JAPAN’S GOT BEATS: Kazahaya – Out Of The Soul

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A pleasant surprise from a Japanese hip-hop producer that I had almost forgotten about (audio)


A few years back, a friend of mine in town who ran a record store hipped me to this Japanese hip-hop producer named Kazahaya through his excellent, bitter sweet soul track “Gonna Love You Anyway”. But since I thought that he was just a one-off producer, I never really expected to hear any new music from him ever again. So imagine my shock when perusing my favorite online record I found that not only has he released new 7″ single, but a new album as well. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked.

Now if you’ve been following this blog (and this segment) for awhile, you’ll notice that I tend to lean toward Dilla-influenced producers; what with their snap-heavy, choppy drums and crazy sample chopping skills. This new track from Kazahaya entitled “Out Of The Soul” is a bit of a different beast; going for more of a classic funky boom-bap sound and really having none of the previously mentioned characteristics. But rather than making it sound all retro and throwback-y, Kazahaya really gives the track a live band feel, with its dancing piano riff, loads of funky hand percussion and drums (including a spot on drum break), and creative arrangements. All and all, it’s a nice, pleasant surprise from an artist that I had all but written off but is now back on my radar thanks to this track. Definitely can’t wait to hear what else is on the rest of the album.

Kazahaya’s new album Out Of The Soul is out now and is available through his bandcamp. Definitely give this one a listen.


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