Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on August 2009

© Hydra

© Hydra

You know something’s right when an album gets better as it goes on. Pika Mood, the new EP from Japanese male-female duo Uhnellys (oo-nell-eez), first distinguishes itself in friendly but disposable fashion with the off-kilter hip-hop of “Aru Hyojo,” a track that reminded me of oddball Kyoto DJ Shabushabu. But it gets more interesting, with vocalist/bassist/trumpeter/effects manipulator Kim and drummer/backing vocalist Midi piecing together shards of hip-hop, indie rock and every imaginable variant of electronica into something fresh and distinctive. Remixers Mike Doughty (formerly of Soul Coughing) and Cee (of Vienna dubstep pioneers Al Haca) add the icing on the cake in the form of the dubby, techy “Span” and the swirling, psychedelic “Spun.” Catch Uhnellys’ kinetic live show at their label’s Hydratic! event at Fever on September 4. See concert listings for details.