Asian Kung-Fu Generation 'Magic Disk'

Jun 25, 2010

Asian Kung-Fu Generation "Magic Disk"

When The Japan Times asked a bunch of musicians last December to name the most influential Japanese artist from the past decade, Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s Masafumi Goto went for Shutoku Mukai. It was a telling, if not particularly surprising, choice. Goto and Co. were ...

DJ Yogurt & Koyas: 'Chill Out'

Mar 12, 2010

DJ Yogurt & Koyas: "Chill Out"

British dance duo The KLF birthed a monster with their 1990 album “Chill Out.” A 44-minute ambient collage that mixed snatches of the group’s own material with field recordings and samples of Elvis, throat singers and Fleetwood Mac, it would become the de facto ...

Shibusashirazu Orchestra set to sprawl

Mar 5, 2010

Shibusashirazu Orchestra set to sprawl

Things got off to a memorable start at England’s Glastonbury Festival in 2002. Revelers were roused from their tents on the first morning to find the main Pyramid Stage overrun by a 40-strong Japanese big band, complete with costumed performance artists, butoh and go-go ...

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”) ...