Yura Yura Teikoku :: Robot Deshita

Prior to disbanding in 2010, Tokyo’s Yura Yura Teikoku banged out 10 studio albums, a handful of EPs and a live record. Over the course of their 21 years as a working band, the trio’s sound morphed considerably, stretching from their inception as a garage rock outfit to the lush, considered arrangements of their final LP, Hollow Me — an album that would anticipate the direction vocalist Shintaro Sakamoto would soon explore via a solo career.

Yura Yura Teikoku :: Robot Deshita (ロボットでした)

A blueprint of things to come, “Robot Deshita” (via the group’s penultimate LP) hints at where Sakamoto would follow his muse. Eschewing the skronk, “Deshita” trades in clanging guitars for percussive repetition, a playful piano figure, and crucially, Sakamoto’s aching vox. But, hold up. As this is still Yura Yura Teikoku, things begin to devolve 3/4 of the way through into a discordant haze (the sound of a robot suffering?) until the track eventually picks up right where it left off, riding out its final minute with Sakamoto crooning cooly as if the preceding two minutes never happened …

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