ike many classically trained musicians, Logan Takahashi didn’t take the techniques he learned at Oberlin Conservatory as gospel. He bent them until they broke, then reshaped all those errant rhythms, melodies, and timbres into an entirely new language while developing widescreen dance tracks in the Brooklyn duo Teengirl Fantasy. Over the past seven years, Takahashi and his former college-mate/fellow producer (Nick Weiss) have released acclaimed records on such respected labels as True Panther Sounds and R&S, collaborated with Kelela, Laurel Halo, and Panda Bear, and scored a Blade Runner-inspired Fashion Week collection for Opening Ceremony.
They’ve been very busy, in other words. So busy, in fact, that Takahashi just finished his first solo album. I started a lot of these tracks as a way to zoom in more closely on some of the musical ideas I was exploring with TGF. When you’re working collaboratively you have to let go a little bit to leave certain things open-ended, when
you’re working by yourself you take responsibility for every sound.
It’s hard not to notice every last detail with a template as tight as NoGeo; built on the minimal backbone of an Elektron Monomachine and named after the cross-cultural compositions of Ryuichi Sakamoto, the album is alien yet aliveborderless beats with real blood coursing through its veins. No wonder why one track (“Rekr”) explores the idea that computers are made with organic material like metal, crystals, and magnets.
“I’ve always been drawn to music that exists in grey areas,” says Takahashi. “From Japan’s Neo Geo genre in the late ‘80s to Brooklyn’s tabletop electronics scene in the early ‘00s, I’ve always been inspired by the notion of subverting vocabularies and creating new ones.”
With one record down and more new music on the way, you might need a translator to make sense of it all. Or you could just let the tracks speak for themselves. Takahashi certainly has.