2020 Album Draft- Round 10- Pick 2- Aphoristical selects- Tricot- Makkuro.

When I was in my early twenties, I saw some of my friends, previously passionate about music, lose interest in new releases. I believe that it’s important to be a lifelong learner in everything – I enjoy cooking with new ingredients and figuring out new stuff at work.

Similarly, I think there’s always new and interesting music out there. It’s inarguable that popular music has become more fragmented and that there’s been a corresponding decline in cultural relevance. When Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young rush-released ‘Ohio’ in 1970, it felt like a song that could change the world. Fifty years later, except for a handful of megastars, most acts are playing to a niche audience.

With so much choice, it’s easy to become flummoxed. But it also provides a wealth of available music. One of my favourite discoveries from this year is Japanese four-piece guitar band tricot, who mash together progressive rock and pop music. Here’s the closing track.

真っ黒 translates as ‘Pure Black’. The sweet vocal melody is complemented by the group’s sharp musicianship – the cleverly arranged intro and intricate guitar parts work wonderfully to support the song.

Hiromi Sagane’s virtuoso bass-line opens the record on ‘Don’t Mix! Danger’, a rapid-fire punkish opener that’s sweetened by the creative backing harmonies. The group mellow right down on ‘To a Non-Dangerous Town’ – it places Nakajima’s voice in the spotlight, and it’s pretty. The squiggling guitar of ‘One Season’ recalls 1980s King Crimson, but tricot have perfected a math-pop aesthetic on Makkuro.

Makkuro might have some competition as my favourite album of the year, by tricot themselves – they’re scheduled to drop a second 2020 album within the next couple of weeks.


  1. I remember this band from your site and I like the sound they have… It’s hard to get over the language barrier but I do like the phrasing and tone of the guitars. I do like the use of traditional instruments no matter the language.

    • I find it harder to differentiate different songs when it’s not in English. I do think they bring some fresh ideas to four piece band with finding a synthesis between math rock and pop.

    • It’s bugging me on who they remind me of…but it is someone…they find a nice groove and build off of it…it centers around the drums at least to my ears.

  2. Yes they definitely have an 80’s KC vibe (Throw a little Kate Bush in there also). I listened to the second cut a couple times. Quite like it. The vocals fit for me. Interesting choice Aph. I might explore more.

  3. Nice to hear American music played by bands from other places. The first one way too much drums and cymbals for my taste, the 2nd one sounded pretty good. It’s frustrating not knowing what the lyrics say and the “cc” function on the youtube gave a Korean translation. Good fresh flavor added to the desert island mix, Graham.

  4. I applaud you for having your ear to the ground (With a glass? Asia’s a long way away) & finding something both new and relatively unknown. I listened to the first video, was surprised it was quite “guitary”- somehow I wouldn’t guess that coming from Japan- and it was ok. Honestly not sure I’d listen a lot but it’ s nice to hear new sounds.
    Also agree that there is still bound to be good music being made…it’s just generally not being played far and wide.

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