R-Shitei (left) and DJ Matsunaga have scored the biggest hit of the year so far in Japan with “Bling-Bang-Bang-Born.” The track is inspired by the Jersey club style of music, right down to the squeaky chair sample.
CULTURE / Music
Jul 3, 2024
Is Creepy Nuts' catchy, rapid-fire 'Bling-Bang-Bang-Born' the song of the year?
The fast-paced ode to a style called Jersey club is everywhere in Tokyo, and it may just be the rap duo's key to international success.
Yuta Orisaka strips things back on his latest album, “Jumon,” though it still features a few explosive moments.
CULTURE / Music
Jun 28, 2024
Yuta Orisaka's folk style is far more than a throwback
The singer-songwriter wanted to make songs his grandmother could enjoy, but that doesn't mean he'll skimp on the electronic touches.
The members of bed are (from left to right) vocalist Une, guitarist Joneu, bassist Shinji and drummer Shun.  
CULTURE / Music
Jun 23, 2024
Don't sleep on bed's genre-melding mayhem
The band co-runs a rave called Uzu, and an event series at clubasia called “bedroom” that features an impressive roster of names from the Japanese music scene.
Atarashii Gakko! released its third album, “AG! Calling,” on June 7. The group is currently touring Asia with songs from the new release featured in its set
CULTURE / Music
Jun 21, 2024
Atarashii Gakko! schools crowds overseas on just how bananas J-pop can get
With appearances at major festivals, on U.S. television and new album "AG! Calling," this sailor-suited rapping four-piece is on quite a roll.
People wait for the main act to begin at Summer Sonic, which holds simultaneous music festivals for those in Tokyo and Osaka.
CULTURE / Music / Longform
Jun 9, 2024
Can Japan's summer music festivals adapt to a post-pandemic reality?
Soaring temperatures, the cheap yen and a dearth of headline options may require reshaping the outdoor concert formula.
While Japan is home to many jazz cafes, its summer festivals will let you listen to the music in the open air.
CULTURE / Music
Jun 9, 2024
Japan's summer offerings include jazz and classical music festivals
Not up for the rock and rap that's front and center of Japan's many summer concerts? Try a few jazz festivals instead.
Pop project Kirinji was featured on the second episode of Tiny Desk Concerts Japan, an offshoot of NPR’s long-running web series that features artists performing stripped-down sets inside the cozy offices of the organization’s music department.
CULTURE / Music / Sound Off
Jun 1, 2024
The best-case scenario for Tiny Desk Concerts Japan
NHK's new project, an offshoot of NPR's web series that shows artists performing stripped-down sets, could become a place for the full spectrum of Japanese music to shine.

Longform

Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals