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Japanese Juke: Paisley Parks and Pan Pacific Playa

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.

I first came across Yokohama trio Paisley Parks via the aptly named Japanese Mutation Bootyism Bandcamp, where they opened and closed a borderline overwhelming 45-track compilation last year. (Another good find from that comp is Itabashi's Chansuke, with his dissonant "Cake.") While the compilation was on-the-nose juke, I find Paisley Parks' new album, Бh○§†, self-released last month, a more exciting listen. Tracks like "Antes Ballad," a frantically pitched-up take on the M.O.P. song, and "Yaneck," with a nuclear meltdown synth and clusters of someone yelling "Danger!" are fairly left-field, and in their weirdness seemingly more thought-out than some of the more rote stuff on the Bootyism comp. It's no surprise, then, that Paisley Parks has a pretty sizable back catalogue. They have self-released three other albums since 2011, and done a bunch of work with "shady side of Yokohama" label Pan Pacific Playa. Check out their most recent compilation, PPP4, for some fine Paisley Parks, plus some of the most compelling non-juke beats to sneak into this whole series, like Van Rong aka Luvraw's "Drop It Like Its Hot"-sampling "BAY-TEK-FES" or 6 Packed Mafia's tropical nightmare "Exotic Killa." Space out below.

Stream: Paisley Parks, "Antes Ballad"

Stream: Paisley Parks, "GETO"

Stream: Paisley Parks, "In Da Rain"

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Japanese Juke: Paisley Parks and Pan Pacific Playa