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Balearic believers rejoice! Japanese tropical-fusioneers Coastlines are back with Coastlines 2. The follow-up to their classic debut (BEWITH 080LP, 2020), this is the sound of Coastlines' global influences. If the dedication to intricate sonic details is particularly Japanese, the overarching feel captures the sprawling grandeur of the international Balearic community. As they put it, Coastlines 2 presents "a more precise and beautifully polished magic hour." Takumi Kaneko and Masanori Ikeda don't radically alter their sumptuous template with this second LP. Yet with a more focused flow from first track to last, this is an even stronger album than their first. One thing that hasn't changed is the use of instrumentals instead of words to express their themes; namely, "the emotional expression of being soaked." Opener "Tenderly" is appropriately titled, a gentle Latin shuffle easing you back into the Coastlines sound. Their über-horizontal take on Hawkshaw & Bennett's "Mile High Swinger" evokes cocktails-by-the-pool as the sun slowly sets. The blunted deep jazz-funk swing of "Alicia" is a rearranged reimagining of the Gabor Szabo song from his classic Jazz Raga LP (1967). As the sun goes down, "Combustione Lenta" displays a beautiful new side of Coastlines, with "Moments In Love" vibes and melancholic guitar arcs. The piano-laden early morning wonder of "Night Cruise" is a sophisticated '80s instrumental soul groove. "Waves And Rays" is all undulating acid waves and lighthouse light. A chopped-and-screwed steel drum G-Funk with soaring synths and nods toward the squelchy machine soul of Mtume and Jam & Lewis. The bouncy future-boogie cosmic chug of "Sky Island" represents the beginning of the sunrise, casting images of '80s Japanese fusion. "Area Code 868" is the strutting staccato sound of Joe Sample waking up in the Caribbean to craft his piano funk drenched in sunshine. Accordingly, the tentative, naive melodies of "Sand Steps" represent that vivid feeling first thing in the morning, as you step on to the sandy beach in the sunshine and take a deep breath. The emotional, organ-piano-steel drum-driven "Song For My Mother" is a slo-mo show of sincere gratitude to all the great mothers. "Yasmin's Theme" is Coastlines' Brazilian homage, propelled laconically by the carnival beat of batucada's big bass surdo drum and complemented by sweeps of warm keys and radiant vocal harmonies. Blissful beatless closer "Asafuji" conjures a scene from a wonderful morning spent with the people of Shizuoka, the symbolic mountain of Japan, Mt Fuji and its inhabitants. It sounds like Dâm-Funk jamming with Sabres Of Paradise. Mastered by Simon Francis. Cut by Cicely Balston at Air Studios. Pressed by Record Industry.
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