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  Without You I'm Napping  
  Japanese Gum  
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Japanese Gum are, surprisingly, a two piece post-rock act from Genoa, Italy. I guess the Italians are as confused as we are by the odd flavors that the Japanese like to chew. Then again, i have to admit that Marukawa's melon flavored gum is amazingly tasty stuff, if you like honeydew…

Anyway, the Japanese Gum that is the subject of this review consists of Paolo Tortora and Davide Cedolin. They are from Genoa, an ancient port city in northern Italy, and home to one of EvilSponge's favorite acts of recent years, Port-Royal. Both bands create electronically manipulated post-rock. While Port-Royal have been established for a few years on the international scene, Japanese Gum are a new band.

Given their unknown status, they are following a marketing trend of recent years and giving away a free EP on their website. That's right, protected by the Creative Commons licensing agreement, they are letting anyone download these three songs. Just point your browser at, follow the links, and download away.

Now, the internet is full of free music, but i recommend this download. Japanese Gum have created three very interesting songs. Let me go over each.

The first track is Chlorine Blue, and it is the only one to feature prominent vocals. And by "prominent" i mean "you listen and say, 'hey, that's a human voice'" and not "the voice is way out front in your face". The vocals here are echoed and distorted, a haze of human sound wrapped around some dubby drums and a wavering ambient haze. Guitars scream, and there is some nice drumming among the frenzied electronics, all building to a nice very noisy guitar and electronics freakout in the middle of the song, where the sound suddenly swells into chaos.

The next track, Cannibalism Next Door, starts with a faint electro beat, then some see-sawing guitar noise comes in. The voice is all dubbed out echoed even further than on the first track and, in fact, barely there at all. In general, this song has a trippy feel to it, almost like Hammock merged with Tranquility Bass. This song also features an excellent bass riff.

Finally we have Part-Time Assholes. There is a great tinkling guitar riff here, wandered in from some post-punk epic, over a fuzzy haze, and staticy beats. This is like Project Skyward remixed by Boards of Canada. Very nice.

The EP clocks in at a mere 14:06, so they aren’t giving away too much free stuff. However, these three songs impress, and are definitely worth your bandwidth. Personally, i hope that Japanese Gum can keep it up.

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