The J-Music Thread

Sigur Ros is the greatest living band. Discuss.

The J-Music Thread

Postby stereosforgeeks on Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:08 pm

I fell in love with A japanese DJ Nujabes a couple years ago after my little brother told me about them. By mixing jazz, soul, and accoustic guitar based beats for US rappers, Nujabes created something really special. I anxiously awaited any news from this artist but everything being in Japanese I was sadly at a loss.

Lady Brown was the highlight off his debut album but the rest of the album is just as good. Another excellent track Fly By Night

While my friend was in Shibuya I made him pick me up a copy of his cds and go to the San Juba's record store Tribal (aka Nujabes).

Nujabes also collaborated on the Samurai Champloo soundtrack with artists such as studly Jon, Tsutchie, MINMI, and Force Of Nature. The Minmi track Song Of The Seasons drilled a hole into my head and just wouldnt go away.

I have been trying to continue my exploration into this type of music for some time but not being fluent in Japanese things were a little difficult.

Recently I just got into M-Flo, whose Verbal went on to join the Teriyaki Boys and enjoy some success there in the US. M-Flo has collaborated with lots of other japanese music stars (including weirdly enough Pizzicato Five) after their singer LISA left the group so I will be attempting to learn more about these artists.

You, also, have the stylings of Cornelius, Pizzicato Five, Boredoms, Boris, etc... that show the range of the Japanese music community.

So what other good J-Music bands are worth checking into?
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Postby LaDracul on Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:53 pm

I prefer the darker stuff, like Malice Mizer and Moi Dix Mois, both co-founded by the cross-dressing guitarist Mana. Very elegant and twisted stuff.

On the lighter side, I like Puffy and WaT (Especially the adorable Eiji Wentz), although I wish there was more of WaT's stuff avaliable in the states besides the "Love*Com" movie that Teppei Koike (The other half of WaT) starred in...
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:05 pm

wherefor art thou, Brocktune?
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:14 pm

@LaDracul - Cool I'll check it out, but I was trying to think of more pop oriented things in general.

@KCBC - I know right!
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Postby Ribbons on Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:14 pm

The only two I know of are the pillows (thanks to "FLCL") and L'Arc-en-Ciel. the pillows are pretty good, so if you're looking for bands of their ilk you might want to plug their name into last.fm or something.
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Postby LeFlambeur on Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:08 pm

Ditto on the Pillows. The more of thier stuff I hear the more I like. It would be nice though if I could understand what the hell they're saying.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:27 pm

This whole thread makes me want to eat a man with my tits and pussy.
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Re: The J-Music Thread

Postby Brocktune on Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:50 pm

stereosforgeeks wrote:Recently I just got into M-Flo, whose Verbal went on to join the Teriyaki Boys and enjoy some success there in the US. M-Flo has collaborated with lots of other japanese music stars (including weirdly enough Pizzicato Five) after their singer LISA left the group so I will be attempting to learn more about these artists.


if you are into M-flo and the Teriyaki Boyz, you have got to check out Rip Slyme. the T Boyz are like a side project for a couple of those guys. IMHO, Rip Slyme and Rhymester are the kings of j-hop currently. with RS being the more groundbreaking and progressive. now, that can be something of a blessing and a curse, for their groundbreaking nature often precludes one from enjoying a record from start to finish, as much like a nomeansno record, they can be all over the place. the lack of stylistic consistency can be off putting for some. i own several of their records, and enjoy none of them completely from beginning to end. Rhymester on the other hand are the more "street" of the two groups for lack of a better term. these guys arent necessarily as adventurous, musically speaking as RS, but they are two mc's and 1 dj with a hell of a lot of skils. although, i do feel like sometimes they rely too heavily on borrowed american hip hop ideas.

stereosforgeeks wrote:You, also, have the stylings of Cornelius, Pizzicato Five, Boredoms, Boris, etc... that show the range of the Japanese music community.


you have got to start with Pizzicato Five or the Boredoms. those two really are responsible for begetting much of the good stuff we get today!

stereosforgeeks wrote:So what other good J-Music bands are worth checking into?


there are a ton, but a couple of the ones that have had the most profound impact on me (and im sure i have mentioned several of these before) are:

Buffalo Daughter
POLYSICS!!!!
Neil & Iraiza
and the incomparable Hi-Posi

ive got about a million more, i will unleash them upon you as this thread progresses.

finally, a thread for me! a thread that speaks to me! [/satan]
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:33 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions Brock!

I have a bunch of the Polysics and Buffalo Daughter stuff, but everything else you mentioned will be new to my ears.

The hiphop stuff you suggested is cool. I like the RIP Slyme beats better but I could definitely see them going off on weird tangents that don't work very well. Your also right about the Rhymester being more US style wise based on that track anyway but its a cool track for sure.

As for the M-Flo stuff I mentioned I actually like their collaboration stuff (m-flo loves...) more than what Ive heard of their solo stuff. (e.g. Miss You)

Do you know anything more like the Nujabes and Minmi stuff I posted?
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Postby Seppuku on Thu May 15, 2008 4:36 pm

I bitch about Brighton a lot, but any place where I get to see Melt Banana and Acid Mothers Temple within a month of each other can't be too bad (both gigs are coming up in June).
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Postby Brocktune on Thu May 15, 2008 4:40 pm

melt banana have to be seen to be believed. I saw them open for Mr. Bungle back in 95 or 96. what a revelation. plot in a pot!
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Postby Carolian on Tue May 27, 2008 3:09 am

Number Girl. 'Nuff said.

OK, not really 'nuff, but Goddamn, "Teppu Surudokunatte" is a goddamn amazing song.
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Postby magicmonkey on Tue May 27, 2008 4:00 am

I've been mostly listening to Omoide Hatoba's "Kinsei".

Here's a live vid and strangely and appropriately enough here is a video created for the Alamo Drafthouse.
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Postby Brocktune on Thu May 29, 2008 6:21 pm

Ok, i guess this is for the benefit of everyone here, but specifically these come at the request of Maui (bless her heart). Ever since the major corporatization of yootoob, 99.9% of the "good" music videos have disappeared. so i cant exactly use the site to give a halfway decent summary of the output of the legendary Pizzicato Five. so instead, im just gonna post the best couple that i could find. If anyone takes a listen, i hope you like em as much as i have over the years. also keep in mind that this is a pretty parsimonious offering. they have waaaaaay more material available.

PIZZICATO FIVE

Nata Di Marzo - ok this doesnt even really count as a video. it is just a 4 minute shot of one of their U.S. album covers. but thats not the point. the point is the song, which (incidentally) is the song that first got me hooked on these two way back in the day! A fantastic fucking song that had me doing a double, nay a TRIPLE take and exclaiming who the fuck is this?!?!?! (in the best way possible!)

It's A Beautiful Day
this is the actual video for this song. this was the first single off of their "Happy End of the World" lp. they also performed this song on comedy central's short lived "viva variety" back in 97? man, P5, maceo, fishbone, viva variety had teh best musical acts EVAR! anyways breakbeats a plenty in this song, and on that record for those of you who love em.

Darlin of Discotheque - this is the most "recent" sampling in this post. This is their video for Darlin of Discotheque, the title track from their 2000 ep. one of the few "real" videos on there!

Sweet Thursday
one of my absloute favoritest songs in their catalog. this isnt their video, but fuck the video anyways! great song released here in the U.S. on their "the sound of music" lp. i never fail to be taken aback by the beauty of this song!

The Night is Still Young
even when performing live, Pizzicato Five would often not really be playing instruments. many of their tours were about the visual spectacle, rather than hearing the tunes performed. sort of like seeing kraftwerk i guess. however this clip is from their last televised appearance together (as far as i know) and it is fantastic. Konishi-san plays bass like he invented the goddamned thing. truly a rare treat to behold, i paid through the nose for this dvd. and much like grande rojos ridiculously retired review of Indy IV, tears of fucking joy stream down my face whenever i watch it!

Contact - Dimitri from Paris remix
p5 were seriously revered on the remix circuit, or at least so it seems to history. here is one example of many. their tune "contact" remixed by Dimitri from Paris. the original version of contact appeard on 1996's "overdose" this remix in particular can be found on 1998's "happy end of you" (happy end of the world remix album). this one is ok. the best remix of contact however is not this one. and just for the record, as far as im concerned, the BEST remixes of Pizzicato's stuff were done by St. Etienne. so many remixes are just bad. but St. Etienne have real fucking taste and a great ear.

anyways, i know its a little all over the place, and is in no way a detailed overview of their rather expansive body of work, but but Pizzicato Five, ladies and gentlemen! A new stereophonic sound spectacular!!
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Re: The J-Music Thread

Postby Seppuku on Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:23 pm

Been playing Pink by Boris ad infinitum. I'll admit, if these guys were white I probably wouldn't have given this LP a second look- I'd just have written it off as whineycore spleen-venting. But hot damn is this music great; it's like the natural evolution of Satori by The Flower Travellin' Band, which was a subtly Japped up take on Black Sabbath. From the ridiculously hyper Nothing Special to the My Bloody Valentine style noise at the end of Just Abandoned My-Self, this is what Melt Banana would sound like if they were Motorheads (although I guess they've both got The Melvins in common).

Speaking of The Flower Travellin' Band, I highly recommend scouting out all the bands referenced to in Julian Cope's semi-sequel to Krautrocksampler, Japrocksampler. Having recently delved into Danish psychedelic rock, Swedish doom-folk and Turkish prog rock courtesy of Cope's recommendations, I'm pretty much putty in his hands at this point. He's almost as good a critic as a songwriter- like a lysergified Lester Bangs.
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Re: The J-Music Thread

Postby Seppuku on Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:07 am

If you've got the money, I'd check out Karuki Zaamen Kuri-no-Hana by Shiina Ringo (or is that Ringo Shiina?). She's like the Japanese Bjork: cute as a button and insanely talented. I guess the throw-everything-in-including-the-kitchen-sink production style might not be for some, but you can't deny the awesomeness of songs like this and my personal favourite Kuki (gotta love the dark psyche intro). Why can't English chart music be so inventive?
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Re: The J-Music Thread

Postby Pacino86845 on Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:37 am

I know nearly nothing of (Japanese) music but I have been listening to the soundtrack for Katamari Damacy over the summer and I think it is fantastic... if anyone wants to get a hold of this feel free to PM me!
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Re: The J-Music Thread

Postby tapehead on Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:15 am

Seppuku wrote:Been playing Pink by Boris ad infinitum. I'll admit, if these guys were white I probably wouldn't have given this LP a second look- I'd just have written it off as whineycore spleen-venting. But hot damn is this music great; it's like the natural evolution of Satori by The Flower Travellin' Band, which was a subtly Japped up take on Black Sabbath. From the ridiculously hyper Nothing Special to the My Bloody Valentine style noise at the end of Just Abandoned My-Self, this is what Melt Banana would sound like if they were Motorheads (although I guess they've both got The Melvins in common).


They're great - I've been lucky enough to see them play with Sun 0))) and would recommend Boris Rocks as the place to go if you like their stuff on Pink - I wrote a review and had some pretty fun back and forth w/KCBC in the live music thread a year or two back after that particular show as he was something of a fan as well. It's worth noting, although I haven't seen it yet myself, that Boris scored Jim Jarmusch's latest movie 'The Limits of Control', again, with a couple of contributions from Sun 0))).
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Re: The J-Music Thread

Postby Seppuku on Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:08 pm

That must have been quite some gig! I'm not sure who warmed up for whom, but ideally you'd want to get yourself into an unsettled droney trance with Sunn-O (I forget the amount of brackets that goes next) and then get ear-raped by Boris. I suspect, however, that they played the other way round.

I heard Capone mention that thing about Boris appearing on Jarmusch's latest in his Arthouse Round-up over on the main site (how often do you get to read about bands like Boris there? Bring back Yoko's Cool Cuts I say, and get her to do a column on drone rock!). With a soundtrack like that, that must be some movie! But UK cinema distributors are a bunch of incompetent douchebags, so I don't think it's gonna get a British release; the soundtrack will probably come out here before the movie.

By the way, I just looked up Boris' discography looking for that Boris Rocks album. Did you mean Heavy Rocks? I was meaning to pick up some more of their music, but they're one of those annoyingly prolific bands (something J-rock artists seem particularly good at) so I must have took one look at their discog and decided to just play Pink again.

EDIT:
Seppuku wrote:and decided to just play Pink again.


:shock: I mean Pink by Boris!!!
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Re: The J-Music Thread

Postby tapehead on Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:02 pm

Seppuku wrote:That must have been quite some gig! I'm not sure who warmed up for whom, but ideally you'd want to get yourself into an unsettled droney trance with Sunn-O (I forget the amount of brackets that goes next) and then get ear-raped by Boris. I suspect, however, that they played the other way round.


You're right - nothing can follow Sun O))).

Also it is Heavy Rocks, but once you've seen the title on the cover you won't be too much of a judgemental musical pedant for getting it wrong; it's virtually impossible to read (but very pretty - couple of them are graphic designers in their other lives, I believe).
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Re: The J-Music Thread

Postby stereosforgeeks on Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:55 am

Seppuku wrote:If you've got the money, I'd check out Karuki Zaamen Kuri-no-Hana by Shiina Ringo (or is that Ringo Shiina?). She's like the Japanese Bjork: cute as a button and insanely talented. I guess the throw-everything-in-including-the-kitchen-sink production style might not be for some, but you can't deny the awesomeness of songs like this and my personal favourite Kuki (gotta love the dark psyche intro). Why can't English chart music be so inventive?


Listening to her new album now Seppuku. If I actually could understand Japanese I might be compelled to sing along.
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