Patrick St. Michel

Patrick St. Michel is a Tokyo-based writer with a focus on Japanese music. He runs the blog Make Believe Melodies, which has focused on Japanese independent music since 2009. Besides The Japan Times, he also contributes to MTV 81 and The Atlantic.

For Patrick St. Michel's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Nico Nico moves into Ikebukuro

Oct 24, 2014

Nico Nico moves into Ikebukuro

Since launching in 2006, online video-sharing service Nico Nico (originally Nico Nico Douga) has become one of Japan’s central hubs for aspiring artists and entertainers to share their talents with users across the country. They’ve fostered a millions-strong community capable of influencing mainstream Japanese ...

Takeuchi sticks to what she knows on 'Trad'

| Oct 14, 2014

Takeuchi sticks to what she knows on 'Trad'

Mariya Takeuchi “Trad” (Warner Music Japan) There are few certainties in the Japanese music industry nowadays, but two trends are definitely sale-driving locks for major labels. First is the trick of turning CDs into glorified containers for more valuable items such as the AKB48 ...

Smany's sophomore outing shows subdued promise

| Oct 14, 2014

Smany's sophomore outing shows subdued promise

Smany “Polyphenic” (Bunkai-kei records) Last year, netlabel Bunkai-Kei records made a big deal about singer Smany’s debut album “komoriuta.” It released a video trailer for it, along with calling up some of the more prominent names in Japan’s online-music scene to remix songs from ...

tofubeats calls on pals for his 'First Album'

Sep 30, 2014

tofubeats calls on pals for his 'First Album'

Yusuke Kawai tries to start a para para dance halfway through his Sept. 5 DJ set, but the inside of an Apple Store isn’t an ideal space for this endeavor. Kawai, who records under the name tofubeats, is performing a special show at the ...

Remaking the EDM experience for Japan

Sep 23, 2014

Remaking the EDM experience for Japan

Glitter showered the crowd at August’s all-night Sonicmania event as electronic artist Zedd cued up his hit song, “Stay the Night.” The crowd bobbed along at first, but as the track built and let loose in a whirlwind of bass and synthesizer the audience ...

'Attack25' revists Dreams Come True's better qualities

| Sep 16, 2014

'Attack25' revists Dreams Come True's better qualities

Dreams Come True “Attack25″ (Universal Music) This year marks the 25th anniversary of popular J-pop outfit Dreams Come True’s formation, and to celebrate the occasion Universal Music has released “Attack25,” its 17th original album to date. It’s not a best-of collection as such, the ...