AJ Unity are a duo comprised of Naomi Suzuki, one of the most popular singers from Japan in the UK, and Philipp Moll. The two first collaborated when Moll produced one of Naomi’s solo albums and they sensed that they were destined to make more music together. So, they came up with the name AJ Unity and they’ve been leaving people in awe ever since with their unique blend of traditional Japanese instruments and modern pop vibes. Currently, their dreamy, mesmerizing single “Jupiter” has taken the #14 spot (with a bullet) on the FMQB Adult Contemporary chart. The song is taken from their critically acclaimed album Sweet Roses. The new song above, “Kaguya-Aj Aj Unity,” which features renowned Japanese violinst Ryoma, will appear on their next album, which I assume they’ll be announcing soon.
One thing I love about “Kaguya-Aj Aj Unity” is how they use traditional Japanese instruments that you just don’t hear in most Japanese music today. I listen to a lot of mainstream J-Pop and it’s very rare that you hear anything traditional like you do in this song. The other thing I like is how it occasionally adds even more layers to its rich soundscape with flourishes quirky electro-pop sounds. So, they’ve taken two ends of the musical spectrum and merged them here: traditional, organic instruments and modern electronic and trip-hop elements. And it works. You have a beautiful, hypnotic song that will leave you feeling like you’ve just been transported to old Japan. There are countless songs that can make you feel happy or sad, but how many songs are there that can make you feel like you’ve gone somewhere when you finish listening to them? Not many.
Every time I listen to this song I notice some detail that I didn’t hear when I previously listened to it. It’s a song that feels new even with repeat listenings. Eventually, I’m sure I will have picked up on everything, but that’s fine, too, because the song is still going to make me feel like my spirit has been lifted, like I’m going on a magical journey, whenever I play it.