Stream of the Week: Sapphire Slows – Allegoria

The Tokyo singer's exhilarating new Not Not Fun album wanders through J-Pop and dreampop

Music First Look
Sapphire Slows

In the two years since the release of her debut 12" True Breath (Not Not Fun, 2011), Sapphire Slows’ career has already taken her across the globe. She continues to carry a distinct vocal elegance matched by electronic textures that assemble and disassemble as fast as the urban environments that she is inspired by. At times offering a tableau of bleeps and blops reminiscent of walking past a pachinko centre in Japan, her music bids the listener with the enticement of an escape from dreary reality into a special brand of transient curiosity. Yet this music remains an offer, never loosing its cool. It waits for you with a compositional resonance that occludes over interpretation, never truly shifting its overall intentions. Throughout the album her sonic footsteps wander a populated city nightscape, each title offering a slightly different exit. This Tokyo-based artist meticulously constructs music as global as it is personal.

Dazed Digital: Why do you call yourself a producer instead of a musician?

Sapphire Slows: I've never thought about that. Maybe because I don't play instruments much and I'm not a singer. 

DD: Are there any instruments or new textures that you worked with for Allegoria that may not have featured in earlier compositions?

Sapphire Slows: I got a Juno-6 and a CZ-2000 after I finished True Breath, they are cool! Also I just got Korg's Volca Beats for my tour, it's lovely!

DD: What inspires you to make music?

Sapphire Slows: Unusual emotions inspire me. 

DD: Are there any musicians or artists you would like to work with?

Sapphire Slows: I have many favourite artists and I totally respect them, but now I don't feel like collaborating with them because I'm happy enough to listen to their music. For me making music is very personal thing and I don't want someone to enter the process… But I like my songs being remixed by others and doing remixes for other's cool songs, it's fun!

DD: If you had to draw a line between your music now and something from your childhood, where do you find your mind travelling to?

Sapphire Slows: I have no idea! I don't like nostalgia.

DD: How would you define role of your own voice within the music you make? Would it be correct to say that your voice has become progressively dominant in your compositions?

Sapphire Slows: No, my thoughts on my voices in the compositions haven't changed, I don't want be a singer. The voices can be comfortable for me and can be uncomfortable at the same time, but that just depends on my condition, same as every other thing. But I can say it's a very organic thing.

DD: If your music was a dog and you took it for a walk, what do you think would happen?

Sapphire Slows: I think my music is more like cats than dogs.

DD: What are you most excited about with Allegoria

Sapphire Slows: To go touring many places and get many exciting experiences!

Allegoria is out on November 5 on Not Not Fun

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