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Arni Kristjansson

Arni Kristjansson is an Icelandic music writer, DJ and photographer based in Tokyo. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Tokyo University of the Arts, researching the history of club music in Japan.

For Arni Kristjansson's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Japan's juke scene gears up to go foot to foot with Chicago

Nov 19, 2013

Japan's juke scene gears up to go foot to foot with Chicago

I am at Battle Train Tokyo, the first official footwork dance tournament in Japan. It's being held at Kata, a gallery in the capital's Ebisu district. Sixteen dancers have signed up in the hope of becoming Japan's footwork champion, which comes with a ¥50,000 ...

Goth-Trad hatches postdisaster pop

Feb 9, 2012

Goth-Trad hatches postdisaster pop

Talking with Takeaki Maruyama in a Tokyo cafe, I'm caught off guard when the dubstep artist better known as Goth-Trad suggests that his fourth and latest album is pop. When I let it sink in, though, I realize that "New Epoch" could in fact ...

'Diskotopia Various Artists Volume One' Various Artists

/ Jan 19, 2012

"Diskotopia Various Artists Volume One" Various Artists

Bass advocates Diskotopia are a small group of producers and DJs who have been holding events since 2005. Their main focus is the ever-expanding area of dance music that uses heavy bass sounds, including dubstep and bassline-house. Originally based in Osaka, they moved operations ...

Best of 2011: Soil & 'Pimp' Sessions 'Magnetic Soil'

/ Dec 22, 2011

Best of 2011: Soil & "Pimp" Sessions "Magnetic Soil"

My favorite Japanese album of 2011 sounds even better live. "Magnetic Soil," the eighth album from self-described death-jazz act Soil & "Pimp" Sessions, further proved that this Tokyo-based sextet belongs in a class all its own. However, it was the way the band performed their ...

/ Oct 6, 2011

James Blake

The British media quickly championed James Blake as the poster boy of dubstep's entry into mainstream outlets. Along with artists Untold and Joy Orbison, Blake rode into the scene with a mishmash of melancholic chord sequences and manipulated vocal samples taken from 1990s ...

Azari & III to get Japan sweaty

Sep 29, 2011

Azari & III to get Japan sweaty

Azari & III (pronounced "Azari and third") have snagged a lot of influential supporters in the short period they've been making music together. Their first single, "Reckless (With Your Love)" in 2009, was hailed by tastemaker BBC Radio One DJ Annie Mac, and producer The ...

'Matthew Herbert'

/ Sep 15, 2011

"Matthew Herbert"

Matthew Herbert can hardly be called a one-trick pony. Leaving his background in classical violin early on in his career, he has traversed many genres of dance music with his Doctor Rockit, Wishmountain and Herbert aliases. He has also conducted his own jazz big ...

Red Bull invests in tomorrow's dance-music stars

Aug 25, 2011

Red Bull invests in tomorrow's dance-music stars

Thirty-two-year-old Yoshiyuki "Yosi" Horikawa from Ibaraki, Osaka, couldn't believe his eyes when he went online the morning of July 16. "When I got the e-mail I was so surprised," he says. "I started pumping my fists in the air in celebration. Since it was early ...

Getting Japan to think inside the juke box

Jun 30, 2011

Getting Japan to think inside the juke box

It's juke night at Club Noon in Osaka on a Monday. The event, called Hobo, has drawn about 50 people — not many, but alright for a genre of dance music that is making its debut on the city's club scene. As with most ...