The dream of the '90s is alive in Kansai

| May 29, 2016

The dream of the '90s is alive in Kansai

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A big part of Japanese music’s wild overseas image is defined by groundbreaking artists from the Kansai area. Encompassing Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe, as well as nearby Nara and Wakayama, Kansai’s scene has exerted a powerful influence over international perceptions of Japanese music, particularly ...

| Jan 24, 2016

Afrirampo reunion may save 2016

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While 2016 kicked off for most of the music world with David Bowie tricking hundreds of thousands of people into buying a jazz-prog concept album about death, the message from the heart of J-pop was loud and clear: “DO NOT WORRY, NOTHING WILL EVER ...

The best Japanese indie albums of 2015

| Dec 27, 2015

The best Japanese indie albums of 2015

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While it remains this column’s firm conviction that J-pop is trapped in a self-perpetuating dark age, the indie and underground music scenes provide a far livelier picture of Japan’s musical landscape. In 2015, there was such a flow of fascinating new releases arriving from ...