The textured sound of Rabbitoo makes a lasting first impression on their debut album National Anthem of Unknown Country from 2014, a fusion of jazz, rock, and electronica influences.

The five-piece group led by guitarist and primary songwriter Motohiko Ichino produces otherworldly atmospheres with loops of sound and cascading sheets of melody set against precise rock and dance-inspired beats. The instruments riff and interlace, fitting together like puzzle pieces at times, an intense chorus at others, while swirling over underlying rhythmic grids for a dusky, spacey, trance-like aura.

Definitely not following the typical jazz formula, this beat-centered music with some live jazz improvisation incorporates electronic loops and samples in real-time along with their primary instruments – guitar, sax, keyboards, bass, and drums – modified with echoes, distortion, and other effects. Another clever addition, the Minimoog synthesizer’s characteristic sounds enrich the music greatly with a haunting, retro-futuristic feel, evoking popular songs and suspense movies from the past and strengthening the sensation of this dramatic, mood-pushing music.

National Anthem of Unknown Country by Rabbitoo

Released in 2014 on SONG X JAZZ as SONG X 019. Also released in Europe in 2014 on French label naïve as NJ624611.

Japanese Names: Motohiko Ichino 市野元彦 Daisuke Fujiwara 藤原大輔 Koichi Sato 佐藤浩一 Hiroki Chiba 千葉広樹 Noritaka Tanaka 田中徳崇

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Jan 26, 2020 (Updated Dec 6, 2021)