Newwave Project


In February 2015, Japanese producer and sound designer Kuniyuki Takahashi, sometimes known as Koss, released the EP Newwave Project #2 (MUSIQ 183EP), a record that tapped some roots of his musical education: new wave, German electro punk from bands like Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, EBM from acts like Front 242, as well as industrial music, all styles Kuniyuki claims are his "favorite music". Nearly two years after his first Newwave Project EP, he drops an album that is leaning towards his musical love from the past. Compared to his former work, which was rooted in worlds of classic, jazz, house, ambient, and electronic song-writing, his new tunes are full of melodic drifts and rhythmical shifts. As usual, all is loaded with tones and rhythms straight from the heart that filter and modulate human emotions without losing their natural source. To get a sound that is fresh but still leaning to the '80s, he used some old synthesizers, like Roland Jupiter 8, Juno 60, Korg MS 20, and an old tape echo machine, but he also used newer instruments, like the Roland AIRA. His modular synthesizers talk too. Sampled voices, and other alienated sound sources of unknown origin, inject otherworldly atmospheres into his new tunes. It is also evident that he is a fine instrumentalist, as Kuniyuki also plays piano, percussion, and flute on the album, if he felt their warm sound was needed for his freely grooving tracks. Some dance in house or techno outfits; other slam like a mix of funk and EBM. Tunes like "Puzzle" or "Body Signal" are twisted treasures that bemuse deeply. In-between, you hear the echoes of cosmic spheres, the darkness of the Cold War days, and some bewitching tribal jungle vibes; A new, moving, unorthodox, yet catchy side of Kuniyuki Takahashi. It is not totally novel to him, as he already released some industrial, EBM, and electronic with the project DRP. But for his listeners that know him for detailed house, jazz, and classic, or even his collaborations, the Newwave Project sheds a light on a different artistic side of Takahashi. It is diversified, with many rhythmical and atmospheric turns, but stays stirring and compelling throughout. A true new wave, formed, played in, and envisioned, with a view on the past that was filtered through the now while feeling the future. Cover art by Swiss artist Augustin Rebetez.