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James Hadfield

For James Hadfield's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Sapphire Slows is getting more vocal, and not just in her music

Sep 20, 2017

Sapphire Slows is getting more vocal, and not just in her music

When she first emerged on Tokyo's bedroom producer scene in 2011, Sapphire Slows shot to prominence almost instantly, scoring a release on voguish Los Angeles label Not Not Fun mere months after starting out. A full-length album, "Allegoria," followed on the same label in ...

Wonk plays around with 'experimental soul' on a pair of new albums

Sep 12, 2017

Wonk plays around with 'experimental soul' on a pair of new albums

"The way music from America and other Western countries got imported into Japan, the roots are different," says Ayatake Ezaki, keyboardist for Tokyo-based quartet Wonk. "In Japan, hip-hop is hip-hop, jazz is jazz, soul is soul — that's how they've been received," he continues. "But ...

Drum prodigy Senri Kawaguchi doesn't put limits on her music

Aug 31, 2017

Drum prodigy Senri Kawaguchi doesn't put limits on her music

In 2010, the online encyclopedia Drummerworld added a 13-year-old Japanese schoolgirl to its list of the world's greatest players. Senri Kawaguchi had rocketed to fame after posting YouTube videos of herself drumming along to songs from the "K-On!" anime series, wearing the same sailor-suit ...

Netflix's 'Death Note' may be dumber, but is it really evil?

Aug 25, 2017

Netflix's 'Death Note' may be dumber, but is it really evil?

After the furor over the recent "Ghost in the Shell" adaptation, moviegoers should be familiar with the concept of "whitewashing," the insidious Hollywood practice of casting Caucasian actors in roles that originated as non-white characters. But when Lakeith Stanfield, who is African-American, was picked ...

Quruli has noticed a change in the way young people listen to music

Jul 27, 2017

Quruli has noticed a change in the way young people listen to music

Many musicians will admit to having a special affection for Fuji Rock Festival, which unfurls at Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture this weekend. Few, however, have a history as tightly intertwined with the event as Quruli, the affable guitar-rock outfit from Kyoto. Frontman Shigeru ...

Honoring Hideo Ikeezumi, a hero to the Japanese underground

Jun 20, 2017

Honoring Hideo Ikeezumi, a hero to the Japanese underground

Few figures have played as pivotal a role in the recent history of Japanese avant-garde music as Hideo Ikeezumi, founder of P.S.F. Records, who passed away on Feb. 27 at the age of 67. For more than three decades, Ikeezumi ran the label from the ...