Topics

Pigeondust seeks out the story in a sample

Apr 3, 2015

Pigeondust seeks out the story in a sample

by Danny Masao Winston

When Chiba-based hip-hop producer Yuta Yamaoka, better known as Pigeondust, isn’t busy flipping through crates of dusty vinyl at used record shops, he’s at home dissecting and connecting bits and pieces of sounds, lifted from those records. “I could make music from scratch if ...

Lamar's 'Butterfly' keeps afloat at No. 1

Apr 3, 2015

Lamar's 'Butterfly' keeps afloat at No. 1

by Piya Sinha-Roy

Rapper Kendrick Lamar held onto the top spot of the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 album chart last Wednesday, in a week that saw little change among the top-selling records. Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly,” his first chart-topping album, sold another 107,000 albums and 49,000 ...

SXSW's Japan Nite celebrates 20 lively years

Mar 24, 2015

SXSW's Japan Nite celebrates 20 lively years

by Patrick ST. Michel

For the past two decades, the Japan Nite showcase has been one of the most celebrated events at the South By Southwest (SXSW) music conference and festival, a gathering where industry types, everyday music fans and performers from all over the world descend on ...

Leave charts to fans of music, not gimmicks

| Mar 24, 2015

Leave charts to fans of music, not gimmicks

by Ian Martin

Anyone who pays any kind of attention to the music charts in Japan knows that for many years now they’ve been a joke. Year-end charts are increasingly clogged up with mass idol collectives, sales buoyed by multiple purchases from “otaku” (obsessive fans), encouraged by ...

LLLL stays 'Faithful' to honest approach

Mar 17, 2015

LLLL stays 'Faithful' to honest approach

by Kat Dominguez

Despite his elusive online persona, Kazuto Okawa, aka LLLL (pronounced “four-el”), is strikingly open and honest about his views in person. Speaking in a small Koenji cafe, he discusses his sophomore album, “Faithful,” released this week via Tokyo label Progressive Form, with a critical ...

Negoto's 'Vision' sees beyond genres

Mar 17, 2015

Negoto's 'Vision' sees beyond genres

by Ryotaro Aoki

It’s an origin story that sounds like something out of a coming-of-age film: On a whim, four friends decide to enter a battle of the bands-style competition; not necessarily to get signed or to “make it,” but to have something fun to do together ...

Jay Z lays blueprint for streaming success

Mar 17, 2015

Jay Z lays blueprint for streaming success

by Mike Sunda

Hip-hop megastar Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, has fulfilled all the conditions to complete a takeover of Swedish technology company Aspiro, after shareholders gave the necessary approval to his offer. The Roc-A-Fella boss will hope that success is beyond reasonable doubt for Aspiro, ...

Mar 10, 2015

Carnegie Hall debut show canceled over Nazi anthem

by Shaun Tandon

A debut at Carnegie Hall meant to showcase a young composer was abruptly canceled after management realized it featured a snippet of a Nazi German anthem. The New York Youth Symphony was set to premiere the orchestral work on Sunday at the prestigious concert ...

Former Supergrass front man Gaz Coombes is bullish on 'Matador'

Mar 10, 2015

Former Supergrass front man Gaz Coombes is bullish on 'Matador'

by Shaun Curran

Gaz Coombes has grown up, but he hasn’t grown old. The carefree effervescence that characterized his band Supergrass, Britpop’s cheeky monkeys, has vanished, but five years into a solo career the band’s erstwhile frontman refuses to settle into the traditional post-split career trajectory. “I ...