Chris Daly is huge in Japanese Bandcamps.

Hide the children and women folk. Masked men continue to invade and take over the beat scene. In a world of deceased rodents and metal-fingered masters of mayhem, how does a beathead sporting a fucked up luchador mask make himself heard above the din of all that collective noise? If you’re CrackZilla, the answer is simple: get back to the basics with a street noir sound and then expand into the always lucrative foot fetish marketplace with an album cover that includes sole licking and tit toes.

Say what you will about their general inability to produce seven foot tall redheads, but the worldwide Asian community, from China to LA, has been making some of the best beats out there today (see TokiMONSTA, Ichiro, Daisuke Tanabe, Roku, and the late, great Nujabes, etc.).

So when CrackZilla calls his latest Zilla <3 Japan, it’s a given that the Ann Arbor native better come correct. Utilizing anime and video game snippets, CZ avoids the usual pitfalls of this kind of sampling by not simply jacking beats, but by folding found sounds into his unique output. These are mostly laid back grooves, but this glass pipe wielding, radioactive dinosaur aficionado’s album unfolds much like a video game itself. Any of these jams would sound right at home on a GTA soundtrack.

Songs like “私の雨雲に高い” and “555 Aznz” easily could lead into the boss battle at the end of any given stage, with their ominous build-ups. Even the slow burners have a Blade Runner aesthetic: futuristic yet familiar; mechanical yet embracing; grandiose but still lonely. Highlights include “Rare Jelly,” “HyKnight,” and “Ordealin,’” all of which strike a perfect balance between cinematic strings and gritty synths.

The jury may still be out on whether or not androids dream of electric sheep, but I’m sure that if they do, this is the soundtrack that plays in the background.


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