Music Topics

√thumm 'Mimoro'

Jul 19, 2012

√thumm "Mimoro"

by Patrick ST. Michel

Kansai-based trio √thumm’s music doesn’t just mix clashing styles together, but also touches on two cultural representations of Japan today. The group attracted attention around Kansai with two albums of maximalist techno-pop, futuristic numbers resembling the modern overload of Perfume, albeit without big-company money. ...

Various Artists 'Ripple'

Jul 12, 2012

Various Artists "Ripple"

by Ian Martin

It seems that every indie scenester in Japan wants a piece of Nagoya these days. Buzz is growing around the city’s bands, and it’s fast becoming an essential first stop away from home for Tokyo artists and DJ events. One of the reasons for ...

Shonen Knife 'Pop Tune'

Jun 28, 2012

Shonen Knife "Pop Tune"

by Daniel Robson

Shonen Knife’s 18th studio album was released just a few days before the birth of my first child. Good timing, too, because its 10 tracks contain plenty of life lessons I intend to pass on to my beautiful baby girl. The title track is ...

Mudy on the Sakuban 'Zyacalanda'

Jun 28, 2012

Mudy on the Sakuban "Zyacalanda"

by Shawn Despres

Nagoya five-piece instrumental rock band Mudy on the Sakuban’s “Zyacalanda” EP is their fifth release in as many years. The eight-track effort was produced by Yoshimitsu Taki, the guitarist for local emo/post-hardcore act 9mm Parabellum Bullet. Impressed with Mudy on the Sakuban’s output on ...

Jun 14, 2012

0.8 Byo to Shogeki "Batikaru J.M. Yayayado EP"

by Daniel Robson

Where the hell did this band even come from? Rocking the so-uncool-they’re-cool image that has served sonic soulmates Polysics so well, 0.8 Byo to Shogeki’s music piles up a violent barrage of cheap drum machines, minimalist guitar lines and batty boy-girl vocal interplay that ...

Zoobombs 'The Sweet Passion'

Jun 7, 2012

Zoobombs "The Sweet Passion"

by Shawn Despres

Although their 2009 “Nightfriend of Zoobombs” album featured a dozen of Zoobombs’ “greatest hits” completely rearranged and rerecorded, “The Sweet Passion” is the quartet’s first proper studio full-length since 2006′s “B*B*B.” The Tokyo rock stalwarts recorded “The Sweet Passion” in Oakland, California, with producer ...

tengal6 'City'

Jun 7, 2012

tengal6 "City"

by Patrick ST. Michel

Please show sympathy to all those involved in tengal6. The six-person pop-rap group is “supported” by Tenga, a Japanese adult-toy company (first line of their online concept: “The future of masturbation is here!”). I can just imagine the members of tengal6 dreaming of pop ...

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 'Pamyu Pamyu Revolution'

May 31, 2012

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu "Pamyu Pamyu Revolution"

by Patrick ST. Michel

It’s fitting that the leadup to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s debut album has focused heavily on her image. She’s a fashion blogger and model now pursuing music, her clothes grabbing as much attention as her songs. Her savviest move was releasing three bonkers music videos ...

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 ...