C-Beem is an artist based in Leicester, United Kingdom who is about to release his latest EP “Tales from Tono” by the end of this month. We got lucky and got early access and it sure is unique and unusual, it’s a new take on Japanese-inspired music with a modern, fun twist. C-Beem has been releasing music since 2021, with some of them gaining huge recognition like “Ed Starker Future” which has over 7.7K views on YouTube only. The artist was featured in several shows like BBC Introducing Tom Robinson Mixtape, Exile FM Trust the Doc, X4 single of the Week Northwich FM, and others.
The EP has a total of 5 songs that are inspired by “TONO”, an ancient village in Japan “Where magic, dreams, beauty, and terror mingle within the island’s rich store of folk and fairy tales.” These tales the artist came across were originally inspired by “The legends of Tono” a book by Kunio Yanagita published in 1910.
The synths, bass sound, and electronic sound effects are dominating the overall tracks with a Japanese theme. It starts with “Those Hills” which opens with a subtle bass line and synths playing a motif on loop then moves to an interesting percussive line influenced by Japanese tunes. Several different sound effects and instruments are introduced throughout like the Tambourine. The vocal line is recitative, telling a story with music in the background.
“Far Away Village” is the only instrumental track in the EP, it opens with a common Japanese melody and then an elaborated line of synths and sound effects giving it a more modern vibe. The third track is “Bow to the Kappa” a different vibe with a groovy bass line and a disco, dance beat with minimal lyrics and the line ‘bow to the kappa’ on loop. “Mayoiga” has a hypnotic-like sound and mood with a very interesting, distorted noise improvisation.
The last song is “Oshirasama – star-crossed Lovers”, this one is stacked up in layers of sound, the backing vocals have a significant part in this one while the main vocalist is reciting a story through singing and a marching percussive line effect is played that is close to the sound of a Timpani. The lead vocalist moves to a scatting improvisation part which adds a jazzy aesthetic to it.
Now after listening to this EP, I’m curious to find out more about this artist’s background, influences, and musical skills. It might not be the kind of music to play on a road trip but it’s undoubtedly interesting and different, and it’ll make you experience the Japanese music elements in a fresh and modern way.