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lostrushi's SISTERHOOD is an Instant Classic
Okaeri Alice is a school-life manga by Shuzo Oshimi depicting a childhood trio of friends navigating adolescence after one of them comes back into their lives presenting as female. They state they are no longer a boy, but aren’t and do not want to be a woman. Oshimi was already a master of psychological drama, his masterworks being the thrilling Aku No Hana and the horrifying Chi no Wadachi, but Okaeri Alice is his most human creation yet. It’s an intense tribute to growing up, confronting yourself and others, interrogating gender, and how to conceptualize existence. When I listen to SISTERHOOD by lostrushi, I hear those same themes in abundance.
I’ve had the same euphoric feelings listening to SISTERHOOD that I did Jane Remover’s dariacore series, constantly wondering “how the fuck did a human make something that sounds like this???” Although lostrushi does not fuck with labelling his shit digicore or hyperpop or whatever, it’s clear there’s the same indomitable creativity in FL studio that leroy has, just mind-bending shit that isn’t drenched in reverb to give the impression it’s more cutting-edge than it is. These discord kids are showing we just not putting enough into our music.
lostrushi says he’s “heavily influenced by Nintendo DS music” and these beats and textures sound just like products of that statement. Sonic Rush, Kirby Superstar Ultra, Picross DS, the soundfonts used echo such 16-bit soundtrack classics, only modified and given more glitz. But to put those sounds in such a melodic and harmonic pop pocket, that’s what’s so brilliant about SISTERHOOD. He is a hooky mastermind, tracks laden with earworms and glittery sophistication. It is effervescent in its sheer brilliance.
You can also hear Carti, jaydes, and Thouxanbanfauni, but also the angelicism of Hikaru Utada and Anamanaguchi’s Scott Pilgrim vs the World as touchstones throughout SISTERHOOD, but there’s never liberal borrowing from those artists. It’s a synthesis that is deft, mercurial, and utterly unique. Over the 39-minute runtime, the gelling of the songs feels apparent without any stale motifs, lostrushi showing how creatively vibrant he is.
By all accounts, lostrushi identifies as a man, and I have no qualms in him correcting me vis-a-vis this album, but SISTERHOOD does not abide by the gender binary. This music is freeing, unbound by expectations of typical Soundcloud bravado. The continual Dir en Grey references are just icing on the proverbial cake, a band that had zero inhibitions when it came to gender presentation, standing staunchly against the grain. That’s the kind of unflappable ethos that lostrushi comes with on this album, excellence upon excellence beholden only to his personal tastes.
This is exactly the type of shit that I would’ve lobbied Mr P to get a EUREKA! on Tiny Mix Tapes, it is just so unlike anything else I’ve heard from this corner of the internet, even compared to quasi-similar stuff from Axxturel or 4jay or any of the other weirdo Soundcloud. This is pure genius, to be making music at this level after only 3 years of publicly posting it is astonishing, especially in an era where every B-side, loosie or throwaway is put up on a whim. lostrushi is really on some other shit with SISTERHOOD, tap the fuck in.