Curumi Chronicle’s “Kimi ga kure ta sutōrī” is a beautiful track that reopens an old wound

Curumi Chronicle was an indie Techno-pop singer produced by Usagi Disco. She was active for only two years, from 2013 to 2015, in which she released one studio record, an EP, and two singles. All of them were outstanding releases.

To me, she was also the savior of Techno-pop, the only heiress of that Perfume-inspired futuristic yet somehow soothing sound. Usagi Disco, a young promising producer from Osaka (that, in all honesty, wouldn’t have no problem in producing Perfume today) was the man behind these compositions, and still to this day, he’s one of the most talented producers in the indie scene.

Despite her short career, Curumi Chronicle and Usagi constantly adopted several sounds from the Electronic sphere while exploring different vibes, and every experimentation was a success that exposed both artists’ talent in adapting to different soundscapes and get the best out of them. It hardly ever happens that an artist successfully embraces so many different vibes in its sound, yet Curumi’s music and performance always shown a great cure for details and, most of all, lots of emotions.

Almost an year ago, for the anniversary of her first solo live and last performance held in 2015, she released her last track “Kimi ga kure ta sutōrī” exclusively on her Soundcloud page. No one talked about it, and since I don’t really follow this platform, I’ve discovered it only now (yes, I feel ashamed).

But here it is, her last track, produced by both Curumi and Usagi (she also took care of the lyrics). And it’s good, as everything she has ever done. Her cold yet pleasant “Techno” timbre, her gentle interpretation, the dreamy melodies, the focus on instrumental sections after the chorus and the bridge… it’s a lovely showcase of Curumi’s classic formula, and why it was and will always be so good. 



At the same time, looking back at everything she has done, this track is only the tip of the iceberg. And despite being some sort of goodbye song, it prompts to go back to everything she has done in her career with great passion. There are so many different sounds and approaches she adopted in her music, so in case you’re interested, you should totally listen to her complete discography here.

Curumi decided to end her career after only two years, and I can’t help but think what she could have become. Allow me to say: I sincerely miss this girl. I really miss her. At the same time, I can’t help but completely understand her decision: the music industry is not a world for everyone. But I’m grateful she put all her talent and effort in music until she felt like doing it. I’ll keep looping her now unfindable records in my player, and remember all the good times her music gave me.

– Alex

Curumi Chronicle – White Sweet Cake | SINGLE REVIEW

c2-300x300

Release Date: December 3rd
Formats:
CD
Number of Editions (1):
Limited Edition (Tower Records exclusive)

When Curumi Chronicle announced her temporary hiatus a month ago in order to focus on her duties as teenager, all the fans of the EDM schoolgirl definitely didn’t know how to react: After the double single release with 17 bringing sweet and upbeat J-pop goodness filled with Curumi’s signature production and that killer single that goes by the name of Touch me, it was hard to see this coming, but taking this negatively would probably be the wrong way to face this news: Not only Curumi will be back next spring with more amazing music, but she also managed to give her fans a Christmas gift before her short pause, which is the release of a single called White Sweet Cake.

Though, calling it “new” single would be wrong: The track giving the name to this release is indeed a previously (digitally) released song that our beloved EDM schoolgirl has been performing for quite a while during her live shows, now coupled by a remix for it and a Mash Up of the most successful tracks created by her talented producer USAGI DISCO, making a package that, while actually not offering any new track, it still has its value and almost twenty minutes of good music.

And it’s great that White Sweet Cake finally got physically released, because it’s a track that all the Curumi fans and those who simply want some good Techno-pop music will love. As the title suggests, what we get with this single is mainly a Christmas track, a trend that several artists follow every year but only few of them actually make it personal from a stylistic point of view. This is not the case:White Sweet Cake is a 100% Curumi Chronicle track that features a lively and festive atmosphere not made of Christmas samples but instead of synths creating catchy melodies spread all over the track, giving life to the parts of the structure where the Techno-side of Curumi’s sound takes the spotlight, summoning dreamy vibes that make this song plain irresistible from the first second. Same can be said for the verses, where the cute but mature and slightly cold singing we’ve learned to love in the past years is coupled by appropriated and well executed chords that directly lead to a catchy, shiny chorus that all the fans loved and will forever love to jump to during Curumi’s shows once she’ll be back to rock venues around Tokyo. Moving along, the USAGI DISCO Mashup of Curumi’s most famous and successful tracks kicks in, bringing eleven minutes of Techno-pop goodness featuring tracks taken from her entire discography, most of them mixed very well, and while maybe the same can’t be said for a couple of them, in the midst of all these great tracks and heavy beats framed by the glitchy effects USAGI loves so much, fans will love to play this mashup, and occasional listeners will find a valid discovery to add in their party playlist.

The remix of White Sweet Cake made by DJ Obake is the last track of the package, giving a sweeter and softer vibe to the track, featuring an interesting background with more emphasis on the instruments, sacrificing a bit of the classic Curumi sound in advantage of a softer and more present Christmas feeling, concluding a single that can deliver quality and entertainment despite not being a “major” release.


Verdict

While officially not bringing anything new to the table, White Sweet Cake is still a worthy single that will please all the fans of the EDM Schoolgirl waiting for her to come back this spring stronger than ever with more Techno-pop goodness. Newcomers will probably want to look at Curumi’s most influent releases such as her previous single Touch Me and her first album, but the catchiness of the title track and the nice mashup of her best songs still represent a nice welcome to those eager to discover a new and valid artist.

I’ll never stop to say that Curumi Chronicle is a promise for the future of Japanese Techno-pop: Time will eventually write her story.

Vote: 7.5 / 10


Note: You can buy White Sweet Cake exclusively at Tower Records stores in Japan, which actually makes it pretty hard to buy for overseas fans: But don’t worry, the single is fully available on Curumi’s Soundcloud for free, so everyone in the world will be able to listen to it! If you’re still interested in getting a physical copy, your best bet is to check the Tower Records Online store and use a Warehouse Service to ship it to your home. For more details, check out my Support Japanese Music from Overseas guide.

Tracklist

01. White Sweet Cake
02. USAGI DISCO Curumi’s Mash Up
03. White Sweet Cake (DJ Obake remix)

– Alex

Curumi Chronicle – Touch Me | SINGLE REVIEW

curumi-chronicle1 (1)

Independent idol Curumi Chronicle definitely made her notice during the last year since her debut in 2013: With a cute and natural identity and her strong collaboration with the promising young producer/DJ Usagi Disco, the lovely Curumi already released a (very good) first album and a recent EP under the independent label PAV Records, showcasing great quality production, a versatile voice that sounds anything but conventional for an idol, and a nice mix of Techno-pop, J-pop and EDM that defines the clear inspirations of the Osaka-based idol while still showcasing great personality and yes, even some pretty unique elements. After the celebration of her first anniversary as idol, Curumi is now ready to release not one, but two singles contemporarily, each one focusing on a side of her sound, with Touch Me entirely dedicated to her more techno/EDM side, and 17 on the J-pop/Idol-ish part, for a double release that splits into two the music identity of this girl. Accomplished experiment?

Rise of the EDM School Girl

The stronger of the two releases kicks off with Voice, a track directly featuring Usagi Disco that immediately defines the attitude of this single: Limited lyrics, repetitive vocals and a lot of electronic music goodness to dance with, especially with drops like the one towards the end of the song that alone makes the listening of this track worth it; From the heaviness of the beats to the synths and the melodies everything is perfectly balanced and combined with Curumi’s voice, something that not always worked in her previous releases, and the result is nothing short of amazing. After all it’s clear that the composition is better than ever with this single, and there’s also space for new elements: While mainly rotating around the EDM sphere, the entire single welcomes different influences such as Techno, Trance and Dubstep elements, 80’s dance, and even some pretty brutal Drum n’ Bass goodness identifying the second track FLIGHT, that explores an unknown side of Curumi’s sound personality with a dark vibe made of heavy and dramatic synths and a touch of electric guitar perfectly coupled by the vocals that prove once again her versatility in singing different genres (you gotta love this girl’s voice); The piano solo at the end softens the mood giving a nice closure to a song that’s as unusual and dark as very, very good. Touch Me is the song that will ultimately conquer your heart and ears, as the hypnotizing voice of Curumi and the pure 80’s beats of this titletrack will lead you to a wonderful explosion of dreamy synths and melodies coupled with soothing, relaxing vocals performed by Curumi: It’s music that makes you fly with your mind, and between sensual melodies and a glitchy bridge that unifies past and present vibes, you’ll find yourself looping this song way more than once; With great atmosphere, balance, and masterful composition, this song is one of the best pieces of this single and of Curumi Chronicle’s career, a gem that will be remembered for long by the fans of the young idol and not only. Brilliant.

edm-school-girl-02

The last two songs Seventeen (original) and KITTY (Touch Me mix) are a nice addition to the package that strengthen the identity of this single, with the first being a mix of the titletrack of the coupling single 17 (that’ll be analyzed in the next review) with a less noisy but heavier arrangement and the second a heavy EDM revisitation of the cute track from the Second SpringEP. Both mixes are worth listening, and while the first doesn’t go that far from the other version, the Touch Me mix of KITTY gives new life to this piece with interesting  ideas and some pretty badass EDM passages that makes this song worth to be blasted in your car and to be danced at your parties.


Verdict

Touch Me is an amazing single: It’s strong, powerful, various and full of great and valuable moments, proving once again the versatility and the personality of Curumi’s singing that’s clearly getting better and better with time exactly as the strength of her production team that crafted a single that’s well balanced and masterfully composed, with cascades of electronic music that won’t make you tired not even for a second.

Curumi Chronicle and Usagi Disco packed a single that’s worth all your time and also the attention of the major labels of the industry. This is great music, and an exciting promise for the future of Japanese EDM/Techno-pop.

Vote: 9.5/10

Tracklist

01. Voice feat. Usagi Disco
02. FLIGHT
03. Touch Me
04. Seventeen (original)
05. KITTY (Touch Me mix)

– Alex