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Japanese Juke: Yoshino Yoshikawa and Maltine Records

On a whim, I recently set out to find some good Japanese juke, or at least juke-inflected beat work. Big surprise: there’s some great shit. Over the next week, I’ll do a short series about the country’s take on the stuttering style.

This one isn't juke at all, but it's one of my favorite discoveries from this search: Yoshino Yoshikawa's Last Movement EP, out now for free via Maltine Records. Maltine is a Tokyo-based, digital-only dance label co-founded by Tomad and Syem in 2005; they have a cute, GIF-heavy website and 120 releases to their name, plus one in the works by Japanese Juke alum Parkgolf. But it's their latest by Yoshino Yoshikawa, a Hachiōji producer also sometimes called Pollarstars, that has blown me away. Informed by trance music, vaporware and Yoshikawa's work producing for J-Pop artists like Lovely☆Doll, Last Movement is super-bright and hyper-positive—in the same league as Unicorn Kid. Check out three tracks of his below, and also this great, funky Maltine release by the supposedly Bandung-based band Ikkubaru. Back on a stricter juke tip tomorrow.

Download: Yoshino Yoshikawa, "Last Movement"

Stream: Yoshino Yoshikawa, "Day Dreamer"

Download: Pollarstars, "Tick Tock"

Download: Ikkubaru, "水星 (Tofubeats Cover)"

Japanese Juke: Yoshino Yoshikawa and Maltine Records