BBBD JP Playlist

I have an... intimate relationship with Japanese music. 

For as long as I can remember, music from the Land of the Rising Sun has been my North Star: while perhaps not always in heavy rotation, it's always on my mind, and what I've learned and picked up through it functions as a sort of Rosetta stone; most of my other musical interests, ambitions, passions can be explained and understood through my connection to Japanese music. Particularly Japanese music that's from the 90s, that's a little askew of the mainstream, a little indie or alternative or left-field or out-there.

Disappointingly, because of, I presume, language barriers, contractual chaos, and plain ol' indifference, much of my personal collection, which I've been amassing for—gulp—twenty-plus years is not on Spotify. Granted, this helps preserve some of the mystique and curiosity that exists around it—in the everything's-always-available world we live in, it's nice to know some stuff is not within arm's reach—but, overall, it's a shame. A whole cosmos of music out there that one can't access.

(The above really only applies to Spotify in the U.S., which has, counterintuitively, a smaller catalog than other nations. I wouldn't be surprised if it's actually the smallest one of them all.)

Rather than continue to mope about this, though, I started maintaining a playlist that collects the best of what I know, love, adore. For the past few months, I've been painstakingly compiling this music. Many of these artists have slipped in through pre-DSP mixes, their legal gray zone in my favor. Many of these artists have a mere handful of pieces up. Many of these artists are only searchable through Japanese-language queries; the Latin alphabet will get you nowhere.

I updated it again, and I thought I'd finally take this opportunity to share it on BBBD. If you're apprehensive and daunted, begin with the final seventy or so tracks—that's the crash course and the beginning of the journey.