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Ian Martin

Ian Martin is a freelance writer covering music and pop culture. He has been active in the Tokyo music scene as an indie event organiser, DJ and label owner since 2004 and has been contributing to The Japan Times music page for almost as long.

For Ian Martin's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Who was music being made for in 2014?

| Dec 23, 2014

Who was music being made for in 2014?

When looking back on the year in music, the big question music fans should be asking themselves is, “Who was music being made for in 2014?” Looking at the broader picture, we can find the answers writ large across the Japanese music scene. Is ...

Rock, J-pop and dance: Albums we liked in 2014

Dec 16, 2014

Rock, J-pop and dance: Albums we liked in 2014

The year-end album charts in Japan have a tendency to prop up the same acts year after year: Exile, anything that ends in a “48,” and almost every group from the Johnny & Associates stable of boy bands. Writers at The Japan Times, however, ...

| Nov 25, 2014

Pop artifice was never better with Aya Matsuura

When a pop singer who has long faded from the limelight suddenly starts appearing in your Twitter timeline in the form of glowing, nostalgic re-evaluations, they’re either gearing up for a comeback . . . or dead. In the case of 28-year-old singer Aya ...

Studio Ghibli inspires endless adaptations

Sep 20, 2014

Studio Ghibli inspires endless adaptations

As one of the most important and acclaimed animation studios in not only Japan but the world, it’s unsurprising that Studio Ghibli has also inspired a wealth of printed material. Helen McCarthy’s “Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation” about the studio’s most celebrated director ...

Chi-na aims to win fans over one step at a time

Aug 12, 2014

Chi-na aims to win fans over one step at a time

For many musicians, dreams of success take the form of a big break: perhaps a major label record contract, a lucrative tour deal or a barnstorming festival set. However, a quick fix isn’t the style of Tokyo indie quintet Chi-na, who is gradually growing ...

Panicsmile opt for a back-to-basics approach on 'Informed Consent'

Jul 22, 2014

Panicsmile opt for a back-to-basics approach on 'Informed Consent'

For more than 20 years now, Panicsmile has been an unsung hero in Japanese rock. In fact along with “unsung” we can perhaps add “un-singing,” with group founder Hajime Yoshida’s particular atonal, ranting vocal delivery one of the stylistic elements that helped define the ...