Russell Thomas

For Russell Thomas's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

All aboard: the art of sampling Japan's railways

Music May 28, 2019

All aboard: the art of sampling Japan's railways

In the rest of the world, trainspotting is something of a niche hobby, but in Japan it is much more mainstream. Combine a natural predilection for hobbies with a massive proliferation of railways and you naturally get train enthusiasts. It's easy to see why. Japan ...

Embracing the Japan of the past through music with Meitei

Music May 14, 2019

Embracing the Japan of the past through music with Meitei

As the Reiwa Era begins, Japanese music producer Daisuke Fujita, aka Meitei, is looking forward while sticking to the traditions of the past. Fresh from last year's spook-summoning album "Kwaidan," which featured in "Best Albums of 2018" accolades curated by the likes of Pitchfork ...

Aaamyyy whips up a synth-heavy soundscape for the year 2615

Music Mar 13, 2019

Aaamyyy whips up a synth-heavy soundscape for the year 2615

"Body," the much-anticipated debut album from music maker Amy Furuhara, aka Aaamyyy (stylized as AAAMYYY), opens with an instrumental of tumbling beats, skittering hi-hats, wonky nighttime synth and pitch-shifted samples of a Spanish monologue — the portal of sound aims to transport the listener ...

Yasuaki Shimizu's artful jingles

Music Feb 13, 2018

Yasuaki Shimizu's artful jingles

An effective commercial jingle wedges itself into your brain. There's the incessant repetition of Meow Mix, the harmony of McDonald's "I'm lovin' it" or the youthful chorus of "Biiiku, biku, biku, Bic Camera." Thirty years ago, though, Belgian record label Crammed Discs released an album ...