music

Memories of Shibuya year-end wrap: 5 songs for 2016

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Few people are sad to see 2016 go, perhaps justifiably so – but it wasn’t all bad. This year had no shortage of wonderful music released, and so Memories of Shibuya is looking back on 5 of the best songs to come out in 2016. Streaming options aren’t available for all songs, but links will be provided where available.

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New videos from Negicco and For Tracy Hyde

As long-time readers will know, there are few things that Memories of Shibuya adores as much as T-Palette darlings Negicco; and if you weren’t already converted, perhaps new single “Ai, Kamashitaino” (physical copy due out December 20)’s charming retro-themed music video might be just the thing.

Additionally, YouTube channel Tokyo Acoustic Session has a new performance video up from Memories of Shibuya interviewees For Tracy Hyde, with the band members offering up a very different take from Film Bleu standout “Her Sarah Records Collection.” The whimsical acoustic version swaps out the fuzzed guitars of the original for a more folksy arrangement, complete with xylophone and mandolin – check it out!

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For Tracy Hyde brings new life to Shibuya-kei on Film Bleu

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In a perfect world, For Tracy Hyde’s Film Bleu wouldn’t be such a rarity. Echoing the spirit of ’90s Shibuya-kei through its carefully curated set of music-nerd references and name-drops, rather than merely aping the boutique-pop sound as many Shibuya-kei inspired acts have saw fit to, it’s an album that could have fit right in during the height of the genre at the turn of the century. However, it’s coming out in December 2016, and the musical landscape has changed drastically in the years since Shibuya-kei ruled the scene.

I met with three members of the band – chief songwriter and guitarist Natsu-bot, bassist Mav and drummer Marcie – in the heart of Shibuya to discuss Shibuya-kei, their new album, and the contemporary Japanese music scene. Their thoughts, and the video for lovely single “Favourite Blue”, can be found below.

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Sayaka Tanimoto exploring new musical avenues, to great effect

Electronic music producer Sayaka Tanimoto‘s Maho no Ongaku was one of the strongest debut releases of 2015, with her 8-bit beats and charming vocals rendering her as a definite talent to watch in the chiptune genre. However, her ambition exceeds the confines of 8-bit production, and on a pair of new songs (“Turnover”, embedded above, as well as “Astrocyte“) she explores a much richer sonic palette than was to be found in her work previously. While a release date for her next album has yet to be announced, Tanimoto’s Twitter account teases that a new CD may be forthcoming – and updates will be found on Memories of Shibuya as they arise.

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Get hyped for the new METAFIVE with “Musical Chairs”

Boasting more of a dance-pop sound than most of what we’ve heard from the Japanese alternative’s biggest supergroup, METAFIVE’s “Musical Chairs” has been uploaded to YouTube in advance of their new album METAHALF. While the first METAFIVE album sounded closest to Cornelius’s solo work out of any of the high-profile musicians involved in the project, this one seems to be shaping up to bear more resemblance to a Yellow Magic Orchestra album; but, of course, we’ll just have to wait and see how the finished product turns out when it’s officially released tomorrow.

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Want Negicco on Blu-ray? T-Palette’s got your back

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Negicco, Niigata prefecture’s pseudo Shibuya-kei alternative idol darlings, have a high-definition release upcoming, sure to please any videophiles out there. Coming out on November 29, their 13th-anniversary show “Road of Negiiiiii: Otodaima 2016 Summer at NHK Hall” (doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?) is getting the full Blu-ray treatment, although some may be disappointed to find out that there will not also be a DVD option available this time around. Either way, Negicco live shows are always a pleasure, and the increased audio/visual fidelity of the Blu-ray format should definitely appeal to some.

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