Music Topics

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Japan won't let 'Frozen' go

by Patrick ST. Michel

At first blush, the Japanese success of the animated film “Frozen” seems easy to explain. In a country where people pack Tokyo Disneyland on weekdays, of course a new princess-centric cartoon from Disney would succeed, but “Frozen” has been a phenomenon all its own. It’s on pace to be the ...

Qrion reaches for softer EDM

| May 20, 2014

Qrion reaches for softer EDM

by Patrick ST. Michel

Qrion “Sink” (SenSe) There’s no shortage of electronic artists in Japan making maximalist music that centers on neck-snapping bass freakouts. Sapporo’s Qrion, though, creates songs that speak a private, softer language. The 19-year-old producer turns vocal samples into unfamiliar streaks of sound, and where ...

the Hiatus 'Keeper of the Flame'

| May 8, 2014

the Hiatus "Keeper of the Flame"

by Daisuke Kikuchi

With fourth album “Keeper of the Flame,” the Hiatus chose to emphasize digital production, moving away from the more organic style of natural instrumentation found on its previous release, the “Horse Riding” EP. The change comes alongside a reshuffle in the band’s membership and ...

E-Girls 'Colorful Pop'

Apr 15, 2014

E-Girls "Colorful Pop"

by Patrick ST. Michel

E-Girls are a 28-member-strong idol pop collective constructed by Avex. The “E” stands for “Exile,” as in this is the female version of greased-up R&B doofs Exile. The songwriters and producers making the songs on their second album, “Colorful Pop,” boast backgrounds making mediocre ...

Yoshino Yoshikawa 'Yumetatsu Glider'

| Apr 15, 2014

Yoshino Yoshikawa "Yumetatsu Glider"

by Patrick ST. Michel

Tokyo producer Yoshino Yoshikawa has often described his work as “ultrapop,” and for a while that term made perfect sense. Yoshikawa created busy, buzzing songs in the mold of Yasutaka Nakata. With names such as “Kawaii Candy,” they were a colorful rush of synthesizers ...

Hiroto Kudo 'Omoid'

Mar 18, 2014

Hiroto Kudo "Omoid"

by Russell Thomas

The musical subgenre glitch reflects our modern relationship to digital sounds, something Hiroto Kudo has picked up on for his new EP, “Omoid.” Glitch is often associated with early video-game music, implying a paradoxical nostalgia for a bygone age — the embryonic beginnings of ...