The third album by Tokyo Metropolis electronica entity UNKNOWN ME, Bishintai, is a sublime synthetic suite of cosmic wellness transmissions exploring “the unknown beauty of your mind and body,” appropriately named for a kanji compound meaning “beauty, mind, body.” Crafted with software, synthesizer, steel drum, rhythm boxes, and robotic voice by the core quartet of Yakenohara, P-RUFF, H. Takahashi, and Osawa Yudai, the album unfolds like a holographic guided meditation, soothing but cybernetic, framed by subways and sky malls. Latticework electronics flicker with texture, glitch, wobble, and mirage, themed around sensory perception and body parts.
A diverse cast of collaborators assist in actualizing the collection’s uniquely urban expression of new age ambient, from psychedelic footwork riddler foodman to multi-instrumentalist institution Jim O’Rourke to Japanese underground shape-shifters MC.Sirafu and Lisa Nakagawa. Although the group cites a therapeutic muse (“made for the maintenance of the minds of city dwellers”), Bishintai shimmers with an alien strangeness, too, like decentralized relaxation systems obeying sentient circuits. This is music of utopia and nowhere, channeling worlds within worlds, birthed from a sonic ethos as simple as it is sacred: “in pursuit of beautiful tones.”