Pseudo Nippon - Colorama

In 2000, Kid A by Radiohead turned my guitar-loving self into someone who was willing to listen to almost anything. At that point, to me, electronica simply meant terrible music ‘well dressed’ people listened to on Saturday nights in clubs. Luckily I’ve grown up since then and realise there is a world of great electronica out there from such great acts as Kraftwerk and Aphex Twin. Having heard Pseudo Nippon have lazy comparisons to the latter I was dying to like their new record, Colorama. In the end I just felt a little unmoved.

Asian flavours sprinkle throughout, which isn’t a bad thing as the culture in the east of the world is great. The record is also laden with ‘glitchy’ beats which can create a great off-kilter feel, as Dntel (also known as one half of The Postal Service) shows on an almost permanent basis. I think my main issue, though, came from the slightly overly ‘hipster’ feel to the record.

The tempo in the album tends to shift around. There are faster tracks (Cats With Shark Teeth, for example) which display a post-punk ‘wacky’ side; these, however, while having charming moments, can be a little overbearing at times. Squarepusher are a definite influence, but the consistency of these flashes of influence ultimately lets the more up-tempo tracks down.

Despite the negative tone, Colorama is not a total loss. There are a couple of songs I can see myself returning to on a semi-regular basis, most notably the more subtle, crafted tracks on the album (Paper Moon being the main one in question). However, the ones I do return to will be listened to on a singular basis rather than in the context of the album as a whole.

Colorama by Pseudo Nippon is out now on Tigertrap Records.


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