Shugo Tokumaru: Japan’s Paul McCartney?


For those who are always searching for the next big thing in music, search no further. Shugo Tokumaru’s new album Port Entropy is set to release in the states February 15, 2011 on Polyvinyl Record Co and is sure to be the next big sensation of alternative music. Tokumaru is a Japanese pop artist whose music is often compared with the Beatles in regards to catchy, long enduring melodies. These melodies are what make Tokumaru’s music so appealing to the world of music rather than just the realm of Japanese pop.

Tokumaru is also renowned for his skills as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. All the songs on Port Entropy are marked by unique instruments and sounds that create an auditory adventure. And the incredible reality is that Tokumaru produced every sound heard on the record. From skillful guitars, rhythmical tribal percussion and whimsical mallets to background voices and birds tweeting along, Tokumaru’s sounds are numerous. But, other than having unique instruments and sounds, Tokumaru’s songs range greatly in style. The two greatest contrasts are the songs ‘Lahaha’ and ‘Linne.’

‘Linne’ is an intimate ballad that emphasizes dueling keyboards and a softer side of Tokumaru’s voice. This piece, along with a few others such as ‘Laminate,’ display a sentimental Tokumaru sound. ‘Lahaha’ is a stark contrast. This piece plays with whimsical and playful mallets with quirky guitars and bubbly vocals. This piece, along with a few others such as ‘Drive-Thru,’ display the fun-loving pop side of Tokumaru. The rest of the songs fall somewhere between sentimental ballad and quirky fun. With such a wide range of talent and instruments to choose from, Tokumaru is able to keep each song individual and fresh.

Through this fresh originality, Tokumaru has quickly earned international fame. After the release of Exit in 2008, Tokumaru became a known figure in the United States. He increased his visibility by helping out The Magnetic Fields on an east coast tour, performing sessions on NPR and having a backup band comprised of members from Beirut and The National during his own North American tour. Port Entropy was released in Japan in April of 2010 by the label P-Vine and was quickly picked up by the Berlin-based label, Soulterrain Transmissions, in October 2010. The album will finally hit the US on February 15th, 2011 through Polyvinyl Records. Also, be on the lookout for Tokumaru’s tour of the U.S. from coast to coast this upcoming year.

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