Shugo Tokumaru’s ‘In Focus?’
If there was just one thing Tokyo’s Shugo Tokumaru made clear with his 2013 magnum opus In Focus?, it would be the fact that he can play more instruments than you can… especially ones you never knew existed. Fortunately, Shugo’s not a braggart and In Focus? possesses much more than a bafflingly large collection of instruments. Channeling The Beach Boys and traditional Japanese music styles, Shugo crafts something otherworldly and cinematic, yet entire accessible.
The album boasts five interludes, including opening track “Circle.” One of its stronger songs, called “Katachi” (“Form” in English), slides in next. A high-pitched wooden flute and toy piano start “Katachi” off, and then a whimsical string arrangement helps to bust the track wide open. It’s one of the better songs I’ve heard so far this year. After “Gamma,” a short, xylophone-centric interlude, the Latin-influenced “Decorate” connects with your eardrums. Somehow, while incorporating a wide-as-all-hell range of styles with his pop sensibilities, Shugo manages to make it all flow together. The remainder of the album is a ton of fun too.
See for yourself: a complete stream of Shugo Tokumaru’s In Focus? rests after the jump…