One Direction takes the J-pop path to success

Nov 5, 2013

One Direction takes the J-pop path to success

By the group’s standards, it was a low-key finale. When One Direction completed its eight-month Take Me Home Tour at the second of two Makuhari Messe shows last Sunday in Chiba, it was in front of a relatively compact audience of 12,000 Japanese fans, ...

Dommune takes a new direction with My Bloody Valentine gig

Sep 25, 2013

Dommune takes a new direction with My Bloody Valentine gig

Noise — vast, enveloping noise — is at the core of My Bloody Valentine’s music. Halfway through “You Made Me Realise,” the quartet lands on a single chord that proceeds to suck the entire song into a gawping, sense-scrambling maw of distortion. On the ...

Dustin Wong's loops reach an 'Ecstatic' finale

Aug 21, 2013

Dustin Wong's loops reach an 'Ecstatic' finale

Using just his six-string and a set of effect pedals, Tokyo-based guitarist Dustin Wong creates blissful symphonies of chirps and cascading arpeggios, shot through with searing leads and throbbing bass pulses. At times they recall the exuberant psychedelia of Animal Collective or the heady ...

Savages

| Jul 31, 2013

Savages

Is there anyone you’re hoping to catch at the festival? Jehnny Beth (vocals): I don’t think we’ll have time. I mean, Bo Ningen at breakfast was amazing. (Laughs.) I just had Bo Ningen at breakfast, and that was the best breakfast I’ve ever had. ...

Yo La Tengo

| Jul 31, 2013

Yo La Tengo

They had you playing just after noon today. Do you find it’s hard to be switched on so early in the morning? Ira Kaplan (guitar, vocals): Well, luckily we’re so completely turned around: we’ve been on tour all month, working very hard, and then ...

Silence is a virtue for Tokyo's Flau

Jul 17, 2013

Silence is a virtue for Tokyo's Flau

Back when he still worked as a speech therapist and audiologist, Yasuhiko Fukuzono used to observe an interesting phenomenon. When deaf patients were fitted out with hearing aids for the first time, they complained that everything was just noise. “Even when they were at ...

Producer Yosi Horikawa goes all natural on 'Vapor'

Jun 20, 2013

Producer Yosi Horikawa goes all natural on 'Vapor'

Yosi Horikawa’s beats burble, hiss, slosh and gurgle. On his debut full-length, “Vapor,” the 34-year-old producer may wield some identifiably hip-hop rhythms, but they’re tangled in a rich, intricately detailed tapestry of field recordings, sampled percussion, snatches of tribal chants and warm, guileless synthesizers. ...

Sonar festival sounds out Japanese hopefuls

Apr 4, 2013

Sonar festival sounds out Japanese hopefuls

For two decades, it’s entertained, educated and — on more than a few occasions — polarized electronic music fans. As Barcelona’s Sonar festival enters its 20th year, it’s still as contrary as when it first started: an event with equal space in its heart ...

Artist-curated festival sets new rules

Feb 25, 2011

Artist-curated festival sets new rules

“It’s Auschwitz with good music,” jokes Nick Cave at the start of “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” a 2009 documentary released to mark the 10th anniversary of the music festival of the same name. It’s a tasteless description for an impeccably tasteful event, one that has ...