Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

AMNESTY 2015: Sky-Hi – Limo

Would you get into a limo with this man? We mostly would.


Iain Mew: Take away the helmet, and the mirror-ball suit in the video is pretty much what I pictured when first listening to “Limo”. Though I was expecting Sky-Hi wearing it, and with a matching cane, equally thrilled with his good fortune and with getting to show someone else it for the first time. I pictured panels flipping over into increasingly fantastical glitter and gold before the limo full-on turns into a spaceship. Then I looked up a translation and — “let’s fly on the stardust freeway” — that turns out to already be in there too. The conceptual flow through from the thrilling future-Lemmings production is strong enough to breach language barriers.

Alfred Soto: It mixes trad touches like koto with synth swells and sampled bubble pops as if to mock the idea of what J-pop can do, and he goes from Japanese to English-sung Spice Girls hook as if to fuck with the idea of marketing. To prove he’s a bad ass, he includes a piano coda.

Jonathan Bogart: As ADD and gear-shifty as Sparks, Art of Noise, or Fiery Furnaces, but more pop-oriented than two of them and less androgynous than any. I’m not sure New Wave experimentalism is really the sound of the future, but I wouldn’t mind if it was.

Micha Cavaseno: It’s as boring as anything Rustie’s doing, and I imagine that’s what the production was trying to emulate, so job well done there folks.

Will Adams: While I continue to have a visceral reaction to the strain of the “so cheap it’s good” virus that’s been infecting electropop recently, “Limo” has the decency to be berserk enough to keep things exciting. At the risk of pissing off commenters by bitching about PC Music some more, here’s the difference: while they use tinny, cheap synths to approximate strawman pop, Broken Haze uses it to create the gaudiest pinball machine you’ve laid eyes on. Faint praise, sure, but things have been worse.

Brad Shoup: Everything magical is happening in this limo, from the foreplay to the fluttering sequencing and four-note pizzicato motif. it’s like Brad Bird directing Cosmopolis. Sky-Hi doesn’t fall for the futuristic view: he stays louche, unleashing a dead-on emo-pop flatness in the refrain. A limo, after all, is just a big toy, and this one handles the turns sparklingly.

Edward Okulicz: Hyperactively pleased with itself, and generously trying to impart the same feelings onto the listener, “Limo” is an exhausting listen, but pleasurable if you catch your breath. Sky-Hi sings with excitement and anticipation — if the idea of having an expensive vehicle is a young man’s dream and the idea of blasting it into fucking space is a little kid’s dream, Sky-Hi’s performance embodies both and I believe him twice as much for it.

Scott Mildenhall: He’s clearly quite excited, but Sky-Hi also goes on a bit here, and without hint of a chorus, there’s no justification for it. Limos are a thing parents hire out for their children’s birthday party, driving aimlessly round Cleethorpes seafront while heckling passers-by, and this is a decent parallel of that, only without those sunroof-assisted insults. He’s an affable host, even if his offer is one to decline.

Patrick St. Michel: Earlier this month, techno-pop pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto told The Fader he was done with the idea of “techno-utopia.” “The world is getting worse and worse to me. Drones and super-weapons and super-ultra-weapons.” Even if you step a bit back from that grim — but fair! — assessment, 2015 seemed like a year of being let down by the “future,” whether that be in the form of the “hey today’s not like Back To The Future!” content blizzard or realizing a hoverboard is just half a Segway. Thank goodness then for “Limo,” from the rapper in a popular (but mostly boring) J-pop group who has had a solo career of varying quality. He’s never done anything approaching this HD fireworks display, and I’m not sure anyone in Japan or elsewhere came close either. Sonically, it’s the just-right convergence of a few styles — the sleek K-pop Sky-Hi’s label Avex hasn’t shied away from, more thought-out SoundCloud “future bass” and most importantly the energy of Japan’s own netlabel scene, where genre was discarded year’s ago (fittingly, “Limo” was produced by Broken Haze, who has hovered around that world). It’s a dizzying digital whirlwind, busy and full of pitch-shifted voices but also making space for the real key element, Sky-Hi himself. Like all the best electronic pop post Sakamoto’s future-focused Yellow Magic Orchestra, all the whirring and buzzing only enhances the human element. And I don’t think I heard anything as stupidly fun as Sky-Hi zipping around this song like he’s in a Discovery Zone, and how at its LED core this is still all about attraction and intimacy (“quick, slow, up and down” — awkward, but so human!). Sakamoto isn’t alone in thinking things are only getting worse and worse, but it was nice of Sky-Hi to give a temporary escape from it via this digi bounce house.

Reader average: [8] (2 votes)

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4 Responses to “AMNESTY 2015: Sky-Hi – Limo”

  1. wot did u say about pc music fite me irl m8

  2. >;)

  3. either im misinterpreting the euphemism (“let you ride me…let you ride my limo”) or this is the weirdest way ive seen someone refer to his penis in quite a while. song is a banger tho

  4. i fucking LOVE this