What's Going On In Japan?
One thing that I love about the Japanese music scene is it's conciseness. There truly is a united scene, or at least a united style that goes through a phase before moving on to another. For a while, it was all about 60s lounge and French pop ... before that it was more about guitar pop. Recently it's been about mixing and matching bits and pieces of music in a updated Fatboy Slim style (Halfby, Mr. Comicbook Store). But at the same time, there's been a pretty significant move towards a subtler taste.
There are many acoustic-based groups out there as well as tons of sound experimenters ... dudes messing around with Power Books and field sounds and that sort of thing.
Anyway, I've been looking around for new Japanese stuff for a while, and I now feel confident to post about it. Here we go ...
4 Bonjour's Parties is sort of like a hippie version of Architecture in Helsinki. They like flutes and guitars and acoustic bass, toy drum kits, and cute, whisper voices. Definitely going for an ensemble feel, which I really like in this case. They've got a MySpace page, believe it or not!
Mystery Twin is another especially peaceful group from Osaka. As far as I can tell, the duo is only half Japanese, but since they work out of Japan, I consider it to be part of some scene over there. These guys like playing around with atmospheric loops and glitch pop intertwined with acoustic guitar and occasionally tight female vocals. Sort of edges on the the brink of Tujiko Noriko and Lullatone at the same time ... tre cool.
No idea who this dude, I'm Sore is, but man does he make some compelling ambient stuff. It's sort of abrasive in nature ... forceful and abrupt, yet not at all fast or especially focused and structured. I like it ... "I'm Sore makes beautiful music for gentle aliens." I'd say he's right ... pretty spacey music here. Also very cool, but he hasn't released something in years. Maybe soon ... (more of his [more current] music here).