“Two Dreamers,” the debut album by Japanese-American producer Exitpost, was inspired by recurring dreams. Born in Tokyo and raised in New York, Exitpost (real name Ken Herman) experienced recurring dreams throughout childhood where he’d wake up in Tokyo panicked, unable to return back to New York. Upon recent visits to Japan, he began experiencing the reverse - recurring dreams where he’d wake up in New York, unable to return to Japan.
The dreams, manifestations of lifelong questions of identity and what “home” means to a mixed Asian-American artist, was the catalyst for the 9 tracks on “Two Dreamers.”
Recorded in both Tokyo and New York from 2017 to 2019, the balancing act of cultural identities comes to the fold throughout the record, with songs that navigate English and Japanese lyrics, sound design paying homage to the regional sounds of the LA beat scene or Japanese folk music, and field recordings taken in both cities. Equal parts lush and atmospheric with bouts of chaotic sound design and aggressive percussion, the duality of identity, home, sleep and being awake comes to life in the tapestry of sounds he weaves. The LP includes collaborations with several other Asian-American artists, including LA-based lo-fi vocalist ESAE, New York producer-singer Hanaé, and Japanese vocalist Unmo.
released December 12, 2019
All tracks produced by Ken Herman
Mastered by Sendai Mike
Vocals on “Two Dreamers” and “Close to Me” by Unmo
Vocals on “New Moon Phase” by Hanaé
Vocals on “You Caught the Butterflies in My Stomach” by ESAE
Vocals on “Every Day is About You” and “Dream of Home” by Hinako Matsumoto
Strings on “Close to Me” and “Two Dreamers” arranged by Nick Chomowicz
Strings on “New Moon Phase” arranged and performed by Jordan Lee and Vivian Ludford
Tracks 1, 2, 7, 8, mixed by Sendai Mike
Artwork by Yuri Eury
Big thank you to all the collaborators on this project, to Gary and Zoom Lens for their support and mentorship, and to friends, family and anyone whose supported.
It's generating a huge response, scoring a total of 93 points in meta-critics. AllMusic described the album as "a record that has complex content but is easily and confidently delivered with lyrics and a combination of jazz throngs and exquisite rhythms," and NME gives it a perfect score of five, describing it as a completely flawless record. A record that doesn't always fall on this year's list of albums of 2018 released by many media outlets. jwsmusic