Tokyo prepares to get schooled in the art of beats

Dec 31, 2013

Tokyo prepares to get schooled in the art of beats

by Mike Sunda

Although the major spectacle looming on Tokyo’s horizon is undoubtedly the 2020 Olympics, there is one event this year that will be eagerly anticipated by anyone who spends longer on their gym playlist than their workout: The Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) is set ...

From Kyary to Yosi: The best Japanese albums of 2013

Dec 17, 2013

From Kyary to Yosi: The best Japanese albums of 2013

Overseas it was a year of big rollouts. There was a lot of hype behind releases by Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Miley Cyrus. But will these acts be remembered for paparazzi fights and “twerking” more than their music? Instead of ranking the year’s ...

The best Japanese albums of 2013: Yosi Horikawa, 'Vapor'

Dec 17, 2013

The best Japanese albums of 2013: Yosi Horikawa, 'Vapor'

by James Hadfield

Few albums this year rewarded repeat listens as generously as Yosi Horikawa’s “Vapor.” The Chiba-based producer makes fecund, wide-eyed electronica constructed from manipulated field recordings, percussion, ethnic chants and slightly new-age keyboards. If that sounds awful on paper, it’s intoxicating in practice: each track ...

Producer Yosi Horikawa goes all natural on 'Vapor'

Jun 20, 2013

Producer Yosi Horikawa goes all natural on 'Vapor'

by James Hadfield

Yosi Horikawa’s beats burble, hiss, slosh and gurgle. On his debut full-length, “Vapor,” the 34-year-old producer may wield some identifiably hip-hop rhythms, but they’re tangled in a rich, intricately detailed tapestry of field recordings, sampled percussion, snatches of tribal chants and warm, guileless synthesizers. ...

Sonar festival sounds out Japanese hopefuls

Apr 4, 2013

Sonar festival sounds out Japanese hopefuls

by James Hadfield

For two decades, it’s entertained, educated and — on more than a few occasions — polarized electronic music fans. As Barcelona’s Sonar festival enters its 20th year, it’s still as contrary as when it first started: an event with equal space in its heart ...