Buro 24/7 Singapore Weekly Playlist #100: The Beat Usagi

Bits to beats

Text: The Beat Usagi

Versatile music producer and lifestyle editor, The Beat Usagi, lets you enter his kaleidoscopic world with a dancey, geeky playlist

Game start. See the thing is, I love a throwback Nintendo-esque chiptune as much as chugging future-forward house music. So to quell the dilemma that plagued me when deciding what kind of music I'd embark on for my solo pursuits (my once-nine-piece band, Sapporo Safaris, is a beast that's currently dormant), I chose the more ridiculous option. I did both. This playlist represents just an inkling of the influences that've shaped my two ongoing music projects, The Beat Usagi (for tech-house and house) and Bit Usagi (for chiptune and synth-pop). Melody is the common denominator that weaves through both monikers — whether's it's translated through a beep-boopy synth hook, or a dark, dancefloor-friendly bassline.  

For the former, I've always revered acts steeped in nostalgia like Japan's Yellow Magic Orchestra. Their track Technopolis is a retro thumper that would make any Genesis gamer squeal; and even legendary composer, Vangelis, who opens my playlist with the morose yet magnificent Blade Runner theme. It's acts like these who've helped inspire my Bit Usagi project, and the track I've dropped in to exhibit this is Mamonaku. 

When it comes to blurring the lines between electronica and dance music, few people can pull it off. Local wunderkind, FZPZ, is one of them. He blew my brains out with his Crystal Chasms single, which fuses a bouncy beat with shimmering synths. I inserted this track to help segue my playlist into a more four-on-the-floor direction, transitioning into songs that feature both tribal grooves and strong hooks like Sliced Africa by Roman Flügel and Sleepless by Melé. Likewise, these producers steered (albeit indirectly) the trajectory of The Beat Usagi, culminating in my debut single, Zamza, that I've just launched. 

The Beat Usagi and Bit Usagi are both ongoing music projects of producer and editor of Honeycombers Singapore, Kevin Ho. You can hear all of his tracks on his YouTube page