New Japanese Vibes (151) – Madoka Ogitani – 波と風とカモメ ‘Nami to Kaze to Kamome’

It’s the Easter holidays in many parts of the world, which means it’s a time to not only relax (with a basket of chocolate beside you) but also reflect. What better way to let your mind and senses wind down in reflection than with Madoka Ogitani’s purifying music in the air. 波と風とカモメ ‘Nami to Kaze to Kamome’ (‘Waves, Wind and Seagull’) dreams up a musical galaxy that sees elements of ambient, post-minimalism, post-classical and the sounds of nature gather like particles, ebbing and flowing in texture and atmosphere.

Other Info

  • Madoka Ogitani’s new album Itsumo Dokokani is out now. Find out more about Madoka Ogitani on her website.
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New Japanese Vibes (145) – tofubeats ふめつのこころ ‘Fumetsu no Kokoro’

A week off in Rotterdam gave me the space to recharge my batteries, and also be inspired by the cool, modern vibes of the Dutch city. Now back in my hunt for new tunes to come out of Japan, tofubeats returned to my gaze with his new track ふめつのこころ ‘Fumetsu no Kokoro’ (‘Immortal Heart’). The great appeal about Kawai Yusuke’s music and this track is the way it achieves harmony with such a spectrum of musical ideas – its radio-friendly melodies inflected with oriental colours, woozy synths and vocals, its genre-bending style and blissful dance vibe makes this song universally loved by Japanese listeners.

Other Info

  • Fumetsu no Kokoro’ was digitally released on February 16th, and is available to download here.
  • Find out more about tofubeats in my blog post here.

New Japanese Vibes (141) – Pea Coat Pizza Club 明けおめーしょん ‘Akeomeshon’

In Japan, children often receive pockets of money called お年玉 ‘Otoshidama’ to kick off the New Year (I still get some every year, courtesy of the generous parents!).

My musical ‘otoshidama’ however, to accompany the New Year relaxation period features Pea Coat Pizza Club. The trio, who formed in the spring in 2016 under Kiiro Records, go by the label’s motto “easy listening for everyone”. They certainly stick by the theme in their new track明けおめーしょん ‘Akeomeshon’ – an indulgent mix of soulful keys and swirling synths intertwined with the trio’s genial vocoder-filtered vocals. For a track to soothe one’s ears in this relaxed time of year, ‘Akeomeshon’ is one tune to wade in.

Happy new year to all my readers!

Other Info

  • Pea Coat Pizza Club’s new song ‘Akeomeshon’ is available to download

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (128) – slomos ‘dissolva’

Riding the same sonic waves as the likes of Bonobo, Tycho and Cinematic Orchestra, 高山純 Takayama Jun (a.k.a. slomos) lays hold of one’s senses and immerses them in his new spellbinding track ‘dissolva’. This track stirs both the listener’s emotion and entices the body to move with the flow – its swirling sonic colours, perpetual harmonic cycle and rich dose of dream-like nostalgia orbits one another to coax an airy yet intense cinematic soundscape. Soak up slomos’s immersive sound world and prepare your senses to be washed away.

Other Info

  • Slomos’s new album Slomos will be released on September 6th.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (125) – 富澤タク Tomizawa Taku 今夜抄 ‘Konyashou’

Judging from the opening strums on the guitar, one would expect their ears to luxuriate in a serene folk vibe. However, 富澤タク Tomizawa Taku is not the usual guitar-led singer-songwriter – his mix of nostalgic acoustic guitar folk colours and digital-filtered vocals in his new track 今夜抄 ‘Konyashou’ is sonically unusual to say the least, but does shimmer traces of Bon Iver and his characterful vocal effects. Blended with faint sounds of the beach near the end, this is a song I’m glad to have discovered and worth a listen.

Other Info

  • Tomizawa Taku’s new song ‘Konyashou’ was released on July 19th.

© Isaku Takahashi

 

New Japanese Vibes (124) – Poor Vacation ‘F/E/E/L/S’ [EP]

While perfecting a particular track gig after gig and day in and day out may be satisfying for some, Poor Vacation has their own way of living life in the music scene. The six-piece band’s new EP F/E/E/L/S is an incarnation of their efforts to refashion their headline track ロンググッドバイ ‘Long Goodbye’. The latest version rides the waves of 80s city pop, yet still retains the tropical summer vibrancy of their previous takes and resonates the contemporary band sound of today. While we can indulge in ‘Long Goodbye’ as a weekend soundtrack, one must also not forget about the title track ‘Feels’, an infectious retro, synth-pop number that dances on the chequered disco floor and above the glistening mirror ball.

Other Info

  • Poor Vacation’s new EP F/E/E/L/S was released on July 20th.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (115) – little moa ‘Trampoline’ [Album]

Cute, heavenly and pulsating in equilibrium, little moa preview their slick new album ‘Trampoline’. Alongside tracks like ‘Stereo’ and ‘Lemonade’, which permeate the stereo field with tripping beats and radiant synths, an innocent musical spirit also shines within the album in the form of Sigur Ros-like rippling piano chords, transparent textures and sonic tranquility in ‘Outerstellar’, ‘46610’ and ‘Airport’. If a glimpse into their new music already takes me into sonic bliss, then one would love to imagine where my listening senses will be transported to when immersing myself in their seductive sound world.

Other Info

  • Little Moa’s new album Trampoline will be released on May 31st.

© Isaku Takahashi