Boomkat Product Review:
Tokyo’s Kinuko Hiramatsu aka Sapphire Slows emerges like a pop butterfly from the lo-fi chrysalis of her early work on NotNotFun with Time; a seven song suite of lucid vocals and crisp, lilting electronics signifying a slick rethink of her sound and style.
After initially emerging as part of a new, underground pop milieu united thru the prism of Amanda & Britt Brown’s NNF and 100% c. 2011, the japanese artist promptly receded back into the Tokyo underground. She was not heard again until the Confession 7” for Big Love Records in 2016 and The Role of Purity 12” found her early veil of gauze gently removed, revealing a fresher sound and new found song-writing clarity.
Time, for patten’s Kaleidoscope (UK) is the firmest testament yet to that switch, collecting seven songs written during those fallow years of 2014-2016, with each framing a finer mix of synth-pop, trip hop and plasmic new age vibes that feels up-to-date, yet cannily in her own dreamspace and time.
We’re really partial to the flickering rimshot and piquant arpeggios that cradle her plaintive vocals in Confession, while My Garden finds her bending light into a gorgeous sort of digi-dancehall/trip-hop black hole of the sort that Tricky should be making, and the etheric acid-pop ace, Piece Of You sounds something like a collaboration between Teresa Winter and Kouhei Matsunaga.