Biollante 'Alone in this World'

Oct 22, 2013

Biollante "Alone in this World"

Tokyo’s Biollante has found a clever way of standing out among the ever-crowded field of Japanese bedroom music producers — get melancholic. The creator’s debut album “Alone In This World” (feel the sadness already?) fits like a glove among the works of at-home producers ...

Perfume 'Level3'

Oct 22, 2013

Perfume "Level3"

“Level3″ is going to look amazing live. Perfume member Ayaka “A-Chan” Nishiwaki reportedly told producer Yasutaka Nakata that her trio wanted songs suited to the huge venues they’d perform it in. Nakata has obliged. Perfume’s fourth studio album — the first with access to ...

Maximum The Hormone 'Yoshu Fukushu'

Sep 18, 2013

Maximum The Hormone "Yoshu Fukushu"

Maximum The Hormone’s sixth album, “Yoshu Fukushu,” proves its members know how to laugh at themselves. The four-piece have long been slapped with the “hardcore” and “nu-metal” tags, putting the band in the company of other such acts like Limp Bizkit and Korn, who ...

Various artists 'Tanukineiri Drink Sampler'

Sep 18, 2013

Various artists "Tanukineiri Drink Sampler"

It’s getting harder to listen to netlabel-released albums in one sitting recently. Electronic-music compilation series “Fogpak” recently put out a collection featuring 48 different artists (should we call the Guinness people?). Now Tanukineiri Records has popped out “Tanukineiri Drink Sampler” — 90 minutes and ...

Spreading the word through manga

Aug 21, 2013

Spreading the word through manga

Videos of anime conventions in America greet visitors to Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art at this summer’s “The Power of Manga — Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori” exhibition. Looped footage of attendants in cosplay at the Los Angeles Anime Expo and other similar events ...

Hard rock, J-pop rule Summer Sonic

Aug 14, 2013

Hard rock, J-pop rule Summer Sonic

Veteran Japanese rockers Mr. Children attracted so many fans to this year’s edition of the Summer Sonic music festival that they made Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman Billy Corgan upset. “Thank-you for the warm reception,” he said sarcastically in Osaka on Saturday, in response to the ...

Namie Amuro 'Feel'

Aug 14, 2013

Namie Amuro "Feel"

The age of the J-pop diva has long passed, those halcyon days of Whitney Houston-inspired vocals and million-unit-moving singles. The female entertainers from this period have recently coped by embracing American trends. Kumi Koda struck Oricon Single Chart gold last year with “Go To ...

Smany 'komoriuta'

Aug 14, 2013

Smany "komoriuta"

Netlabel culture in Japan — referring to Web-only music labels that distribute tunes online, usually for free — has been around long enough to develop its own set of minor celebrities and “star” imprints. Bunkai-Kei has become one of the most popular of these ...