Mouse on the Keys’ Out of Body is your new favourite Japanese jazz-rock album

outofbodyWho are Mouse on the Keys? Two pianists, a drummer. They’ve just made an album called Out of Body. And?

And it’s dreaming out loud. And I’d say, if you pinned me down, that what they’re making is primarily experimental jazz, but there are also elements of ambient, classical, trip-hop, and math rock, sometimes all in one track. And they’re a Tokyo band, formed in 2006 by drummer/keyboardist/composer Akira Kawasaki and keyboardist Atsushi Kiyota, formerly of Japanese indie pioneers Nine Day Wonder, forged from the ashes of the city’s post-hardcore and post-rock scenes. And they already had an audio manifesto from day one, as Kawasaki is keen to point out. “I had a specific sound concept in mind when I started up Mouse on the Keys,” he says. “It clearly explains our musical influences. The concept was: ‘Utilizing elements of modern French music represented by composers such as Debussy and Ravel, along with the hardcore music of the ’80s and ’90s that our drummer Akira Kawasaki was influenced by, and mixing them in a style reminiscent of Detroit techno.’” And it works.

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