Dec 24, 2013

Japanese indie bands to watch out for in 2014

While the Oricon charts tend to look more or less the same (perhaps a little worse) year in year out, the indie scene remains a haven of small delights, with new discoveries constantly cropping up to brighten your day. Here are five discoveries from ...

The best Japanese albums of 2013: Melt-Banana, 'Fetch'

Dec 17, 2013

The best Japanese albums of 2013: Melt-Banana, 'Fetch'

Back in June, I picked up on minimalist psychedelic postpunk trio Extruders’ “Colors” as the album of the year so far. Six months later, it’s still right up among the very best of the year. Its carefully unwinding songs, murmured vocals and understated yet ...

Damo Suzuki sees promise in young artists

Oct 29, 2013

Damo Suzuki sees promise in young artists

“I don’t like to make music, I like to make energy. Music is just a way to get energy, so why not just make energy?” Damo Suzuki, the 63-year-old singer and guru of a growing global commune of what he terms “sound carriers” doesn’t ...

Capsule's Yasutaka Nakata reworks signature sound on 'Caps Lock'

Oct 22, 2013

Capsule's Yasutaka Nakata reworks signature sound on 'Caps Lock'

As the producer behind electro-idol trio Perfume and oddball techno-pop style icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Yasutaka Nakata has been behind some of the most interesting and forward-thinking pop in Japan, consistently pushing back the boundaries of what the mainstream can handle while maintaining a ...

| Oct 2, 2013

True tradition would be preferable to an 'Idolympics' in 2020

Ten-thousand Kumamons doing an elaborate Busby Berkeley-style dance routine to Kyu Sakamoto’s international 1963 hit “Sukiyaki”? A 100-meter Hatsune Miku towering over the stadium while 80,000 spectators crane their necks for a glimpse up her skirt? Newly elected Prime Minister Pamyu Pamyu speeding up ...