Jan 21, 2014

Ventla, i-fls and the road out of the Web

Tokyo bedroom producer Ventla has one goal and one goal only. “Ventla is in the process of releasing 100 digital albums for free over the coming years,” he declares on his website. So far, the relatively anonymous music maker has achieved a quarter of ...

Girls' Generation 'Love & Peace'

Jan 14, 2014

Girls' Generation "Love & Peace"

K-pop’s golden days in Japan are over. The time when Korean groups could top the Oricon charts and (more importantly) monopolize media coverage is now a memory, in part due to an oversaturation of new acts. K-pop remains a strong niche market, though, even ...

Metoronori 'Veil'

Jan 14, 2014

Metoronori "Veil"

Time will tell whether “Veil” sounds good come warmer months, but right now it’s the perfect album for winter. Tokyo artist Metoronori’s third full-length album appeared online in the middle of last week, when the wind blew especially cold. With the heat cranked up ...

Don't let the holidays leave you homesick this year

| Dec 22, 2013

Don't let the holidays leave you homesick this year

Homesickness is a particular concern for foreign residents in December, when the holiday season starts to conjure up images of family dinners and drinking parties with old friends. For new arrivals, it's further complicated by the simultaneous challenge of adjusting to a different culture.

Some of the year's best music was free

Dec 17, 2013

Some of the year's best music was free

Variety wasn’t something the Oricon Charts delivered much over the course of 2013. With few exceptions, the biggest sellers were the same as they ever were — Johnny’s boy bands such as Arashi, Kanjani 8 and Kis-My-FT2; AKB48 and their affiliated projects; and a ...

The Charles in Charlie Brown

Nov 20, 2013

The Charles in Charlie Brown

The advertising surrounding “Ever and Never: The Art of Peanuts” focuses on the cutest character from the classic American comic strip. So much so, promotions for this exhibition at the Mori Arts Center Gallery has been dubbed the “Snoopy Exhibit,” a title that also ...

Nov 19, 2013

Arashi "Love"

At the time of writing this review, Arashi’s “Love” has been bought more than any other Japanese album this year. Barring a sudden full-length LP from AKB48 or a cash-in compilation from Mr. Children, the group’s 12th CD should end 2013 in the same ...

Elen Never Sleeps 'Rum'

Nov 19, 2013

Elen Never Sleeps "Rum"

Recent advancements in recording technology has made it easier than ever before for anyone with computer access to create and distribute their work from the comfort of home. Paradoxically, these advances also allow artists to hide themselves within their songs. There are countless effects ...