DAOKO Enlists Nariaki Obukuro to Help Create New Single “Otogi No Machi”


J-pop artist DAOKO has worked with a wide variety of other creators over her career, ranging from those joining her up front on the title (TeddyLoid, Kenshi Yonezu) to many more who exist mostly in the details helping to shape her vision. Newest single “Otogi No Machi” finds one of the more interesting examples of the latter playing out, as Nariaki Obukuro — who went and dropped one of 2019’s best albums like two weeks before the year was over — helps write and produce it. Watch the colorful and at-times disorienting video for “Otogi No Machi” below.

This isn’t “featuring” Obukuro, but rather it’s a song carrying a lot of his sonic trademarks without ever sounding like something that would fit on, say, Piercing. The thump ushering the song in brings to mind his earliest work with Tokyo Recordings, and when the chorus arrives, it gets even closer to his territory. More space emerges, and voices warp ever so slightly, transforming them into another sonic layer rather than something standing out from the music. Everything gets woozy, and rather than being pure escapism it ends up being something much slippier, with every sound — including DAOKO herself — blurring together.

“Otogi No Machi” also feels apt for her, as it allows her a greater chance to show off the rapping skills that helped her attract attention from the get-go. Following the surprise hit status of “Uchiage Hanabi,” she’s been trying to figure out just what kind of vocal delivery to embrace in her music. Results have been mixed, but she sounds most comfortable on a song like this, where she gets the chance to show off her speed. She matches up well with Obukuro’s music, and while she tends to always adjust well to whoever she is working with, this partnership feels more natural to her.

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