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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:

Leave charts to fans of music, not gimmicks

| Mar 24, 2015

Leave charts to fans of music, not gimmicks

Anyone who pays any kind of attention to the music charts in Japan knows that for many years now they’ve been a joke. Year-end charts are increasingly clogged up with mass idol collectives, sales buoyed by multiple purchases from “otaku” (obsessive fans), encouraged by ...

Sympathy for the snob: Real DJs play vinyl

| Feb 24, 2015

Sympathy for the snob: Real DJs play vinyl

Up a backstreet in Shibuya’s Udagawacho neighborhood, tucked in behind the Milky Way, Chelsea Hotel and Star Lounge live-music venues — an area tight with record stores — I’m on my way to a party crammed with style-conscious young folk in sweaters and berets, ...

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 ...