Japanese music

Recommend albums, songs, bands, etc.
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JonS
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Japanese music

Post by JonS » Wed Nov 17, 2004 12:06 pm

anyone wanna talk japanese music?

I'm not the biggest connosieur but i like Yoko Kanno, The Pillows, and Dreams Come True.....

any other good bands out there you can recommend? soundtrack music, rock bands, J-pop, or otherwise....?

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Kean
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Post by Kean » Wed Nov 17, 2004 12:22 pm

Mono: For my money, the best Japanese band out there. An electric guitar / ambient band, they frequently draw comparisons to Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky and Do Make Say Think, but I honestly think they've reached the next level with their latest album, Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky.... Insound has "Halcyon Days" available for download. Also, other samples are available here.

Shakka Zombie: Crazy, crazy, crazy hip hop (J-Hop?). Harmonicas, bongos, kazoos, cow bells... I don't understand a bloody thing that they're rhyming (not that I understand Japanese to begin with), but it sure is catchy.

Hotei Tomoyasu: Arguably the best rock guitarist in Japan. Got a lot of exposure Stateside for some of his riffs being used in a recent Tarantino (who?) flick.

I find it extremely odd that the majority of westerners are only introduced to Japanese music through anime.

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JonS
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Post by JonS » Wed Nov 17, 2004 12:40 pm

Kean wrote:I find it extremely odd that the majority of westerners are only introduced to Japanese music through anime.
It's those soundtracks. I remember when I was a kid I used to listen to my Ranma 1/2 ost collection alot. And i'd imagine pop music is even more omnipresent there than it is in the US....

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Kean
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Post by Kean » Thu Nov 18, 2004 2:46 am

I forgot to mention Hy. Indie J-pop. The Japanese sure like their labels, but these kids sure wear this one well. Their album Street Story might be to your taste -- there are some similarities to The Pillows, minus the heavy Pixies influence.

Gackt might also be worth checking out. I think they're pretty big in Japan (I've heard their name thrown around a few times), but I honestly haven't heard all that much from them.

I'd recommend keeping an eye on Fruits of Chaos, an MP3 blog specializing in Asian music. They haven't been updating for a few months, but here's hoping they start up again soon.

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Sweet_Baboo
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Post by Sweet_Baboo » Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:46 pm

Hey if you like tha Pillows, you might like "Asian Kung-Fu Generation" (or "Aji-kan") i like some of their songs a lot. like "kimi to yuu hana"

can find some stuff here

Gackt is FUNNY AS HELL. I've seen him talk on shows like Hey Hey Hey, and he's so ridiculously COOL. (not the way Americans use that word, but how the Japanese use that word) But thenm he'd talk about the most outrageous things with a straight face - He talked about how he got a waterfall installed in his bedroom, and ended up constantly having dreams that he was drowning. He also has a large room with a trampoline where he bounces for hours a day, flipping and meditating. He also talked about how his bed is on a loft with a ramp or something (?) and the bathrooms are in the other side of the house, and one time he got food poisoning and got really sick, and he has to roll down the incline and crawl back and forth between the bed and bathroom with with an horribly upset stomach.

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Post by peng8noodles » Fri Nov 19, 2004 11:44 am

ooo yes asian kung-fu generation is very good. think japanese version of weezer. :D you should check out loop & loop, very good song.

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Post by Sweet_Baboo » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:08 pm

hmm, infact, your avatar (P8Noodles) looks like cover art for Aji-kan CD, no?

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Post by agremar » Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:42 pm

The Brilliant Green are very excellent, and they've sometimes been called the "Beatles" of Japan for their popularity...some of their songs are in English too. The lead singer also has another band that sounds like 80's bubblegum pop, which is pretty good, called Tommy February 6.

If you want hyper-happy-pop try out Folder 5's first album

Should you want some R&B/Hip-Hop try Boa, who's actually Korean, but sings in Japanese.

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Post by Sweet_Baboo » Fri Nov 19, 2004 5:22 pm

I don't like Brilliant Green, but I like Tommy February6, the earlier stuff, very good 80's type synthy pop. It seems more recently they've decided to add the "Tommy Angels" a group of cheerleader/dancers/back-up-vox to the project and it sounds hella dumb.

If you're going to mention Boa, i think Utada Hikaru needs to be mentioned as well...

I like Shiina Ringo, and some songs from Nakashima Mika, who's kinda standard ballad singer, but did some interesting jazz-y songs on the last album.

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Post by yuria » Sun Nov 21, 2004 10:24 am

Ayumi Hamasaki, L'arc-en-ciel, Glay, Judy and Mary, Two-Mix, Spitz, Nanase Aikawa, B'z, Bonnie Pink, Globe, Do As Infinity, Janne da Arc, Hysteric Blue, Luna Sea, X-Japan, Dir en Grey, Hide, Aucifer ... so many to mention. Talking about soundtracks, I can recommend OST to "Noir" - it's beautifull, also "Fullmetal Alchemist" is good and "Gravitation" has some nice beats ;)

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Dek
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Post by Dek » Sun Nov 21, 2004 6:52 pm

peng8noodles wrote:Hey if you like tha Pillows, you might like "Asian Kung-Fu Generation" (or "Aji-kan") i like some of their songs a lot. like "kimi to yuu hana"
Wow - I just checked them out, and they are awesome! Thanks for that one!

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Sweet_Baboo
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Post by Sweet_Baboo » Sun Nov 21, 2004 11:12 pm

Boa's totally Britney Spears-y. I feel like I don't like a lot of Japanese music, but that's because it's hard to get exposed to the non-top40 stuff when you're in a different country. I hear some aweful stuff coming out of there sometimes - I really don't like Hamasaki Ayumi and the like, I don't like girl groups like Morning Musume, I don't like trying-really-hard-to-sound-American hip hop.

American music influences Japanese music very strongly, which i think causes them to sometimes make songs that don't suit the Japanese language very well, and it's standard for half the song to be sung in english (or Engrish)

One thing I like about Japanese music, i feel like it's more expressive and has more variety in content than American music. I think the Japanese language just has a larger vocabulary and expressions to capture very specific ideas. In terms of content, i feel like besides Love Songs there's a lot of "be confident" type songswhere the songs tell you an inspiring message about "your dreams will come true" or something.

I also notice some artists who are trying to break away from the main stream and make "Japanese influenced Japanese music" using traditional singing techniques or singing about things that are specific to Japanese culture, like Hajime Chitose and Moriyama Naotaro.

I like Spitz a lot, Mr. Children, some B'z... I like some Puffy ("Puffy Ami/Yumi") and Okuda Tamio stuff, some High-Lows. I remember there was an awesome hip hop group in the early 90's called Schada-rapper (sp?) that was totally original and funny, but i can't find anything of theirs...

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monochromanic
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Post by monochromanic » Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:50 am

Sweet_Baboo wrote:I think the Japanese language just has a larger vocabulary and expressions to capture very specific ideas. In terms of content, i feel like besides Love Songs there's a lot of "be confident" type songswhere the songs tell you an inspiring message about "your dreams will come true" or something.
Totally agreed. :) But then again, I think the Japanese language is just beautiful altogether.

And some recs:
m-flo has some tight beats. You may not always understand what they're saying, but it sure is nice to dance to. Or bob your head to while you're driving.

For more ballad-type songs Chemistry is pretty good. The Gospellers are also great w/harmonies and have some really good songs out there.

Crystal Kay and Gackt are a couple singers that I just love their voice. Ck is more pop-ballad and Gackt is kind of alternative/rock/ballad. He's a very well-rounded performer, and really great musician. I love his instrumental piano piece called "Freesia".

And as mentioned before, AKFG is really awesome. :wink:
>> Grace
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Post by Joe Shig » Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:38 am

The only Japanese music I know is from the Kill Bill soundtrack... and I'm not even sure if it's Japanese.
--Joe.

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Post by WillRyan » Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:04 pm

I picked up the American version of Hikaru Utada's english album, Exodus, for my girlfriend after her entire collection of import cd's got swiped at work. (She probably had over $2000 worth of cd's in that case!)

Utada's voice is pretty strong, even if her songwriting is kinda weak. The production is all shimmery plastic hip-hop, but it's damn catchy. I ended up with a copy for myself: now it's the first dance album I own.

Anybody who listens to her earlier cd's, are they worth picking up?
-willryan

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