Kishi Bashi


Image of Kishi Bashi - Kantos

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The latest full-length from Kishi Bashi, 'Kantos' is a work of exquisite duality: a party album about the possible end of humanity as we know it, at turns deeply unsettling and sublimely joyful. In a sonic departure from the symphonic folk of his critically lauded 2019 LP 'Omoiyari' a career-defining body of work born from his intensive meditation on the mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II the Seattle-born singer/songwriter/producer’s fifth studio album encompasses everything from Brazilian jazz and ’70s funk to orchestral rock and city pop (a Japanese genre that peaked in the mid-’80s). Informed by an equally kaleidoscopic mix of inspirations the cult-classic sci-fi novel series Hyperion Cantos, the writings of 18th century enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant, a revelatory trip to ancient ruins on the island of Crete Kantos ultimately serves as an unbridled exaltation of the human spirit and all its wild complexities.

During the earliest stages of creating songs for the album, Ishibashi’s main intent was to return to his highly eclectic musical roots, in part by tapping into his jazz background and by delving into the dance-rock-leaning sensibilities he previously embraced as co-founder of Brooklyn-bred indie band Jupiter One. But not too long into the songwriting process, he stumbled upon an AI-equipped website capable of composing catchy song hooks based on a Prompt a turn of events that quickly catalyzed the existential inquiry at the heart of 'Kantos'.

Although his ruminations on AI, transhumanism, and humanity’s troubled fate indelibly guided the making of Kantos, Ishibashi nonetheless views the album as “less of a warning about this kind of hubris but more a celebration of the very characteristics that make us human: desire, passion, empathy, and love.” “If there’s anything I want people to come away with when they hear this record, it’s a feeling of excitement about the possibilities of human-created art,” he says. “Even as we’re learning more about all the amazing things AI can do, I think humans will always be one step ahead in terms of our creativity and innovation. There’s still no limit to what we have to offer.”


1. Violin Akai
2. Chiba Funk
3. Late Night Comic
4. Colorful State
5. Escape From Knossos
6. Icarus IV
7. Hollywood Intermission
8. Lilliputian Chop
9. Analógico Brasil
10. Make Believe
11. Call It Off
12. Tokyo Love Story (Love Story Wa Totsuzen Ni)

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