Music Topics

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 ...

The Creams 'Panache'

Jan 26, 2012

The Creams "Panache"

by Patrick ST. Michel

Osaka’s The Creams put on one of the better live sets in the Kansai region today, playing the sort of dance-rock that seems like it was plotted out on graph paper in the vein of 1980′s cool kids such as Liquid Liquid or ESG. ...

Best of 2011: Shinpei Ruike 4 Piece Band 'Sector b'

Dec 29, 2011

Best of 2011: Shinpei Ruike 4 Piece Band "Sector b"

by Sean Smith

As member of the ultra-hip Naruyoshi Kikuchi Dub Sextet, Shinpei Ruike has developed an instantly identifiable sound and is arguably the best trumpeter of his generation in Japan. “Sector b,” his second album as leader, shows the full spectrum of Ruike’s sound. Each of ...

Best of 2011: Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto 'Summvs'

Dec 29, 2011

Best of 2011: Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto "Summvs"

by Mark Jarnes

Pioneers in their own respective musical fields, Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto) and Ryuichi Sakamoto began their exploration of sound and visual arts, evocatively titled the Virus Series, in 2002. Nine years on and the fifth and final installment of the collection, “Summvs,” reaches ...