Japan Soul is the music collective of Jason Paul—vocals, guitars, bass, programming, David Rozner—percussion, arrangements and guitars, and DaVe Lipp—saxophones, bass, eclectic instruments. Constantly evolving, Japan Soul is a wandering vacuum of ideas influenced by sounds as diverse as late-era Roxy music, mid-80s R&B and early 90s dance music. Japan Soul seeks to create transcendental music that synthesizes art, dissent and euphoria through popular music.
Japan Soul’s upcoming LP, titled Plastic Utopia, is an artful protest of the times. “The album is mostly a compendium of my thoughts on these troubled times,” says Jason Paul. “The conceptual premise of Plastic Utopia is that we have slipped into an apocalyptic alternate universe caused by a rift in time that began around the year 2000. 911, Iraq, the great recession…it feels like in the 90s we were living at “The End of History” (Fukuyama) on course to avoid all these terrible calamities. Things are no longer as they should be. On Plastic Utopia, Japan Soul gives voice to the artistic resistance of this dystopian world.”
Jason Paul, an artist, designer and songwriter, has been writing and recording music since he was a teenager. He co-founded the New York Dolls influenced Music For Girls in the mid-00s. Afterwards, he started an art-rock/soul music project where he began collaborating with David Rozner and met DaVe Lipp who joined that band (a previous incarnation of Japan Soul spelled Japan Seoul). Jason took a long hiatus in which he traveled the globe for a year with his soon-to-be wife and artistic collaborator, Ewa. After a long musical hibernation and a period of intellectual ferment, he began writing songs again in earnest. The Daves again began collaborating with Jason at an accelerated pace and Japan Soul was (re)born.
David Rozner is a drummer with a degree in music theory and crafts a-typical arrangements out of the songs. He was a founding member of the band The Vitamen. He also played drums in Peephole/Kent Odessa (joined by Jason on bass).
DaVe Lipp, a writer, poet/lyricist and multi-instrumentalist, contributes unconventional ideas utilizing his growing stash of musical instruments. DaVe played saxophone in The Vitamen’s horn section. He is also the founder of the experimental/surf/8-bit project, Himalayan Gold.
Japan Soul recorded Plastic Utopia in living rooms and bathrooms in Brooklyn as well as a Williamsburg practice space. To fully realize their sonic vision for the Plastic Utopia EP, they worked with Craig Levy, an audio engineer in Clinton Hill, to mix the final versions of the songs.