Japanese hyperpop artist 4s4ki (pronounced Asaki) has dropped ‘Castle In Madness’, her first album released on a major label.
Alongside the album’s release today (July 7), she also shared a music video for album cut ‘m e l t’, which features production from bass music producer Gu^2. Mixed by Geoff Swan (best known for his work with Charli XCX), the track features hyper-distorted bass and dark, trap-influenced beats, as 4s4ki sings verses heavily drenched in Auto-Tune.
“Pretending to be dead, living idiot / A wandering ghost pretending to be alive / A blank mental ward / HP dwindling to get out / The time I spend sick is cutting my life,” she sings in Japanese.
Matching the track’s frantic energy, the video – shot in one take – depicts 4s4ki in a desolate room under fluorescent lights, performing the track while clutching a teddy bear. Watch the video below:
4s4ki previously previewed ‘Castle in Madness’ with six music videos, including visuals for singles such as ‘Gemstone’, ‘Fairytale’ and ‘Alice’, which featured guest appearances from Monstercat-signed New York producer Puppet, Australian MC Zheani and Canadian rapper Smrtdeath, respectively. The album also includes the track ‘Sugar Junky’, which 4s4ki first included on ‘Undead Cyborg’, a digital-exclusive EP she put out earlier in March.
‘Castle in Madness’ also includes appearances from 4s4ki’s frequent collaborators KOTONOHOUSE and Maeshima Soshi, who both contributed to tracks on her 2020 record, ‘Your Dreamland’. KOTONOHOUSE produced the title track for ‘Your Dreamland’, as well as the single ‘Nexus’, which is 4s4ki’s collaboration with Ichigo Rinahamu, the former leader of idol group CY8ER. 4s4ki also previously enlisted Maeshima Soshi on four tracks, including the track ‘I picked up a Prostitute’s iPhone’.
Listen to ‘Castle in Madness’ here:
‘Castle In Madness’ is 4s4ki’s seventh project, with three EPs and three full-lengths under her belt since debuting in 2018. The album follows 2020’s ‘Your Dreamland’, which she put out last April. This March, she announced her signing to Victor Entertainment’s Speedstar Records imprint.
4s4ki is slated to play this year’s Fuji Rock Festival on August 22, which will feature an all-Japanese lineup due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She will be playing alongside acts including Denki Groove, CHAI, Cero and Hitsujibungaku.