Music Topics

Root & Branch Presents UBIK

Jul 21, 2011

Root & Branch Presents UBIK

by Mark Jarnes

Hiroshi Watanabe has been a trailblazer in the Japanese electronic-music scene since graduating in 1994 from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, producing beats under the monikers Nite System, Quadra, Tread, Crank and 32 Project just to name a few. Watanabe will ...

Ludovit Kanta's 20th year in Japan Memorial Concert

Jun 23, 2011

Ludovit Kanta's 20th year in Japan Memorial Concert

by Chiho Iuchi

Slovakian cellist Ludovit Kanta plans to celebrate his 20th anniversary in Japan with a special concert in his adopted hometown of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. Born in Bratislava, 53-year-old Kanta studied cello at Bratislava Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Then, after ...

Red Bacteria Vacuum

Jun 16, 2011

Red Bacteria Vacuum

by Daniel Robson

With a rough, raw and raucous hardcore-punk edge and a balls-out live show, Red Bacteria Vacuum have become one of Japan’s most revered underground bands. Formed in Osaka in 1998, the trio — Ikumi (guitar/vocals), Kassan (bass/vocals) and Jasmine (drums), none of whom use ...

Caroline

Jun 9, 2011

Caroline

by Patrick ST. Michel

In another time, Caroline Lufkin could easily have ended up as a chart-topping J-pop star. After graduating from Boston’s Berklee School Of Music, the Okinawa-born artist moved to Tokyo, where she began working on her first album. Her management at the time wanted Lufkin ...

'Finland Fest: World Music Showcase'

May 26, 2011

"Finland Fest: World Music Showcase"

by Eija Niskanen

Since 2006, The Finland Fest has catered to a loyal Japanese fan base by bringing over the best bands their Nordic homeland has to offer. This year’s showcase has been split up into two portions — the “World Music Showcase” and “Metal Attack.” Two ...

The Cherry Coke$

May 12, 2011

The Cherry Coke$

by Shawn Despres

Fuji Rock 2005 was a very memorable weekend for Celtic-punk-inspired act The Cherry Coke$. The Tokyo septet were invited to the popular summer outing to showcase cuts from their 2004 “Beer My Friends” debut on the festival’s Rookie A Go-Go stage. While there, they ...

Oorutaichi

May 5, 2011

Oorutaichi

by Patrick ST. Michel

Osaka artist Oorutaichi has long tried to test listeners’ ears by blending together many disparate styles, so much so as to render the concept of “genre” irrelevant when discussing his music. For an upcoming concert in Tokyo he hopes to further challenge the sensory ...

Is Tropical

Apr 29, 2011

Is Tropical

by Sam Mokhtary

Living in Japan presents obstacles for some music fans. Despite Tokyo being a major world capital, it can be costly for up-and-coming bands from the West to make their way here. Every now and then, however, an event comes this way that ensures locals ...

Ringo Deathstarr

Apr 22, 2011

Ringo Deathstarr

by Shawn Despres

Mashing together Ringo Starr and the Death Star from “Star Wars” to create their name, noise-pop group Ringo Deathstarr were one the “buzz” bands at last month’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas. With 2,000 acts performing over the ...

Hiromi Uehara

Apr 15, 2011

Hiromi Uehara

by Philip Brasor

Among young jazz pianists, Hiromi Uehara has an undeserved reputation for being noncerebral. Because of her bubbly personality and antic stage demeanor, some people see in her a musician who gets by exclusively on instinct and spur-of-the-moment inspiration. For sure, she loves to show ...

The Monochrome Set

Apr 8, 2011

The Monochrome Set

by Ian Martin

In many ways, The Monochrome Set are the archetypal “Big in Japan” band. Formed in 1978 by a handful of Adam Ant’s former backing musicians, the band, featuring guitarist Lester Square’s faintly retro playing style and vocalist Ganesh “Bid” Seshadri’s dryly humorous lyrics, flew ...