Nothing lost in the digital translation

| Jan 4, 2004

Nothing lost in the digital translation

Sitting in his record distributor’s office in a small house in Naka-Meguro, Riow Arai is ostensibly being interviewed. But he isn’t answering questions, he is asking them. His latest album, “Device People,” is about to be released in Britain, and with only a faint ...

Satanicpornocultshop: 'Anorexia Gas Balloon'

Dec 28, 2003

Satanicpornocultshop: "Anorexia Gas Balloon"

Osaka’s Satanicpornocultshop has been described as a hip-hop band due to their cut-and-paste aesthetic, but one wonders if even that famously elastic genre has enough room to accommodate the absolutely gleeful musical abandon that surfaces on their sixth album, “Anorexia Gas Balloon.” The first ...

Imagine art for all people, living peacefully

Dec 10, 2003

Imagine art for all people, living peacefully

Yoko Ono loves me. Or at least she said that she does in the e-mail interview we conducted as she crisscrossed the globe. Peace and love have so long been central to Ono’s public persona that it is tempting to view it cynically. What ...

Think Positive

Dec 10, 2003

Think Positive

To the general public, Yoko Ono is best known as the wife of John Lennon. Some may have a vague inkling that she is important for something other than the far-out records she made with her husband, but without knowing exactly what. Yet “Yes ...

In a community of like-minded spirits

| Nov 9, 2003

In a community of like-minded spirits

Psychedelia, for most people, was all about bad fashion and, of course, bad trips. The loud paisley ties long ago made their way to secondhand shops, though. And with a few exceptions, the music has been consigned to “influence” status. An astute listener can ...

Sounds Numero Ono

Sep 24, 2003

Sounds Numero Ono

You could call Seigen Ono a connoisseur of sound. He chooses only the finest sonic ingredients and knows exactly how to obtain them. As an avant-garde jazz composer and guitarist, he might not be a household name, but check out the credits on some ...

Music of the spheres

Sep 10, 2003

Music of the spheres

Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. is arguably one of the most influential Japanese bands in the world at this moment. But want to read a review of one of their records? You’ll have to find a copy of The Wire or ...

Scout Niblett

| Sep 10, 2003

Scout Niblett

Scout Niblett deserves to be a star just on the strength of her name. Born Emma Niblett, she adopted “Scout” as a performing moniker because of an obsession with the leading character in the Southern saga “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The South turns up ...

The big band sound reimagined

Sep 3, 2003

The big band sound reimagined

Sun Ra Arkestra aside, a big band is an unlikely format for experimental music. Too many players; too much history. Yet two veteran experimental musicians — electronica guru and performance artist Matthew Herbert and keyboardist Naruyoshi Kikuchi, a stalwart of Tokyo’s improvisational music scene ...

The incredible remixing man

| Aug 24, 2003

The incredible remixing man

A good remix uncovers an element of the song that was already there so the listener perceives it in a whole new way. A bad remix often ends up as a vehicle for someone else’s ego, with the original becoming so contorted and manipulated ...