Shibuya-kei artist Takako Minekawa and guitar virtuoso/former Ponytail member Dustin Wong have come together, once again, to create what seems to be some of the sweetest music you’ll hear this year. It’s not sugary to the point of being saccharine, but it’s the right amount; enough to indulge in to make you happy and you’ll be without the regret later. As you can tell from the album’s packaging, it’s colorful and playful. “She He See Feel” is the first single we get to hear from Savage Imagination and if you’ll notice on the track list, it’s the second-to-last song; it makes you wonder about all the build-up to “She He See Feel.” Thrill Jockey can be quite coy with what they release up until the album’s street date so we’ll have to wait and see how any of the other tracks go with “She He See Feel.” It plays like the climax to this album, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Check out “She He See Feel” below via the SoundCloud player below and see what you think of it. Cheers!

The Details

First 500 LPs pressed on green vinyl packaged in a high gloss gatefold jacket with free download card. CD version in high gloss mini-LP style gatefold package.

Savage Imagination is the duo’s second collaborative album, and Dustin’s first release since he completed his trilogy of solo looped guitar albums last year.

This is a pre-order for September 23rd street date. All orders containing Savage Imagination will ship on or slightly before the street date.

Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa are artistic omnivores, soaking up a myriad of cultural artifacts and styles, savoring bits and pieces and recontexutalizing them into an entirely delightful and playfully intricate songs. Their songs are embued with a relentless cheerfulness that belies their technicality, steeped in the history of Japanese pop music and exuding the joy of discovery and exploration. Dustin and Takako are serious musicians not afraid to play it silly. Savage Imagination is their second album as a duo and shows their collaboration in full bloom. It is an collection of vibrant pop music, laced with the sounds of video games, radiophonic experiments, and indigenous music from around the world.

In preparation for writing and recording Savage Imagination, Dustin and Takako developed a new interface in which they could both seamlessly shift from guitar to keyboards to sampler to vocals, expanding timbral possibilities and allowing them to utilize many of the dynamic looping techniques Dustin perfected in his solo work with this wider palate. As that palate morphs throughout Savage Imagination, Takako breathy but emotionally resonant voice remains a constant, providing characteristically inventive melodies that soar above Dustin’s florescent guitars. On “She He See Feel” Takako sings about quantum physics, human consciousness, and flying above a desert all within the framework of Japanese puns. Their playful energy and omnivorous approach is reflected in the album’s art, a diorama created by the duo while they were recording the music.

Savage Imagination was recorded at home by Takako and Dustin: “We both hit the record button for each other.” Dustin was introduced to the world as a member of Ponytail, and has spent the past several years making incredibly deep and complex albums of looped solo electric guitar for Thrill Jockey. Takako Minekawa first rose to international prominence as a Shibuya-kei singer in the mid-90s with the song “Fantastic Cat” and her albums Roomic Cube and Cloudy Cloud Calculator. She has collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Cornelius, Buffalo Daughter, Dymaxion, and others. Dustin and Takako will tour Asia and North America this fall as a duo.

We are offering special bundles for mailorder. If you missed out on ANY of Dustin's previous Thrill Jockey releases, including last year's Mediation of Ecstatic Energy, Toropical Circle (also with Takako Minekawa, 2013), Dreams Say... (2012) OR Infinite Love (2010), this is your chance to LOOP it in with your new order.

Choose "2 CD Bundle" to get Savage Imagination bundled with Mediation of Ecstatic Energy, Infinite Love or Dreams Say... on CD. ONLY $23 - save $3 - $6!

Choose "Vinyl Bundle" to get Savage Imagination bundled with Mediation of Ecstatic Energy (plus bonus 7"), Infinite Love, Dreams Say... OR Toropical Circle (a vinyl-only release). This two album bundle runs you only $30 - you save $3 - $7!

Let us know in the order notes (or via email at orders[at]thrilljockey.com) which CD or LP you want to accompany your order. When you buy them together, you save!

To purchase, click 2 CD Bundle or Vinyl Bundle, and let us know which one you want.

Price $16

Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel via Twitter.
What Do You Think of This Release?
  • Buying!
  • Maybe Buy
  • Not My Style
  • Too Expensive