Even the name‘s cute. Signifying “round ball” in Japanese, Marumari, a.k.a. Josh Presseisen, is a boyish, fresh-faced 25-year-old who lives in an unassuming house outside Boston with girlfriend Sasha and their bunny-chasing dog Bacon. Over the course of four albums he’s constructed an instantly recognizable, shimmering aural bridge between hummable electronica and experimental skritch-skritch (much like Aphex Twin at his best), winning raves from Spin and Other Music regulars, MTV and VH-1 appearances, and an opening slot for To Rococo Rot in the process.
With Supermogadon, which borrows its cover art from a Ray Bradbury tome, Marumari maintains his signature neurotic-melodic sensibility, whipping up instantly groovy tunes you‘ll bop to until they abruptly hit the brakes, spin ’round and take an equally desirable exit off the electronic highway. Signaling a more accessible, poppy progression for Marumari, a number of Supermogadon‘s songs also come out of constructing and deconstructing tunes — and by god, it works. Just get a load of the sugar-sweet “Yila,” supergroovy “Indigo Florist” (which begins with a “Borderline”-esque tingly bit) and utterly Aphexy “The Mutated Wisdom.”
“I think the best way to describe my music is that it’s almost thematic,” Marumari reckons. “It tries to tell a story in each song, without lyrics, using rhythms and melodies to tell you which planet you‘ve just arrived at.”
Many first caught wind of Marumari when searching for Bjork tracks on pre-castrated Napster — they’d come up as well with mysterious “collaboration” songs. “A friend of mine renamed a few of my tracks, adding famous artists‘ names,” he cops. “Albeit not a healthy practice, it did end up getting my name spread around, and actually I’ve found quite a few secret remixes of my own music on Napster by unknown artists. I‘m not sure who these people are, but they haven’t contacted me!”
Marumari‘s own Web site (www.marumari.com) will soon feature an ambitious video for Supermogadon’s midtempo spacedisco ditty “Baby M,” which sees the ballsy cutie enjoying an outer-space fantasy. Not cute enough for you? Then be sure to check out his live gigs, where he enacts the “Marumari dance,” which entails laptop humping and the occasional running-man move.
“I‘m not sure why, but I started humping my laptop onstage and just went with it,” he recalls. “It’s fun, but it takes me away from actually mixing my music — people start to wonder if I‘m actually ’performing‘ anything.”
Marumari appears Saturday, July 28, at Insulin, 4319 Melrose Ave.