While it remains this column’s firm conviction that J-pop is trapped in a self-perpetuating dark age, the indie and underground music scenes provide a far livelier picture of Japan’s musical landscape. In 2015, there was such a flow of fascinating new releases arriving from all angles that it was difficult to keep up.

This year was the 10th anniversary of Osaka avant-garde garage-punk duo Afrirampo’s sole major label album “Urusa in Japan.” This release is the high water mark of the explosion of wild sounds emerging from the Kansai area during the mid-2000s, and it was interesting how many of the highlights in 2015 came from alumni of that scene.

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