Formed in Tokyo in 2011 by three musicians already active in three separate bands – Ryo Kishimoto on piano (Jabberloop), Hidehiro Kawai (Immigrant’s bossa band) on double bass and Tsukasa Inoue (Nhhmbase) on drums – Fox Capture Plan is a young trio playing an exuberant and infectious brand of contemporary jazz influenced by indie rock music and electronica. Released on the Playwright label in November 2015, Butterfly is the band’s fourth original album.

Fox Capture Plan - Butterfly (2015)
Fox Capture Plan – Butterfly (2015)

The release of Butterfly marks the final chapter of a busy 2015 which also saw the trio release Underground, a mini album + DVD in May 2015 and Covermind the same month. The latter album features covers from British and American alt rock, metal or dance acts that were all released in the 1990s, some of which already appeared in their previous albums. Informed by bands as diverse as Oasis, Radiohead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Underworld, Fatboy Slim or Korn amongst others, Fox Capture Plan’s electro-jazz-rock sound also hinges strongly on drum & bass breakbeats and heavy bass lines.

Often illustrated by swirling video clips, Fox Capture Plan’s compositions are brimming with ideas, thrilling and syncopated piano solos, constant breaks and key changes. “Supersonic”, for instance concludes Butterfly with a trademark riff on the piano which is then revisited and deconstructed many times over.

Complementing the lush and urban sound of the trio, Butterfly is introduced by a string quartet (“The beginning of”) which returns on three other songs and also features the saxophone of Naruyoshi Kikuchi on “Konton to Souzou No Kikagaku”.

In a recent interview, Ryo Kishimoto acknowledged the impact and profound influence Esbjörn Svensson Trio had on his music (“a considerable shock when I heard it for the first time”) and how an album like Seven Days of Falling (2003) for instance was instrumental in the formation of Fox Capture Plan. True to the “Butterfly effect” of the title track, it is nice to observe how the groundbreaking music of a Swedish trio prompted a musical maelstrom in Japan a decade later.