Izumi Macra, the preferred stylization of Izumi Makura, has been doing her thing for a long time. Macra’s Hip Hop project got its start in 2011 and has seen some moderate success since then. For instance, Yoko Kanno tapped her to do some work on the Space Dandy soundtrack and has also collaborated with the likes of PASSEPEID. She does a lot of rap with a soft-spoken vocal delivery and she’s bounced around with different production cycles over the years. Just today, at the time of writing, she dropped her sixth album ‘as usual’ on SASAKRECT, the same label 4s4ki’s been working with recently. Here’s the title track.
In case you couldn’t tell from the title of this article, the first thing ‘as usual’ made me think of was everyone’s favorite music meme of the last couple years, ‘lo-fi hip hop beats to study/relax to’. I’m not just saying this because Izumi Macra is 100% employing that kind of production on this track, but even the video’s limited animation is directly reminiscent of those always playing 24/7 YouTube radio channels. Same energy. That said, I’m enjoying the song quite a bit. Her somewhat quiet voice pairs really well with the sound.
The last time I really paid attention to Izumi Macra was back in 2015 with the release of ‘Ai Narabe Shitte Iru’ which definitely went for more of a wonky production style than what she’s doing with ‘as usual’. She’s released a few albums in between I missed out on, which may have been a mistake on my part. It wasn’t intentional, I promise. I’m excited to give the ‘as usual’ album a proper couple spins because, the latest in a string of Japanese female-fronted hip-hop releases, this one’s hitting particularly nicely.
Izumi Macra’s ‘as usual’ is out now on SASAKRECT.