Music Topics

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Takeuchi sticks to what she knows on 'Trad'

by Patrick ST. Michel

Mariya Takeuchi “Trad” (Warner Music Japan) There are few certainties in the Japanese music industry nowadays, but two trends are definitely sale-driving locks for major labels. First is the trick of turning CDs into glorified containers for more valuable items such as the AKB48 handshake-event ticket or the somehow-more-ridiculous high-five-a-guy-from-Exile ...

Japan won't let 'Frozen' go

| Jun 17, 2014

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. ...

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 ...