American producer and rapper Flying Lotus recently dropped a double dose of new music in the form of two tracks off the soundtrack for Netflix’s anime series Yasuke. The double release involves “Black Gold” featuring Thundercat and “Between Memories” featuring Niiki Randa.
“Black Gold” serves as the anime’s opening theme. It features Thundercat’s soothing falsetto buried underneath a whimsical, swirling electronica. There are sharp synthesizer tinges and a rocksteady kick-based beat in the brief but swelling mood setter. Thundercat and Flying Lotus have a history of making gold together, securing a Grammy award for the collaborative It Is What It Is in the Best Progressive R&B Album category.
“Between Memories” plays during Yasuke’s closing credits. It really delves into the fantastical much like the show itself. Nikki Randa’s vocals adorns the track with lavish, breathy phrasing and her laugh is used as a sample to dot the back end of the short but flavorful tune. Once again the production is colorful and vibrant. Chimes compliment the addictive rhythm section wonderfully. This is especially evident at the curtain call of the track, which fades away after a prominent focus on the drums before a final chime chord.
After three years in the making, Netflix’s Yasuke starts streaming on April 29. The six-episode anime series was created by Bronx-bred and Japan-based television animation creator, producer, and director LeSean Thomas (Cannon Busters, Children of Ether, The Boondocks) and stars actor LaKeith Stanfield (Atlanta, Sorry To Bother You) as the voice of the title character. It tells the story of a samurai warrior of African descent in a fantastical alternate universe version of feudal Japan full of magic, mechs, and swordplay.
For more on Flying Lotus, read up on his work with MF Doom before the rapper’s passing.
photo credit: Richard Saethang