By Ken Scrudato
Discovered by Peter Bjorn and John’s Bjorn Yittling in 2008, Tokyo quartet The Suzan garnered international attention with their 2010, Yittling-produced (and might we add charmingly titled) debut LP Golden Week for the Poco Poco Beat. After decamping to New York, they’ve continued to build a devoted cult audience.
A pair of EPs is planned for release later this year – but in the lead up, BlackBook premieres here their hot-and-cool new single “Jungle Beat,” released on PB&J’s INGRID label (and with Yittling again at the helm). The modern-primitive rhythms, exuberant horn blasts and primordial chanting actually recall post-punk provocateurs like The Slits and Rip Rig + Panic. It’s raw, organic and intentionally starkly produced.
“As a songwriter,” observes guitarist-singer Saori (who with her sister Rie, form the musical core of The Suzan), “I have some doubts over the recent trend, too much reliance on computers for music production. I think the fundamental structure which drives music is beats, strong beats, the sounds of beats of real drums made by real humans.”
The track also has a distinctly evocative quality, lush, sweaty and slightly exotic – perfect for inspiring your imagination away from the sticky summer city streets.
“Imagine yourself in a hot and humid tropical jungle,” Saori suggests, “where wild animals thrive. The Suzan invite you to go deeper and deeper into the unknown exotic forest and discover the mysterious and sensual world!”
Who could say no?