Last week, Zazen Boys released a video for “Weekend” from Zazen Boys 4, their upcoming album that was recorded at Tarbox Road Studios by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, and many others) earlier this year. It’s definitely exciting that frontman/resident genius Mukai Shutoku is working with Fridmann again, as their previous two collaborations, Sappukei and Num-Heavy Metallic, were the two strongest albums of Mukai’s former band (the indelible Number Girl).
“Weekend” finds Zazen Boys delving into somewhat familiar territory as they juxtapose pop elements with their trademark off-kilter experimentalism. Bending riffs, digressive guitar leads, sparse bass-slaps, and swaggering keyboards dominate this track, framing Mukai’s staggered falsetto in waves of minimal gonzo-funk. The minimalist tendencies extend heavily into the video itself, as the Z-Boys are lined up in a bare studio, spaced out evenly, and then proceed to freeze, pose, overact, and freakout in fairly hilarious absurdity.
No mp3s from the new album floating about yet, but here’s frantic math-jam “DARUMA” from last year’s I Don’t Wanna Be With You EP (my 2nd favorite EP of 2007). You can also stream higher quality versions of both new videos from Zazen Boys over at their website.
Download: Zazen Boys – DARUMA
Buy: Zazen Boys 4 is due out September 17th on Mukai Shutoku’s own Matsuri Studio label. For us not living in Japan, look for it at the iTunes Store. Full tracklist and awesome, tongue-in-cheek cover art after the jump.
4. Idiot Funk
8. The Drifting / I Don’t Wanna Be With You