New Signing Nathan Kawanishi Shares Two New Singles – “Views From Yamashita Park” and “Hatagaya Greenways”
April 9, 2021 BY Nettwerk
Rising producer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer Nathan Kawanishi makes gorgeous lo-fi instrumental music that reflects on the little details, locations, sounds, and smells from his home away from home—the area in and around Tokyo.
For his Nettwerk Records debut, Kawanishi starts things with the dreamy “Views from Yamashita Park” and the euphonious track “Hatagaya Greenways.” Constantly experimenting with sound, these first singles explore themes of location and nostalgia. “My favorite aspects of living in Tokyo weren’t the big tourist attractions or stereotypically ‘Japanese’ destinations, but the little things—going for walks, finding a nice park, going on a train ride in the afternoon, passing through residential neighborhoods, etc. I’ve also found that nostalgia in general usually involves the mundane and not the spectacular,” says Nathan.
The first track, “Views From Yamashita” is not about the iconic attractions in the park, but rather the openness of its spaces that allows one to get lost in the views of the ocean and landmarks. About the song title, Nathan says, “I chose rather straightforward song titles to subvert some of the romanticization that occurs around Tokyo or Japan in general.”
On “Hatagaya Greenways,” Nathan uses an 808, brush snare, guitars, strings, and a flute to create an ambient, downtempo tribute “to those nights where nothing really happened.” Adding, “I must’ve walked the greenway a hundred times, zone out, listen to podcasts, old Kanye, or nothing but the sound of the occasional car going by. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I find myself going back again and again.”
Nathan studied Japanese ensemble for three semesters in university, playing the koto. His beats are characterized by infectious melodies and riffs overlaid on gritty hip hop drums and heavily layered background instrumentation. Inspired by the hybrid hip-hop of artists like Earl Sweatshirt and Mac Miller, the final result is a work of winking chillness that fits Kawanishi alongside instrumental vibe-purveying contemporaries like Sarah the Illstrumentalist, SwuM, Psalm Trees, and Harris Cole.