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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:

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 ...

| Jul 22, 2014

Just what is so wrong about Yoko Ono?

As Yoko Ono prepares to take the stage at Fuji Rock Festival on July 26, a BBC video of her performing the 1969 Plastic Ono Band track “Don’t Worry Kyoko” at this year’s Glastonbury festival has racked up nearly 2 million views, largely from ...

Without a canon, Japanese pop won't blast off

| Jun 24, 2014

Without a canon, Japanese pop won't blast off

Exploring the world of Japanese music can be a baffling experience for those who don’t speak the language. Where do you start if you’re new to the scene? Entry points are fragmented at best, woefully uninformed much of the time and actively damaging at ...

Blonde Redhead gets comfortable with past records

Jun 17, 2014

Blonde Redhead gets comfortable with past records

Formed in 1993 by Japanese singer Kazu Makino and Italian twins Simone and Amedeo Pace, and forged in the noisy underbelly of the New York alternative scene, Blonde Redhead has charted a path that has taken it from screeching underground noise rock to fragile, ...

Macmanaman step up to bat for the live show

May 13, 2014

Macmanaman step up to bat for the live show

“Instrumental post-rock” is probably the worst way to introduce a band, and by this point 90 percent of this article’s readers will have probably fled to the sports section. Many of the most celebrated Japanese instrumental post-rock bands have carved a niche for themselves ...