Artist Spotlight: Towa Tei, music

Artist Spotlight: Towa Tei (week four)

Every month, Memories of Shibuya will be taking a look at a different artist or group, with featured songs – one per week – highlighting the peaks (and, occasionally, troughs) of their musical career.

Concluding our four-part series on Towa Tei a couple days late (all apologies, sometimes life gets in the way of these things), this time around we take a look at the man’s work in the last decade – work which is still ongoing, with his latest single having been released just last month.

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Artist Spotlight: Towa Tei, music

Artist Spotlight: Towa Tei (week three)

 

Every month, Memories of Shibuya will be taking a look at a different artist or group, with featured songs – one per week – highlighting the peaks (and, occasionally, troughs) of their musical career.

Towa Tei’s work has always had more going on beneath the surface than it would initially appear; this week we take a look at what is easily his most controversial work. Like rap CDs back when we used to buy those, consider a “parental advisory: explicit content” sticker stuck on this one.

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Artist Spotlight: Towa Tei, music

Artist Spotlight: Towa Tei (week two)

Every month, Memories of Shibuya will be taking a look at a different artist or group, with featured songs – one per week – highlighting the peaks (and, occasionally, troughs) of their musical career.

After leaving Deee-Lite and heading back to Japan, Towa Tei embarked upon a solo venture that found him taking his rightful place in the canon of Shibuya-kei artists. The Japanese scene welcomed him with open arms, bolstered both by his major-label connections from the Deee-Lite days and his own Shibuya-kei style, which could hardly have been more perfectly suited to the J-pop zeitgeist in 1994.

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Artist Spotlight: Towa Tei, music

Artist Spotlight: Towa Tei (week one)

Every month, Memories of Shibuya will be taking a look at a different artist or group, with featured songs – one per week – highlighting the peaks (and, occasionally, troughs) of their musical career.

While the majority of Shibuya-kei stayed confined to the fringes of Western pop culture, endorsed by the darlings of the 1990s alternative scene but never made too visible (with collaborations often limited to remix exchanges, like Damon Albarn of Blur reworking Cornelius’s “Star Fruits Surf Rider” and Oyamada returning the favour with a remix of Blur’s “Tender”), to Western radio listeners in the ’90s, Towa Tei was something different entirely: a one-hit wonder. Odds are you know the song, but its connection to Shibuya-kei may possibly come as a surprise. What was this one hit? Well, if you look in your heart, you might find it…

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