Tokyo bedroom producer Kinuko Hiramatsu’s solo full-length debut as Sapphire Slows is exactly what you want to be listening to, no matter what kind of mood you’re in. The atmospheric mixture of dance and dream pop is stripped down enough to feel every intentional stroke, which means as a listener, it heightens your senses as well as your sense of anticipation as it builds. She starts you off in a bouncy, light place with her opening tracks, but that shifts suddenly after “Rules” (with it’s insistent bleeping), when “Corekill” comes with its menacing synths to escort you through the darkened territory of the next five tracks. Concluding on the title track, you’ll find yourself most enthralled by Hiramatsu’s experimental vocals – a compelling and artistic bit of cunning on a tricky release that’s full of sonic surprises.
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