Kyoto-based Kudo Kamome and Tokyo-based Crunchybird (a.k.a. Gregory A. Perez) are both artists on the aptly named record label Twin Capital (coincidentally named for the artists’ respective cities). Through a mutual connection with Twin Capital’s Yusuke Hama (a.k.a. HAMACIDE), Kamome asked Crunchybird to remix a song from her 2011 debut release Mind Party! called “The Smell of Flowers” (“花のにおい”). On the original track, Kamome intertwines jangly guitar with plinky electronics, a foot-stomping rhythm, and her haunting, child-like vocals. It’s a raw and imaginative song; loose, playful, and full of lo-fi life.
In exchange, Crunchybird offered a song for Kamome to remix. “The Road Away” is a pensive instrumental from his recent experimental album “The Incident at Fallthrough Bridge” released on Twin Capital in late 2017. Featuring melancholic manipulated strings, a galloping piano, and burbling alien synths, it seemed like fresh clay for Kudo to stretch and shape into her own quirky style.
The collaborative split E.P., The Road of Flowers, is a reimagining of two different artistic visions. Kamome’s upbeat and fuzzed out track “The Smell of Flowers” becomes a darker shoegazer epic in Crunchybird’s hands, with a bit of icy electronic frost for added subtle menace. Think My Bloody Valentine hitting on The XX at a party hosted by King Krule.
“I was fascinated with the idea of turning ‘The Smell Of Flowers’ into the opposite of what it originally was - from loose and playful to more regimented and dramatic,” says Crunchybird. “A little oppressive, even.”
Conversely, Kamome’s take on “The Road Away” transforms it from a slow-burn sci-fi roadtrip into dynamic electronic gymnastics. Her version swerves from pastoral ambient passages into bubbling jungle beats and a pulsing club vibe reminiscent of something off of Cornelius’ “Fantasma” or Caribou’s blurry genre-bending. All of it is tied together with Kamome’s soaring, ethereal vocals.
“I really loved the dream-like quality of ‘The Road Away.’ I wanted to preserve that but collage it in my own way… lo-fi and loud.”
The Road of Flowers E.P. featuring Kudo Kamome and Crunchybird is available now at www.twin-capital.com, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, and Bandcamp. Crunchybird’s next album “The Damning Logic” is due out later this year. Kudo Kamome is working on “Apple Sleep”.