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 Mike Sunda

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Mike Sunda
Mike Sunda is a music writer focusing primarily on electronic music and the Tokyo club scene. He graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, England with a degree in Japanese and has been contributing to The Japan Times since 2010.
For Mike Sunda's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / 2010s: Decade in Review
Oct 31, 2019
Halloween's rise in the 2010s provided Shibuya crossing with plenty of tricks and treats
While Halloween has been around in Japan for a few decades it wasn't until recently that it became a true phenomenon, especially at Tokyo's iconic Shibuya crossing.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Oct 31, 2018
Machina and Shohei Fujimoto pair up for a multimedia performance at Mutek
As Mutek gears up for its third edition in Japan, the festival, which originated in Montreal and now runs in regular installments around the world, looks set to deliver its most robust offering in Tokyo to date.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
May 9, 2017
Renick Bell discovers the art inside the algorithms
In 2017, algorithms are everywhere.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music / Sound Off
Jan 8, 2017
Where Japan's club culture needs to go in 2017
Last month, I was invited to speak at the inaugural Tokyo Dance Music Event — a conference consisting of workshops and talks, loosely modeled on long-running international equivalents like the Amsterdam Dance Event.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Aug 13, 2016
Latour: rethinking ecological crisis from the ground down
The earth underneath Tokyo is trembling. This time, however, the activity is not seismic; it is not one of the many tremors that intermittently punctuate daily life in this city. It is, rather, a constant trembling: a condition of the global ecological crisis in which we now find ourselves.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Apr 14, 2016
Digging for gold on Record Store Day
No longer the territory of purists and DJs alone, records have once again started to be recognized as a perfectly legitimate medium through which to collect and consume music.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Dec 26, 2015
Flipping back through the good reads of 2015
Before we turn the page on the year, here's a selection of our reviewers' favorite books.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Dec 6, 2015
Soichi Terada arrives fashionably late to the global house-music scene
Good things come to those who wait. For 50-year-old producer Soichi Terada it's a wait that has lasted more than 20 years, but now he's one of the most in-demand artists in the house music scene, and has just returned from a tour of Europe that saw him perform in front of capacity crowds in some of the continent's most iconic clubs, including Panorama Bar in Berlin and Concrete in Paris.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Nov 12, 2015
London producer Visionist comes to Japan amid a wave of grime-oriented events
Even within Britain, grime has long been considered a niche genre. Pioneered by east London artist Wiley in the early 2000s, whose dark, stripped-down 140-beats-per-minute rhythms drew on U.K. garage and two-step influences and updated them, the sound then evolved on the rooftops of inner-city council estates as pirate radio prospered and MCs such as Dizzee Rascal and Crazy Titch literally battled to have their bars heard over the airwaves.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Nov 11, 2015
Director Koji Fukada explores nuanced human-robot divide in 'Sayonara'
Whether it's the anthropomorphic cyborg cat Doraemon, Sony's artificially intelligent canine pet Aibo or even baby harp seals created to assist dementia patients, robots have long been recognized in Japan as capable of providing therapeutic and emotional assistance for their human owners.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 31, 2015
Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'Beasts of No Nation' challenges audience perceptions in both content and delivery
There was a time when the term "straight-to-video" conjured up images of cheap, low-quality sequels and B-movie knock-offs, inevitably featuring the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal, and destined to line the shelves of video rental stores without ever making it to the vaunted window display.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Sep 26, 2015
Nation's youth are attempting to establish a new political norm
"Tell me what democracy looks like!"
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Aug 14, 2015
Wagyu: More at stake than craftsmanship for marginalized slaughterhouse workers
When it comes to cuts of meat, there are few sights that raise expectations like the marbling of a prime cut of wagyu beef. Brands like Kobe and Matsuzaka are already household names in Japan, and increasingly consumers and chefs the world over are buying into the luxury meat, with import bans lifted on wagyu headed for the European Union and the United States in recent years.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jun 27, 2015
Visualizing Japan's 'ugly' online desires with cultural critic Hiroki Azuma
In 2009, critic and philosopher Hiroki Azuma had a dream. It was a recurring dream (as befitting of someone well-versed in the psychoanalysis of Freud and Jacques Lacan), and riddled with complexities. In his own words, which open the introductory chapter of "General Will 2.0: Rousseau, Freud, Google," it was "a dream about the society of the future." One, he says, in which politics is informed by information technology, and its ability to visualize societal consciousness: the so-called "General Will 2.0" of the title — his updated version of a term coined by 18th-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
May 15, 2015
The 3-D world of NHK yx Koyxen's abstract techno
Kohei Matsunaga does not see things like you and I see things. Take the 3-D glasses that he is rarely photographed without, for instance. Throwaway red-and-blue anaglyph paper frames from cinema's distant past, they have become an apt visual trademark for the Osaka-based artist, who delights in operating within different planes and dimensions to most people.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Apr 24, 2015
Young Juvenile Youth courts clubs and charts
Whether it's younger stars like Sam Smith and Charli XCX whose pasts have seen collaborations with producers such as Disclosure, Alex Metric and Starkey, or established names like Bjork delving into the underground to work with Arca and The Haxan Cloak, the trajectories of pop and club music have never felt more closely aligned.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Apr 23, 2015
From dusk till dawn at Roppongi Art Night
For all the criticism that can be levelled at the conventional "white cube" gallery space — its quasi-religious, sanitized hush and incongruity with large-scale interactive installations and other emergent forms of media art — as a visitor, it's at least unlikely that you'll wander into the path of a stray cyclist as you muse over canvases and ponder brush strokes.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Mar 28, 2015
'License to Play' compiles research on all things ludic in Japanese culture
The stereotype of a stressed-out salaryman, vacantly sipping on his post-overtime can of beer, does little to confirm that Japanese society is deeply clued into notions of fun and play.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Mar 28, 2015
'Japanese New York' reveals the migrant experience of Japanese artists in the Big Apple
In "Japanese New York" author Olga Kanzaki Sooudi draws on her observations of Japanese artists in Lower Manhattan to paint a vivid picture of migrants in New York. Her study includes biographical and fictional representations of the migrant experience as relayed in the literature of Mori Ogai, the films of Sono Sion, and the real-life stories of artists such as Yayoi Kusama and Yoko Ono.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Mar 17, 2015
Jay Z lays blueprint for streaming success
Hip-hop megastar Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, has fulfilled all the conditions to complete a takeover of Swedish technology company Aspiro, after shareholders gave the necessary approval to his offer.

Longform

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