Unagi Keepin It Eel

Hope you like ’80s love songs. Unagi has apparently upgraded from cassettes in a four-track tape recorder to the digital age, but the joints are pretty much the same and possibly even more corny than ever before, but not without their charm. This San Francisco producer seems to like crafting numbers using a solid, new wave break beat or synthesised horns made from the press of a keyboard. The effects are somewhat comical, but seldom enjoyable past one listen. It’s the equivalent of dropping the needle on a love song instrumentals compilation from 1987. Though Unagi might not have reached his peak just yet, he’s certainly trying to break some ground, and he’s not doing a bad job of making a name for himself in Bay Area, which is already flooding with production talent. Offerings such as "Relocation Blues,” sound like a lost Bruce Lee soundtrack with its combination of oriental strings and Blaxploitation bass line, but falls victim to repetitiveness as it rides the same tip for the duration of the track and fails to keep you interested in the otherwise decent loop. "European Vacation” makes good use of a wicked vocal screech, some nice chimes and a neck-snapping drum, changing things up with some subtlety and promising a successful future for Unagi. Overall though, this record feels like a novelty and something that should be out there for others to make something of. Though with each record one would expect that Unagi will grow as an artist and release something a little more advanced and complex, in the meantime this one should work just fine in the background as you make love by the fireplace. (442)