Buster Goes West

03/02/2023Tokyo's of Tropique! Release Marvellous First Full-Length On Electric Cowbell Records

"And a top of the morning to you, sir!" Such is the comically refined style of this fictional character named Buster, a larger than life personality with a big heart, quite loquacious, always courteous, very much romantic and a tad bit eccentric. Tokyo’s tropical-infused five-piece of Tropique! just released their debut full-length on Electric Cowbell Records and it is a truly marvellous affair. 

"Buster Goes West" is a life-affirming eleven track album of multi-chromatic instrumental tunes, recorded approximately six months after the COVID-19 wave hit Japan. With Teppei Kondo's "spirited vintage clarinet [taking center stage and] propelled by a pulsating rhythm section that includes guest spots from guitarist Rolando Bruno and percussionist Mutsumi Kobayashi from Japan’s premier neo-Cumbia group, Minyo Crusaders, [this album] is lovely throughout, and has a playful, exotic vibe that echoes old cartoon and spaghetti Western soundtracks with a particular Afro-Caribbean flair," the description reads. But who is this Buster everyone is talking about? "The album title is about an Asian guy who goes to a town in a Western country not knoing much about it," the band comments. Which, for whatever reasons, reminds us of Jacques Tati's iconic 1950s movie "Monsieur Hulot's Holiday", though you may find an even better analogy. 

In any case, this album provides a much needed, albeit pretty quirky dose of positivity and and undeniably bizarre quality of sound and composition that will leave listeners enthralled. Call it what you want, this longplayer is just what we needed as we close the books on another week of this mind-numbing rat race. Here's to nurturing that inner child of ours and following in Buster's footsteps.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom