The second of many new Kaleidoscope artists this year is the Tokyo-based producer and DJ, Sapphire Slows. She joins the Kaleidoscope catalogue of debut, early and key releases from artists including Sculpture, Aldous RH, Karen Gwyer, Yearning Kru, Arch M, Orphan, The Newcomer and ALAK with many to later release on labels such as Software, No Pain In Pop and Planet Mu.
Beginning the Sapphire Slows project in 2011, Kinuko Hiramatsu has been a truly international artist from the start, recording in her apartment in Tokyo while releasing her early signature recordings across labels worldwide including groundbreaking LA outsider mecca Not Not Fun (Pocahaunted, Abe Vigoda, Sand Circles), their dance music offshoot 100% Silk (Maria Minerva, Ital) and this year’s ‘The Role Of Purity’ 12” on Berlin’s Nous.
This new 7 track mini-album, ‘Time’, was recorded as a monument to the pleasures and pains of change, growth and development, breaking a three year release silence with early versions of ‘Confession’ and ‘Piece of You’ surfacing on a vinyl-only limited 7” through Japan’s Big Love Records label in late 2016. ‘Time’ is a bold rebirth across its seven arresting tracks; a proud labour of love, patience and self-assured clarity in Hiramatsu’s artistic journey. Its decisive tones transmute into pure feeling, years of change crystallised in musical bliss.
The hazy soundscapes of her past work make way for Sapphire Slows’ boldest and most self-assured release to date, with dayglow synths and crisp electronic drum machine percussion circling Detroit pads. Hiramatsu’s pop-inflected vocals, once buried, now upfront and centre, accented by emotionally charged melodic figures and potent dub-like bass. A champion of the Tokyo underground and known across the USA, Europe and Asia for her intimate live shows and powerful, arresting DJ sets at countless clubs and festivals, Sapphire Slows now opens to us a new world of widescreen experimental and affecting pop music.
released September 22, 2017
All songs written & produced by Sapphire Slows between 2014-2016 in Tokyo
‘Confession’ lyrics by Haruka Hirata
Cover photo by Cédric Diradourian
Layout by Sapphire Slows