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LIVE

Is Tropical

by Sam Mokhtary

Special To The Japan Times

Living in Japan presents obstacles for some music fans. Despite Tokyo being a major world capital, it can be costly for up-and-coming bands from the West to make their way here. Every now and then, however, an event comes this way that ensures locals can be part of the latest “buzz.”

Creativeman’s latest outing, Radars, is one such event.

“The aim of this event is to bring (to Japan) international artists, who are at the forefront of the latest trends in music,” says Creativeman’s Yoshinari Hirayama.

This might sound like the typical quote you’d get from a promoter, but Radars is shaping up to be the real deal. Appearing will be British indie act Everything Everything, Australian club-act-cum-live-band Miami Horror, and current blogosphere favorites Is Tropical, who are getting buzz despite having yet to release an album.

There is a small risk when promoting an event such as this, as the bands involved lack widespread popularity and strong album sales in Japan. “We’re not sure how popular it is there yet,” says Miami Horror’s Benjamin Plant of their first studio album, “Illumination.” “I’m very excited to see the result a few months down the line.”

Despite the risk, in this case the reward is worth it. Since first turning heads in 2008 with 5-track EP, “Bravado,” Miami Horror have spent time honing their brand of shimmering synth-pop. The track “Sometimes” offers sprawling electronic soundscapes, warm emotional sentiments and even singalong moments.

Probably the most exciting band to make the lineup, however, are British “experi-pop” outfit Is Tropical. Songs such as “When O’ When” start off slow, draw you in and then turn in an instant, delivering waves upon waves of rumbling bass, squalling synths and ear-splitting drums. Add to this a penchant for theatrics, the band hiding their faces under bandannas, and Tokyo is set for an audiovisual feast fitting for the expanse of the Studio Coast stage.

Australian rock act Little Red will be experiencing a homecoming of sorts. “I lived in Fukuoka for a year and our drummer, Taka Honda, is from a village in Shikoku,” says keyboardist Tom Hartney. “Despite this, we haven’t made it over to Japan until now. My Japanese friends always ask when we are going to tour, finally we are!”

Radars — Featuring: Everything Everything, Miami Horror, Is Tropical, Little Red and Psysalia Psysalis Psyche takes place April 30 at Shinkiba Studio Coast in Tokyo (2 p.m.; ¥5,000 in advance). For details, call [03] 3462 6969, or visit www.creativeman.co.jp