Tomori 'Utagoe no Minato'

Jan 29, 2010

Tomori "Utagoe no Minato"

Would it be premature to hail this as the best early-Showa period album of 2010? Osaka duo Tomari’s debut album pays little heed to the stylistic advances of the past half-century, turning instead to the music of prewar Japan for inspiration. It’s a sound ...

Warp Records hits the big 2-0

Nov 13, 2009

Warp Records hits the big 2-0

Sheffield has come on a long way over the past 20 years. England’s one-time “City of Steel” was, in the dying days of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s era, a pretty grim place to be, its factories shuttered and its high streets desolate. Today, it ...

Running around the many stages

| Jul 31, 2009

Running around the many stages

If you want to get a sense of the sprawling possibilities at Fuji Rock, just look at Rafven’s schedule. The former street band from Gothenburg, Sweden, managed to play no less than nine times during the festival, bringing their exuberant brand of gypsy-style revelry ...

Dick El Demasiado

Jul 17, 2009

Dick El Demasiado

Dick El Demasiado is, by his own admission, an impostor. Born Dick Verdult in the Netherlands in 1954, the musician and media artist has become a pivotal figure on Argentina’s experimental music scene thanks to an elaborate hoax. In 1996, he unveiled the Web ...

Amami Total Solar Eclipse Festival

Jul 10, 2009

Amami Total Solar Eclipse Festival

It’s a promoter’s nightmare: an event which must be held in one of the most remote parts of the country, where the centerpiece occurs on a weekday morning, with no chance of rescheduling. Then again, when you’re talking about the longest total solar eclipse ...

Sheena Ringo

Jul 3, 2009

Sheena Ringo

Following Sheena Ringo can be a frustrating business. Her third album, 2003′s “Karuki Zamen Kuri no Hana” (“Lime, Semen, Chestnut Blossoms”), ranks as one of the most wildly ambitious pop records of the past decade, which made it all the more confounding when she ...

TsuShiMaMiRe 'A, Umi da'

Jun 26, 2009

TsuShiMaMiRe "A, Umi da"

“You’re pretty stinky, aren’t you? Well, I’m gonna love you anyway,” sings TsuShiMaMiRe’s guitarist/vocalist Mari on “Mike Smell Kunkun.” It takes a brief moment to realize that she’s talking to her microphone, not some hygienically challenged boyfriend. “A, Umi da” (“Oh, It’s the Sea”) ...

Brahman

May 29, 2009

Brahman

You might expect a band named after the Sanskrit term for “absolute reality” to be a bit, well, pretentious. But if their moniker is evocative of patchouli, long beards and even longer guitar solos, Brahman’s music remains firmly grounded. The Tokyo-based quartet specialize in ...