Karaoke, owl cafes, cute hedgehogs, backstreet sushi, classic synths and serious bangers… The Upbeats have just released the first part to their No Sleep Till documentary series and it’s well worth 13 minutes of your time.
The short doc captures a week the duo had in Japan working with Noisia, Goth Trad and DJ Kentaro that eventually resulted in four stone cold bangers and stinkers such as Flare, Shibuya Pet Store and Long Shadows.
The trip, which was the first of a two leg adventure, was the result of a crowdfunding request this time last year from The Upbeats. The most ambitious projects of their career so far they wanted to recruit a crack team of artists and take them to two locations (Japan and Iceland), work with local artists and write two EPs.
The aim? To explore the idea of environment influencing the creative process and write music they’d never have written in their normal studio setting.
“A big part of this project is to push ourselves out of our comfort zone,” they told us at the time. “So it’ll be all about pushing ourselves and our guests to try things they haven’t already done.”
With New Zealand arts council funding from Creative NZ, and their full crowdfunding target of £8000 met, they were able to achieve just that. The sonic results of this adventure already speak for themselves; No Sleep Till Japan & Iceland is a nine track collaborative body of work that pops, grunts and slaps in all kinds of directions. Also featuring Emperor, Halogenix and Culture Shock (from their Iceland leg), the mini album already proves the trip was worth it, now time for the wider picture….
“We’re over the moon to share this mini documentary of No Sleep Til Japan,” The Upbeats state. “It was an exhilarating, inspiring and incredibly challenging project, taking us and the people involved on adventures, and out of our comfort zones. It’s something we’ve talked about doing for years, and thankfully with the help of Creative NZ and our incredibly generous Kickstarter supporters we were able to get this off the ground. It was shot and edited by the absolute legend Mark Russel.”
The music speaks for itself (check the whole project here on Spotify) now the story is beginning to, too. 13 minutes of studio geekery, cultural oddities and stunning scenes from one of the most beguiling countries on the planet, we’re looking forward to seeing No Sleep ‘Til Iceland.