This week sees the release of Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa second album “Savage Imagination” as a duo, and shows their collaboration in full bloom. It is an collection of vibrant pop music, laced with the sounds of video games (Mario Kart!!), radiophonic experiments, and indigenous music from around the world. Watch the brilliant animated video for the album’s closing track “Pastel Ice Date” below:

Dustin explains to process of making the video…

“I got some footage of figure skaters and traced it frame by frame, I took the tracing paper layer it over on my computer screen and traced it with pencil. Then the drawings were sent over to Takako and she would apply a layer of different colors using color pencils. I really think her animated colors is the soul of the video. Just like she is the soul of the music. I would then scan all the drawings back in and turn it in to a video format I can work on. We also filmed each other singing and I traced our faces from the computer screen as well. Once I started putting the video together, I was seeing the frame of the video as a kind of stage, or a ballroom. It reminded me of seeing a ballroom from a bird’s eye view. Tiny dramas occur when things slip into each other and subtly bump into each other… since there are no cuts, I thought about early 20th century filmmakers like Melié who saw the frame as a stage. The gaze of the viewer changes the experience of the act. Place of focus and choosing where to look at a particular time, one will feel it and see it differently…”

Savage Imagination is a collection indebted to, but transcending, a long history of Japanese pop music, using strange and unusual sounds to create music that is optimistic and upbeat to its core. Full album bio HERE

Takako Minekawa, who first rose to international prominence as a Shibuya-kei singer in the mid-90s, has previously collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Cornelius, Buffalo Daughter, and Dymaxion. This is the first new material from Dustin Wong (who was first introduced to the world as a member of Baltimore based art-rockers Ponytail) since he completed his fantastic trilogy of solo looped guitar albums last year.

Dustin & Takako will tour the US from this November (full dates can be view HERE). Dustin has toured with Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, Beach House, The Dodos, and Mountain Goats.