top of page

Album Review: TOMOYU - Imagining "The Life of Pablo"

Photo via Exclaim!

By Eli Schoop, Copy Editor

[Self-released; 2016]

Rating: ????

Key Tracks: “汝、光を見たか,” "導きたまえ,” “スメケに逢いたい”

The death of the author has reached its inevitable conclusion. If one does not have art readily available to them, they can just do it themselves! The ubiquity of Kanye West is so universal that Japanese producer TOMOYU has reconstructed The Life Of Pablo in his own imagining without ever hearing it. It completely removes the idea of singular identity in someone’s music, being fashioned to a whole different context--which is why it’s so fascinating yet baffling at the same time.

TOMOYU used a bevy of tools to craft this record. If only it were possible to peer into his mind — it’d probably be much easier figuring why exactly he used each sample or musical device in the way he did. A symphony of befuddling instrumentals is utilized, from discrete sampling that was nigh unnoticeable in TLOP, transitioning into machinations shifting endlessly mirrored by their counterparts from Kanye’s album, there rarely looks to be a method to the inanity. In this vein, genres are picked apart to look into what could be The Life Of Pablo from an unsuspecting listener. Muzak, chopped-and-screwed, chiptune — it’s a smorgasbord, paint splattering onto a wall and turning into music.

If it’s hard to conceptualize what this music sounds like, it’s because it’s even weirder and more enjoyable when experienced. TOMOYU manages to blend plunderphonics with a special kind of ingenuity, one that comes from the curiosity and fun of making music. As it stands, the actual The Life Of Pablo is available on multiple streaming services, yet the producer said he hasn’t listened to it. And who could blame him? Imagining The Life Of Pablo is creativity at its finest, impossible to be quantified, not refined in the slightest and demanding to be heard.

Recent Posts
Featured Posts
bottom of page