Friday, September 5, 2014
Especia -- Umibe no Sati （海辺のサティ）
Marcos V. provided the first full article on Especia through their contagious melding of 80s City Pop and aidoru vocal stylings in "Kurukana"（くるかな）, and being a fan of both genres from 30 years back, I thought it was a fascinating fusion of sorts. Even before that article, he had also given a brief introduction of the group via his playlist of underground aidoru. The song he highlighted there was the remix of Especia's "Umibe no Sati" (Seaside Sati...I personally think the translated title sounds niftier), and I'm now following up with the original version.
"Umibe no Sati" is a track from the aidoru unit's first maxi-single, "Midnight Confusion" which was released in September 2013. Created by mirco and PellyColo, I was able to find a copy of the original track from the site music.163.com and it has different versions of this song along with the title track which according to Marcos' article is also pretty formidable. But take a look at that cover above....it doesn't really look like something belonging to an aidoru group, does it? It seems to more befit an album of City Pop night tunes with crooners like Yasuhiro Abe（安部恭弘）or Junichi Inagaki（稲垣潤一）.
But then "Umibe no Sati" matches that picture of a cocktail being poured in what looks to be a fairly pricey bar. As Marcos indicated in his description of "Kurukana", the vocals by the ladies won't unduly terrify Miwa Yoshida（吉田美和）or Misia (hey, they are known as aidoru after all) but the music backing them up has a really cool 80s vibe. I love those syn-drums and the persistent ringing phrase by what sounds like the Celesta setting on my old CASIO keyboard...that latter hook especially was going through my head even when I finally hit the hay; I even ended up whistling it in the dark last night as the song tunneled into my cerebrum.
There are various remixes of "Umibe no Sati". Marcos included the Vexation Edit for his article, and he was also talking about the Greeen Linez version (which is on "Midnight Confusion"). Well, some good fellow uploaded it just last month, so here it is now.
And this is Especia actually performing the song in concert. "Midnight Confusion" did fairly decently on the charts, peaking at No. 49. The unit may have yet to reach superstar status but I think the group has carved out a good niche for itself with this mix of aidoru and City Pop. The word especia means "spice" in Spanish, and Especia (along with the other new genre aidoru groups) has certainly provided its fair share of spice into this area of J-Pop. Of course, I'm biased here (being a City Pop fan)...and perhaps somewhat greedy since I'm hoping that there will be at least one more unit ready to bring a bit of AOR/City Pop sensibility to the table.