You’re taking a dreamy late night drive down the purple and star lined streets of Shibuya. Through the speakers deep grooves and chunky drums compliment the neon signs passing by in time with the swinging hi-hats as Aru-2 & Kzyboost’s new LP “Hot Pants” bounces out of the stereo. Sometimes rich and dense, yet other times stripped back and direct, the duo’s productions make the perfect accompaniment for Kzyboost’s trademark talkboxing as they effortlessly fuse modern funk grooves with classic hip-hop & beat scene elements, not to mention a generous dose of 90s R&B sensibility.
Hailing from Tokyo, Aru-2 and Kzyboost are both known for their work in the Japanese underground hip-hop scene. Aru-2 got his start producing for prominent artists like Issugi, Senninsho, Tamaki Roy, and Kid Fresno. His well-received 2013 debut EP “Arµ-2,” was featured in OkayPlayer, while his 2014 collaborative album “TANHÂ,” with Lee (Asano and Ryuhei) was lauded by Pitchfork. Kzyboost’s instrument of choice is the talk-box and as such is one of the best known talk-box artists in Japan. He’s released two studio albums, “Callin’ U” (2019), and “Keep Smoovin’” (2020), that fuse West Coast hip-hop and 90s R&B. The two artists bonded over their shared love of music across sessions at Aru-2’s home studio, resulting in their first collaborative album – the “Hot Pants” LP.