‘Ill’ is the the stargazing debut EP from Ill Japonia. Drawing from a decade of influences being a ringleader of psychedelic acid rock weirdos Bo Ningen, ‘Ill’ is vulnerability and introspection; screamed to the world with pride. Tracing a line between the swagger of The Blue Hearts, the ecstasy of Babymetal and the vivacity of Shibuya’s 2020 rap scene, Ill Japonia places a marker in the sand for all challengers.
Sung and screamed in English, Japanese and a self-invented language, ‘Ill’ is the sound of an artist crystallising their identity right in front of you. Ill’s aural landscape spans a vast panorama. ‘Sauna Mizuburo’ dives head first into an ice-cold plunge pool, whilst “Social Alien Riot’ is an anthem for the outcasts, with parts cobbled together from Grime’s icy textures and skittering enunciations combined with Shoegaze’s lurching momentum.
‘箱庭’, featuring Roller Girl’s dulcet vocals, is the whispered mantra of a better tomorrow. ‘MIZEL’ is the euphoric soundtrack to the season finale of a crumbling world reinventing itself: all arpeggiated dreams & strings piercing the skies. ‘Lounge Muzak’ rounds off the EP on a note of reflection, as Ill Japonia’s introspective lyrics draws upon the past for future resolve (‘覚悟’ (Kakugo): the act of bracing oneself with determination).
This is the first release from Eastern Margins, a platform for sounds from the margins of East & South-East Asia and its diaspora. Rooted in physical community, Eastern Margins is a portal into a new world of unheard voices.
released February 7, 2020
All songs written, produced & recorded by Ill Japonia
Mastered by ENA
Creative Direction: Xiao Wei-Lu & Adjorka
Typography: bod [包家巷]
Design: Anthony Ko
Video: Zhudi Zhu
Eastern Margins is Anthony Ko, David Zhou, Jex Wang, Patrick Wu, Stefan Nigam & Zhudi Zhu.