Yokohama-based producer Foodman - aka 食品まつり or Shokuhin Matsuri - continues his expansive sonic voyage with his new EP Dokutsu, out on 6th March 2020. It follows his 2019 release ODOODO, which was issued on Diplo’s Mad Decent label. Dokutsu is the first release on Highball, a brand new label exporting forward-thinking music from Japan.
Foodman emerged from Japan’s nascent footwork scene, using the genre as a springboard for an escapist exploration into a dazzling array of sounds. while Pitchfork, Noisey, FACT and Tiny Mix Tapes have included his releases in various ‘best of the year’ lists since 2016.
Opening track Kazunoko sets the tone for what will follow. Its woozy rhythm is evocative of the off-kilter playfulness that’s become a hallmark of Foodman’s uncategorizable artistry. It’s also a sign of his inventiveness that he constantly adds fresh layers to the track without losing sight of its light-hearted, spacious feel.
Another of Foodman’s unorthodox traits is his ability to meld the frenetic with the soothing. Hirake Tobira is a case in point. Its production is hypnotic, while its central motif - endless twists and variations on a vocal sample - is sufficiently insistent to demand attention. Kachikachi reverses the trick with a thrilling rush, stuttering otherwise unobtrusive sounds.
Elsewhere the EP plays on sonics which have echoes of the familiar while remaining alien: the boss fight soundtrack of Oshiro, the clattering percussion that dominates Imo Hori, and the ambient psychedelia of Konomi.
Based in Yokohama, an hour south of Tokyo, Foodman’s multifaceted skills also encompass DJing and painting. His press image, shown above, is a self-portrait. From the stripped-back sketches of his 2012 set Shokuhin (released on Giant Claw’s Orange Milk label) to the richer textures of ODOODO, Foodman has subverted everything from Okinawan folk to J-Pop to D&B/classical fusion into his own otherworldly inventions.