Supercell's synthetic pop wins real fans

Feb 5, 2010

Supercell's synthetic pop wins real fans

“Most people become a musician intentionally and set out to find success,” says Ryo, the multi-instrumental talent behind art-pop outfit Supercell. “But me, I just uploaded a song to (video-sharing Web site) Nico Nico Douga without any big intentions. People on that site go ...

Uhnellys 'Be Bo Da'

Jan 8, 2010

Uhnellys "Be Bo Da"

Anyone who says the Japanese can’t do hip-hop is at best wrong, and at worst blinkered. Usually taking their cues from old-school rap, before the quest for “bling” railroaded the genre’s more commercial strata into a moneyed-up misogyny fest and drove the good stuff ...

| Nov 25, 2009

Moving house needn't leave you speechless

Along with divorce and bereavement, hikkoshi (引っ越し, moving house) is widely considered one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through, and adding an unfamiliar language to the mix can be enough to drive the best of us bonkers. It doesn’t help ...

American bar, ski lodge owner puts the emphasis on fun

Nov 21, 2009

American bar, ski lodge owner puts the emphasis on fun

“The first question people ask when you say you’re in the bar business in Japan is whether you have to pay money to the yakuza,” says Matt Naiman, owner of several bars around Japan and a ski resort. “The answer is no, we don’t. ...

Nov 13, 2009

Coldrain "Final Destination"

Formed in 2007 in Nagoya, emo- rockers Coldrain have a commodity that is rare among Japanese bands: English-language lyrics that don’t suck. That’s mainly down to vocalist Masato being part American. Yet while their lyrics are written in English, the band’s presence online is ...

Vola & The Oriental's record-making Machine

Nov 6, 2009

Vola & The Oriental's record-making Machine

“Once you’re on a major label, you have to crank albums out fast!” says Ahito Inazawa, the frontman for Vola & The Oriental Machine. “Our new one came out in July, and already the label are thinking about when we should start writing the ...

Oct 30, 2009

Masadayomasa "Kimagure Kapuri"

OK, so they’re not the first band to do away with bass guitar and present a big fat sound as a duo. But by god, they’re one of the best. Formed by Ruu and Miwako in Fukuoka in 2004, Masadayomasa play live shows so ...

Versailles get dolled up for visual-kei fest

Oct 23, 2009

Versailles get dolled up for visual-kei fest

With dozens of Japanese bands trying to crack the West over the last 20 years, whoever would have guessed visual-kei would be the first genre to truly succeed? The decadent style of bands such as L’Arc-en-Ciel, Dir En Grey and D’espairsRay has impacted heavily ...

| Oct 18, 2009

Roll up! Roll up!

London, where there are tens of thousands of Japanese people living at any one time, is awash with world cuisine. But most Japanese food available in eateries there would hardly pass muster in its homeland. That is where Hideyuki Uno scores big, because — ...

Oct 16, 2009

Loud Park

Loud Park is Japan’s biggest gathering of heavy-metal maniacs, and a relatively new but much-loved event. Since 2006, the two-day festival has presented the world’s heaviest and hairiest, from Slipknot to Marilyn Manson, and this year sees the return of the festival’s first headliners, ...