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Ian Martin

Ian Martin is a freelance writer covering music and pop culture. He has been active in the Tokyo music scene as an indie event organiser, DJ and label owner since 2004 and has been contributing to The Japan Times music page for almost as long.

For Ian Martin's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Pop embraced conservatism in 2012

| Dec 27, 2012

Pop embraced conservatism in 2012

The 2012 general election might not seem to have any bearing on the state of pop music in Japan, but there was an eerie similarity in the way both the electorate and the pop world turned back the clock and wrapped conservatism in a ...

The coming influx of an idol workforce

| Nov 29, 2012

The coming influx of an idol workforce

Much has been made in the media over the problem of Japan's aging population and shrinking workforce. But there is another demographic time bomb, at the heart of Japan's most militantly youthful sector of society, just waiting to explode. I'm talking, of course, about the ...

No problems with Nisennenmondai's contradictions

Nov 8, 2012

No problems with Nisennenmondai's contradictions

There's a basic disconnect at the heart of Tokyo's Nisennenmondai. A series of small contradictions run through nearly all aspects of what the instrumental trio does, but they add up to make it one of the most intriguing bands to come out of Japan's ...

| Oct 25, 2012

Western stereotypes may explain Japan's Psy-lence

Amid all the excitement, analysis and general horse-dancing hoo-haa over Korean musician Psy's smash hit "Gangnam Style," one story that has provoked a certain amount of head-scratching among fans is the song's relative lack of success in Japan. Brian Ashcraft produced a good summary on ...

Various Artists 'Ripple'

/ Jul 12, 2012

Various Artists "Ripple"

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 ...

| Jun 28, 2012

Japanese acts still find wonder in Can's 'Lost Tapes'

It's rare that a band whose most celebrated recordings were originally released almost 40 years ago can generate excitement among classic-rock fans, prog-hating punks and musicians whose parents were still in elementary school at the time — but then Can were no ordinary band. The ...

Kiwa Kiwa Festival

/ Jun 21, 2012

Kiwa Kiwa Festival

Emerging in March of this year promising to "challenge the limits of 'independent,' " Kiwa Kiwa — a music website and promoter (and cafe, curiously) — launched in a flurry of activity including disc and live reviews as well as columns from a quartet ...

| May 31, 2012

Perfume needs to walk a fine line on its path overseas

As Japanese pop culture is increasingly dominated by insular subcultural groups with little interest in what's happening outside Akihabara's otaku haven or Shibuya's gyaru mecca, the news that electro-pop trio Perfume had moved to major label Universal and made its music available online to ...