Tanimura Midnight (Shelby of Frodus’ synthwave project) preps LP — watch a video
Shelby Cinca is probably best known as the frontman of spastic post-hardcore band Frodus, though he's been involved in many other musical projects, including his solo project Tanimura Midnight. As Tanimura Midnight, he makes '80s-inspired synthwave that fits in with the whole Stranger Things-era synthwave trend (though he's been doing it since before Stranger Things), and there's a little '80s video game music in the mix too. His newest Tanimura Midnight album, Diamond Dragon, is coming out on October 26 (pre-order), and we're premiering the title track along with its video. The song features some some very '80s guitar heroics, and some very '80s midi-saxophone by Infomercial, but the video is about a much more modern concept. Shelby explains:
Last year before me and my family moved back to Sweden we lived temporarily near my work in Playa Vista, CA. It's in an area called Silicon Beach which is Los Angeles' answer to Silicon Valley. My work was an interactive agency that worked with Microsoft and other clients. We had 1 floor of a building but below us were 3 floors of Fullscreen Media which is management and content for YouTube influencers and such. It really said something about how much LA changed since the days of the Sunset Strip and rock n' roll. I'd see night-liners parked there for influencer tours which blew my mind. Playa Vista itself is a weird nouveau luxe area. I embraced the plasticness of it when I was finishing the album and fortunately it was easy to keep a disconnected eye there since I knew we had a ticket out. The area really had this no-soul feel to it almost as if someone exported it from a CAD file and it was a demo for humans to live. All with private security patrolling to make sure no riff raff would walk the ambient lit sidewalks. I kept thinking of the book Snowcrash by Neil Stephenson. Private cops and huge income inequalities added with the weird now with the insular bubble of tech. West side LA is becoming a tech terraform of this sorta thing with Snapchat owning numerous buildings in Venice Beach and Google redoing Howard Hughes old hangar.
The desolate living was shot originally for an Infomercial video in mind, whom can be heard playing sax on the track. I wanted to capture the weird now–a plastic condo promo video but in a 4k look. Jumping ahead conceptually to maybe what Vaporwave will be in 15 years which could be about celebrating tech opulence cheesy lifestyle marketing stuff of the mid/late 2010s. The track has an underlying sinister feel and I liked how it played with the images and the ending with the diamond dragon. The diamond a symbol of opulence and the dragon a dangerous mythological creature. The arc of the album is a bit of a sense of oncoming anxiety (probably due to media consumption) and ends on a cleansing note. So this being the first track sets the stage for that and also alludes to some of my other concepts of Diamond Dragon being a part of some sort of heist movie.