Gotta say that this was a pretty interesting rare entry in my "Light Mellow ~ Beams" CD, and Light Mellow has been chock-filled with rare entries, some of which had never been put onto disc before.
MIXNUTS was more of a short-term two-man project than it was a long-running musical duo according to the liner notes in "Beams", and it consisted of Shinji Nishi（西慎嗣）, aka Spectrum No. 5 and guitarist for the famous fusion band which I had just written about in the last few days, and bassist Tetsuya Yamamura（山村哲也）. In 1994, they recorded their one and only album, "Seeds in the Water" with one of the tracks being "Shiawase no Akai Bench" (The Happy Red Bench).
The liner notes mention it and I think that the funky and groovy beat should be pretty obvious, but MIXNUTS has a lot of love and respect to Steely Dan. I mean, for those who have followed the City Pop/AOR section of this blog, a number of the bands/artists of the genre have incorporated the licks by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, but it seems like Nishi and Yamamura really went down to town on the SD sound. Right from Note One, they're all in there: that shuffling beat, the cool horns & guitar, and even the vocals themselves sound as if Steely Dan had taken the advanced course in Japanese and passed with flying colours. All that was provided by Yamamura. With the lyrics by him as well, I couldn't quite get the whole meaning but it sounds like a fellow just taking a break in the park and taking a deeper look at his surroundings.
Along with MIXNUTS, the song, and perhaps the entirety of "Seeds in the Water" also had some other interesting names involved. Hiroshi Matsuda（松田弘）of Southern All Stars（サザンオールスターズ）came in as guest drummer, along with Spectrum No. 2 Junichi Kanezaki（兼崎順一）on trumpet.