Black Tokyo


The long-awaited full-length Black Tokyo by Aux 88 is finally here. As Aux 88 continues their evolution, they have re-assimilated as Arashi Hoshino and Shin Muramatsu, transforming their electronic synthesis into a 4x4 techno simulation adapted from nano-circuitry invented long ago deep in Detroit's underground; where their lab was once thought to be hiding. While this new transformation focuses more on the 4x4 Detroit techno roots of the band members, it does however, balances things out with a few electro/techno bass songs that carry a slight Japanese vibe; something that is generally reflected in the majority of the music on this album. The CD opens up with the suspenseful "Groove Theory," a chilling techno song that carries a very dramatic intro, quickly energizing you as the beats begin to play their part. "Black Tokyo" is a rich and carefully-composed beauty, featuring K-1 and newest member Ice Truck on vocals and carrying a signature Detroit techno sound. "Tokyo Drive" switches things up as it begins to introduce a slower tempo of techno bass beats, followed by a playful bass line, and bright, colorful melodies that inspire visions of a night time cruise through the streets of Tokyo. One of the unique aspects of this album is the addition of two new lead female vocalists, Erika Tele, and the aforementioned Ice Truck, who is featured on another electro/techno song, "Electric Underground." "Dragon Fly" is another funky and heart-pounding techno gem. Bright hits, soft and subtle pads, and Tom's live voices make this tune essential to get the masses moving. "Winter In Japan" slows things way down and creates a rhythmic, downtempo production which evokes a beautiful sense of emotion with its melancholic pads, hypnotizing vocals, and mystical percussive elements that reverberate in the background. "Smoke Screen," "Shadow Dancing," "Stance" and "Electronic Cinema" show that Aux 88 can make you dance like some of their mentors Juan Atkins, UR, Carl Craig and Derrick May. Aux 88's new album not only progresses from their previous Mad Scientist album, but also innovates as they go even further in new ways of expressing new concepts and ideas with tracks like "Tokyo Telacom" and "Kyoto Station," which is Aux 88's conceptual homage to Japanese culture. Black Tokyo shows exactly how far their imagination can reach, and just how perfectly they can manifest it into their refined style of music.