If The Shining were given the reboot treatment and set on a cruise ship, when Jack Torrance travels back in time to the grand ballroom (or was he always there?), mukuchi’s “旅行(アフリカ旅行編” is the obvious choice for the soundtrack.
It’s funny how a small bit of sonic information can signify so much. Three tiny keyboard stabs serve as a vessel to transport the listener so far. Here, mukuchi uses a synth-setting that sounds like the “marimba” setting on a 60s electric organ. They hit on the two-beat, the three-and beat, and the four-and beat. Such a small thing, but it instantly takes the listener back to a 1960s world of leisure and luxury, faux bossa nova land. Clearly, there’s more to the track than the organ hits, there’s also the uber-relaxed beat, the plethora of plinky-synthesized sounds, and the woozy background vocals.
Crafting their little retro sonic world out of modern building blocks is only half the story, though. There is something off. In the best way possible. Much like David Lynch used Roy Orbison’s slightly off-kilter “In Dreams” to highlight the underbelly of suburbia in Blue Velvet, mukuchi brings the weirdness in nostalgia to the fore. It’s partially in the hyper-reverbed sonics, but it’s mostly in the vocal performance. The vocalist here conjures up some truly ghostly coo-ing (in a pleasant sense) even going off-key at moments, all of which adds to the, “Hey we’re having a relaxing time, but we’re probably all ghosts” vibe.
So, Stephen King, line up the rights for “旅行(アフリカ旅行編” while there’s still time.