Sometimes an artist comes along that who is so unique, so multi-talented, so artistic that my attention is immediately captured and I’m an instant fan. Shugo Tokumaru is that kind of artist. The guy does everything; singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, mixer and producer. Every instrument you hear (and you’ll hear a lot of them) features Tokumaru, who has used over 100 in his recordings. The guy is simply amazing.
Born and raised in Tokyo, after high school he took a two and a half year sabbatical, spending most of his time in Los Angeles, played in a jazz band and expanded his horizons. This is where he started dabbling in home recordings. After he returned to Japan, he put together a ten track demo album called Fragment which found its way to a US record label who wanted to release it, but Shugo insisted on recording another album he named Night Piece in its place, which was released in the US in 2004. Here is the song Paparazzi from that album.
(more songs after the jump)
He followed that up in 2006 with his second album, L.S.T. Here is the final track, 5 AM…
What really put Shugo on the music map was his third release, Exit. Using over 50 different instruments and mixing it on his laptop, it was by far his most popular release up to that time and received great critical acclaim. Some of the songs from that album included Parachute, Green Rain, Clocca and Button. Here for your enjoyment is Parachute.
His latest CD, Port Entropy, made the top 40 in Japan. Here is the song Linne.
Drawing his influences from Japanese pop music, the Beach Boys and traditional gagaku, Tokumaru combines them all to come up with a truly unique style.