Topshelf Records and the Japanese quartet will be touring to support and build up buzz for the album with a handful of West Coast tour dates, which you can check out below.

TOUR DATES
All dates with Mouse on the Keys

Nov 10 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
Nov 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Hi Hat
Nov 12 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
Nov 13 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
Nov 14 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Nov 15 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
Nov 16 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern

Over the course of this site’s six year history, you’ve likely come across a number of posts on Brooklyn/Pittsburgh dance pop/experimental pop/funk act Superhuman Happiness. With the release of their long-awaited 2014 full-length debut Hands, the act led by co-founders Stuart Bogie (vocals, saxophones, synths) and Eric Biondo (vocals, trump, synths, percussion) emerged on the national scene for a sound that draws from Talking Heads, Antibalas (which, both founding members and several members of their rotating cast of collaborators have been members of), Fela Kuti, synth pop, dance music, New Wave, and others, and for an ebullient and mischievous live show that incorporates elements of jazz-like improvisation, surrealist comedy, performance art and infectious joy. Interestingly, since the release of Hands, the act has gone through a major lineup reshuffling that included the recruitment of Andrea Diaz (lead vocals, keyboards, percussion) along with the aforementioned rotating cast of collaborators featuring friends, former bandmates and other musicians from across the Northeast in completely reformatted project that has gone through a major (and decided) change in sonic direction as the material on Hands‘ follow up Escape Velocity incorporated an increasing use of synths and electronics while retaining many of the elements that first caught my attention, as well as that of the blogosphere — deep groove-filled material that’s whimsical, mischievous, joyous while continuing to thematically focus on profound topics. In the case of Escape Velocity, several songs focused on the fidelity and accuracy of one’s memories against nostalgia.

From what I understand, the members of Superhuman Happiness are currently working on yet another full-length effort but in the meantime, they’ve released their latest single “Powermasters,” which consists of boom-bap drum programming, fluttering and twinkling electronics, warm blasts of horn and a driving, dance floor-friendly hook – – and in some way, it sounds a bit like a subtle yet bumping modernization of their “GMYL”/”Hounds” 7 inch. Completing the single is a hauntingly gorgeous, atmospheric and mournful coda that begins with looping synths, subtly syncopated drumming and ends with a gorgeous string arrangement.

 

The band is in the middle of a tour with Arc Iris that includes an October 6, 2016 stop at Rough Trade. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

Superhuman Happiness / Arc Iris — 2016 Tour Dates
October 6 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
October 12 – Portland, ME – Empire
October 13 – Cambridge MA – Lizard Lounge
October 14 – Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
October 15 – Burlington, VT – Signal Kitchen

New Video: Superhuman Happiness’ Playful Yet Wistfully Nostalgic Video for “Super 8”

Certainly, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM since its inception 5 years ago, you’d be familiar with the Brooklyn-based dance pop/funk Superhuman Happiness. Their long-awaited full-length debut, Hands was one of my favorite albums released last year and as […]

New Video: EMEFE’s “40 Watt” Reveals A Refined, Pop-Leaning Sound That Draws From the Legendary Fela Kuti and The Talking Heads

Formed in 2009 and fronted by composer, drummer and vocalist Miles Arntzen, formerly of Superhuman Happiness and a member of Anitbalas, the members of the Brooklyn-based Afrobeat-inspired funk pop collective EMEFE is comprised of some of NYC’s […]