Music Topics

Hideki Kaji 'Blue Hearts'

May 24, 2012

Hideki Kaji "Blue Hearts"

by Patrick ST. Michel

“Prolific” doesn’t even come close to describing Hideki Kaji’s career. Since the mid-90s, the Tokyo artist has been putting out albums and singles of upbeat indie-pop music at a constant clip. None of his releases are amazing, but his entire discography is still consistent. ...

Andymori 'Hikari'

May 17, 2012

Andymori "Hikari"

by Shawn Despres

Tokyo rock trio Andymori formed in the fall of 2007. The following summer — before the group had released any music — it earned an invite to perform at the Fuji Rock Festival. In 2009, Andymori issued its eponymous debut and appeared at Summer ...

And Vice Versa 'E.Tender'

May 10, 2012

And Vice Versa "E.Tender"

by Laurent Fintoni

Despite the looming threat of police crackdowns on nightclubs in Osaka, the music scene continues to thrive. Some of the most promising sounds are coming from that city’s Innit collective and their imprint Day Tripper Records. Day Tripper’s third release comes from one of ...

May 3, 2012

Avengers in Sci-Fi "Disc 4 The Seasons"

by Shawn Despres

Avengers in Sci-Fi have graced the stages of large-scale local festivals such as Fuji Rock, Summer Sonic and Rock in Japan. The band have also performed at Texas’ South by Southwest (SXSW) festival as part of the Japan Nite lineup, and earlier this year ...

2NE1 'Collection'

Apr 26, 2012

2NE1 "Collection"

by Ian Martin

With Korean idol groups now saturating the Japanese pop market to the extent that the initial breath of fresh air and rush of slick, electropop energy is passing, it takes a more seasoned kind of fan to differentiate between the legions of immaculately rehearsed ...

The Cigavettes 'We Rolled Again'

Apr 12, 2012

The Cigavettes "We Rolled Again"

by Shawn Despres

The Cigavettes have opened for the likes of British rock act 22-20s and Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s Masafumi Goto and have appeared at Osaka’s Minami Wheel festival. Originally from Fukuoka, two years ago the quintet decided to make Tokyo their home base. “We Rolled Again” ...

mfp 'Mindful Beats Vol. 2'

Apr 12, 2012

mfp "Mindful Beats Vol. 2"

by Patrick ST. Michel

“Mindful Beats Vol. 2″ has one of the most simultaneously accurate and misleading album names of the past year. On a literal level, the title tells no lies — it is a second volume of beats made by Osaka producer Masaki Konagai, who records ...

MiChi 'Therapy'

Mar 29, 2012

MiChi "Therapy"

by Patrick ST. Michel

It has been a good year for Japanese pop music so far. The Oricon charts still house the likes of AKB48, Arashi and a slew of acts that make me want to bang my head against the wall, but a crop of J-pop artists ...

capsule 'Stereo Worxxx'

Mar 15, 2012

capsule "Stereo Worxxx"

by Ian Martin

While electronic duo capsule’s hit 2011 album “World of Fantasy” was undoubtedly a development of ideas introduced in earlier songs such as “The Music,” it was also a discrete (if frequently indiscreet) work in its own right: a near-concept album linked by a uniform ...

Salyu 'Photogenic'

Feb 23, 2012

Salyu "Photogenic"

by Patrick ST. Michel

“Photogenic” is the sound of a wrongfully imprisoned inmate who was cleared of all charges being sent back to prison for no good reason. J-pop siren Salyu (born Ayako Mori) has spent the majority of her decade-plus career singing over generic instrumentals, her voice ...

Galileo Galilei 'Portal'

Feb 9, 2012

Galileo Galilei "Portal"

by Patrick ST. Michel

Galileo Galilei’s sophomore album, “Portal,” manages to both document everything that’s wrong with contemporary mainstream Japanese rock music and offer a better way for guitar-centric pop in this county. This Hokkaido group falls through many of the same trapdoors as artists dotting the Oricon ...

Sekaitekina Band 'Sekaitekina Band'

Feb 2, 2012

Sekaitekina Band "Sekaitekina Band"

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Sekaitekina Band are pretty optimistic. Their name basically translates as “global band,” and while it may sound a bit lame at first, you can’t fault them for aiming high. Debut albums run the risk of being messy affairs, especially in Japan, where young acts ...