A cooling splash of New Zealand

| Sep 10, 2010

A cooling splash of New Zealand

A bit like having a water pistol shot straight in the face, a cool glass of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand can slap you right out of your late-summer stupor. Combining refreshing characteristics of tight acidity and zingy citrus fruit, the wine’s sharp flavors ...

Festival marks blip on the radar for chiptune

Sep 3, 2010

Festival marks blip on the radar for chiptune

Taking Nintendo’s Game Boy to places it was never meant to go, a lineup of international chiptune artists will be converging on Koenji High this weekend for Japan’s first ever Blip Festival. The roster includes acts such as Nullsleep from New York, who takes ...

East meets West at the dining table

| Aug 13, 2010

East meets West at the dining table

Matching wine with Japanese food can be fraught with difficulty. A refined, oak-aged Bordeaux paired with a cool plate of sashimi, for example, can come across as brash and overbearing, completely drowning out the subtle spectrum of seafood flavors. But that’s not to say ...

Omodaka puts the 'bleeps' in 'Aaaaaiiia'

Jul 23, 2010

Omodaka puts the 'bleeps' in 'Aaaaaiiia'

A neon image of a naked Edo Period prostitute flickers on the screen in time to the blips and beeps of a chiptune track, over which snakes the synthesized voice of a Japanese folk singer; this is Omodaka, aka Soichi Terada, an artist who ...

Spanish vintners are shaping up

| Jul 9, 2010

Spanish vintners are shaping up

Ah, Spain . . . land of bullfights, football and flamenco. The current trend to celebrate all things Spanish means that we can be bound a little by stereotypes: Not all Spanish are hot-blooded, football mad, paella eaters. When it comes to wine too, ...

It's down to earth in the Napa Valley

| Jun 11, 2010

It's down to earth in the Napa Valley

A certain amount of hubris might be expected from the representatives of some of Napa Valley’s most famous wineries. Surely the Californians, who flew into Japan last month to show off their wares at Tokyo’s American Club, would not miss the opportunity to brag ...

German Rieslings: a light, dry delight

| May 14, 2010

German Rieslings: a light, dry delight

It’s a breathtaking sight: Between the rigid rows of bare vines, constellations of seeding dandelions glisten silver in the morning light. While the barely budding vines may seem dull in comparison, the golden Rieslings made from last year’s grape harvest are glittering with promise ...

New Wave icons Plastics plan summer gigs

May 7, 2010

New Wave icons Plastics plan summer gigs

For artists in the late 1970s and early 1980s, New York was definitely where it was at and Japanese band the Plastics were among those who found themselves right at the heart of that heady scene. Instrumental in shaping the distinctive New Wave sound ...

The perfect pairings for spring picnics

| Apr 9, 2010

The perfect pairings for spring picnics

Spring has officially sprung us from our winter cages out into parks and gardens that are blooming with life. After having had our senses cooped up in the sterile indoors, we can now enjoy the subtle and stimulating scents of blossom and cut grass ...

Molice channel silver screen on new album

Mar 12, 2010

Molice channel silver screen on new album

“We’re really inspired by Stanley Kubrick and we want to create a sound that reflects Kubrick’s visual image,” says guitarist Yuzuru Takeda of Molice. The band is due to release a new album titled “Catalystrock” later this month, and we’re here in a small ...