I don't have the CD's, but I also love this thread. Domo arrigato!
I don't have the CD's, but I also love this thread. Domo arrigato!
Not listened to much of this over the past couple of years, basically since it's not been my job.
Chatting to my former partner in K-Pop yesterday, took in some newer stuff.
Production values are still high.
Elsewhere, some have caught on.
Vanilla Beans passed their sales target, here they are celebrating at a PA in Shibuya department store Mauri.
The album is good, there's a couple of weaker tracks that reflect their move to the huge Avex label but that's to be expected, and these minor transgressions are more than paid off by the excellent cover of Gorillaz' "DARE".
Suiyobi No Campanella is currently at the Texan pivoting tech disruptor pop twatfest SXSW for her debut american performances.
here she is riding around with a giant inflatable cat.
and at the gig in a big ball. She announced there's a new album due in June, which I assume will be being pushed overseas.
Ya heard em here first folks!
It's been ages since my last post, I've been busy trying to buy a new flat & work's been a right pain in the arse BUT J-POP NEVER SLEEPS!
Having had to take some months of frivolous spending that would be difficult to rationalise with a mortgage advisor, I've not got the latest Wednesday Campanella album but it's not limited or anything so I can wait till this all blows over to pick it up, unlike the single sided mini LP which I missed out on due to some shitty amazon restock notification business which has now popped up on Discogs for SIXTY SEVEN QUID.
I did get the latest Oomori Seiko album "Tokyo Black Hole" and Shinsei Kammattechan's "Summer Installation" both are great, the Seiko album is less immediate for me than her previous stuff, at first I was a little dismissive of it feeling that there was too much influence of her Visual-Kei style Pink Tokarev project which I'm not keen on as a genre, but spending time with it it's turning out to be quite a remarkable album. SK's album is good & there's a track on it that is a contender for my "Weil-Style" playlist of Threepenny Opera inspired J-pop.
OK we've got a lot to get through so here's some stuff...
This album came out in June from Reina and Blue Valentine's sweet, smart, modern Shibuya-Kei vibes, (It's one of those videos that plays a sample of every track on the album)
Maika Loubté is probably about as cool as it gets, half French half Japanese Darkwave/Carpenter style moody synth soundscapes. This is "Feel"
Band Ja Naimon impressively went out of their way to end my brief intention to collect their entire output by releasing special editions of their last slightly underwhelming singles with versions for each member of the lineup and we're not just talking about some alternate sleeve design & a DVD like usual, these have all got an exclusive track on, for all six members... I'm especially interested in the Misako & Yuzu ones as they are the most musically interesting members, when I have some spare cash Ill probably get downloads. Having said that their forthcoming single "Summer of Oh! Vibes" is really great and I'm sure i've seen something about a 7" release for this.
THIS VIDEO CONTAINS EXTENSIVE BIKINI CAVORTING, TWO INSTANCES OF SUGGESTIVE BEHAVIOUR WITH AN ICE POP & A KEYTAR SOLO. You have been warned.
"Dance Game" is the third release from independent Idol Koto I always like to see indies doing something different, this is spirited nonsense executed well with enough creative sidesteps to keep things interesting.
New one from Yurumerumo! from their "We Are A Rock Festival" album "Mendoi shindoi PUNK" is just great.
This great bit of odd-pop is "After School Sympathy" by ex BiS member project Tentenko
Vanilla Beans are about to release a single with the impeccably stylish Tomoe Shinohara, who is the co-host of their hypnotically addictive shopping show Shinovani (She Knows Valuable News) they've managed to successfully pitch a show where they get loads of free stuff that they actually want sent to them to test out, and they just dick about with it for 20 minutes soundtracked exclusively by their own music.
Here's an episode where they try out a load of different types of beer glasses and then a bunch of different beers.
Sometimes they even make their own little adverts for certain products that they test. There's a benign, positive consumerism to this that I really appreciate, even though I can't understand what they're saying, it doesn't matter, they obviously think everything's great. there's probably [definitely] a dystopian take on this but it's so enjoyable that I consciously refuse to engage with that part of my brain, The only thing I can compare it to is my other youtube obsession with old military food ration reviews (word to Steve1989 MREinfo) I can't really explain why I like it so much, but I'll watch it for hours.
First post since a super stressful few months of moving house & general upheaval BUT JPOP NEVER SLEEPS
Some really great stuff out & coming soon so here's a round up
This is Chelmico, not heard much from this Idol-rap duo but I love the woozy slo-mo vibes on this pleasingly titled "Night Camel"
Oomori Seiko released a song with Shinsei Kamattechan vocalist Noko and it's really good, it does that thing that I love with Seiko's writing by starting out as regular catchy pop, hits you with a bunch of great hooks & drags you along with it as things spiral out of control, she's a legit genius.
Band Ja Naimon are killing it recently, still with the multiple release strategy thankfully they split them this time for the 'Summer Oh! Vibes" single (see previous post) by inventing three new duo band identities for the six members. Happily the two most interesting members Misako & Yuzu are teamed up as The Cotton Rabbits and delivered this sparkling power pop indie good-vibes juggernaut of a song called "Hero".
Swiftly following this up with the latest proper Band Ja Naimon single "Yakimochi" which is, of course a JB's style Jazz-Funk workout, seemingly about rice balls. There's even a clean break at 2:40.
Next up we've got BOMI who was previously part of an Idol unit (who, I forget) now going solo and I absolutely love this single, electronic techno pop at it's finest. That chorus... BTW gets very mildly NSFW about 50 seconds in but it's not really anything to frighten the horses.
Wednesday Campanella made being incredible seem effortless again, absolutely the best pop star of the year by a mile coolest person on the planet.
Lastly here's Negicco again, I've not been picking their stuff up since that ace disco thing they did as I'm not generally feeling their regular pop productions but they just dragged me back in with this ace Motown put through a Shbuya-Kei wringer gem, AND it's out on 45 too.
So this is where my Christmas money's going then.
Have a good Christmas folks.
CDs available from Disk Union if you have a work around to actually buy from them, like a JP Address/Forwarding Service/Friend in Japan who owes you a favour)
If you just want to get the farts in a jar it's cheaper (Y250 per track, Y2000 for album), the place I usually go is OTOTOY, who have a slightly arcane download system but it works, you can preview tracks & they're happy to make stuff available internationally, also they take Paypal.
Let's talk about Charan Po Rantan, I've been in two minds about them for a while as their sound initially felt a bit too Cabaret/performing-arts schticky for me, but I've made my peace with it. The sisters Koharu (Accordion) & Momo (Stuffed Pig) Matsunada are really good at what they do, also they're independent & have full control over music/image, which always makes things more interesting.
Anyway, this is great
This is a thing they did with the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra which is a bit Jools Holland but I'm rolling with it.
Here they are doing some Nintendo classics in New York
And how about a Monkees cover...
You should have a good idea if these are your thing by this point.
Excellent new Seiko Oomori single, new album out in a month or so.
Seiko Oomori - "Dogma Magma"
This is CHAI, they're amazing, great DIY/Lo-fi 90s indie/Riot Grrl vibes. They're on tour in the US next month so check em out if you get the chance. Circumventing mean old DiskUnion's foreign shipping policy I should have a 45 of this on the way.
CHAI - "Boys - Seco - Men"
And this off their first mini album is also amazing, I think it's about mouthwash or something.
CHAI - "Nandamin To Total Care"
There's a new Maika Loubté release, available on iTunes and a Cassette/Book combo, this is "Le Gong". Sung in French but still qualifies for this thread cos I make the rules.
Maika Loubté - "Le Gong"
Chai have hit SXSW, they're running around in those pink jump suits making a racket if you're about.
I love this from Zombie-Chang, she makes lo-fi electro pop in the study room of a local comic shop, if you like early Grimes & stuff like that you should check her out. New album "Gang!" is out now.
Zombie-Chang - "I Can't Get to Sleep"
Waiting on a CD delivery, there's a new Kinoco Hotel album, came out last year with (from what I can find) zero publicity/videos/singles. Google translation of the product description says things like "New Wave/Progressive/Long Psychedelic" & "Mania is also inevitable!"
Says it comes with a "Can Magnet" too, whatever that is, I can't wait.