Shugo Tokumaru – In Focus? (2013)
Shugo Tokumaru is a multi-instrumentalist from Japan. In Focus? is his sixth album, but the first by him that I have listened to.
There is a certain twee charm to this album which I would place somewhere between quirky indie-pop and psychedelic folk. The majority of tracks have a childlike innocence to them, with instantly catchy melodies but with a lot of added experimental, off piste diversions; there some very interesting musical interludes, as well, with glockenspiel on Gamma, what sounds like a detuned ukulele on Mubyo, what could be the theme tune to some crazy Japanese kid’s TV programme on Pah-Paka, and (possibly sequenced) guitars on Micro Guitar Music.
Most tracks are great with plenty going on to keep the ear interested; a couple of the tracks, to me, don’t live up to this standard, but I must stress that this is likely to be because, like Ord Gate, they are more lyrically focused tracks and, as they are sung in Tokumaru’s native Japanese which I don’t understand, this is my shortcoming and not his.
Overall, very enjoyable.
Favourite tracks: Call, Helictite (LeSeMoDe), Down Down
Bandcamp link: http://shugotokumarumusic.bandcamp.com/album/in-focus
Spotify link: Shugo Tokumaru – In Focus?