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Details of the new album from Towa Tei

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Titled EMO, the METAFIVE member and prolific Shibuya-kei fixture’s eleventh full-length studio album (ninth as Towa Tei) has a special website up, bearing the upcoming release’s tracklisting and guest list. Featured performers this time around are an eccentric bunch even by Tei’s usual standards, although the presence of METAFIVE is hardly a surprise. In addition to his band, singers Hiroshi Takano and UA, author and artist Tomoo Gokita (who designed the album artwork), Inara George of indie-pop duo The Bird and the Bee, Ano of alternative idol group You’ll Melt More! and Chilean electronic musician Atom™ are confirmed, although the site teases that the full list is yet to come.

Those who like getting extra songs as preorder bonuses have something to look forward to with this one, as Amazon is offering a CD-R with the Takkyu Ishino remix of Tei’s “GBI” and Tower Records offers a download card with an alternate take on new song “REM.” Additionally, orders through HMV are entered in a chance to win a signed Polaroid from either Tei or one of the other collaborators on the record. EMO comes out March 22.

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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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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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Album trailer for new Tomita Lab release up, is wonderful

Multi-talented producer Keiichi Tomita’s latest collaboration-heavy album, Superfine drops November 30, and as a teaser his label has uploaded a lovely sampler of the diverse sounds on display. Boasting collaborations with hot talents such as alt-pop darlings Avec Avec, Suiyoubi no Campanella and Kirinji, Tomita’s iPhone contacts list is most certainly an enviable one.
And it’s one that’s been well-earned, too. Along with like-minded artists like Yasutaka Nakata, Shinichi Osawa, and naturally the Shibuya-kei scene, Tomita was instrumental in bringing a touch of worldly sophistication to Japanese pop in the late ’80s and has continued to be a strong presence, with an extensive production discography in addition to a long history under his “Tomita Lab” moniker.

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Most new music is unbelievably terrible, new Sakanaction single isn’t


Do you crave nice things? Is your life lacking in goodness? Sakanaction understands your trouble. New single “Tabun, Kaze.” seeks to remedy your ailments through the beautifully processed guitars, dance beats and driving synthesizers that the Hokkaido-based group made their name on. Most new music is horrendous and the world may indeed be going to hell, but one can dance in the flames to the sounds of Sakanaction.

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New video from Saku, single details from Negicco and more!

Can’t wait to hear the new Saku single? Live in Japan and/or know your way around a VPN? Saku’s cute new single “Shunshoku Love Song” has a full promotional video available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure, in which the smiling Saku plays acoustic guitar while a high school girl falls in love and takes pictures of things. It’s sweet.

negi negi

Love Negicco and Asako Toki? Never thought you’d hear of a collaboration between the two? Well, you’re in luck – it has been revealed that the former Cymbals singer is writing the lyrics for the new Negicco single “Mujun, Hajimemashita” (coming out March 29), thus further cementing Negicco as the most Shibuya-kei of idol groups. Additionally, the single’s LE version will come with a bonus disc featuring Shibuya-kei inspired acts Yakenohara and Yuri Miyauchi’s remixes of “Space Nekojaracy” and “Oyasumi”, respectively. The bonus tracks will also be available with OTOTOY‘s lossless, DRM-free digital version, as is the norm for that most wonderful of websites.

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Meanwhile, those who had given up on a revival for long-dormant singer-songwriter Kenji Ozawa’s illustrious musical career have reason to be excited. The Flipper’s Guitar founder has teased at a live tour and new material on its way, and Takao Tajima of Original Love says that the new songs are sounding great – being cooler than all of us, naturally Tajima was invited to Ozawa’s secret invitation-only live event earlier this month.

lover album

Finally, Clammbon fans who had been waiting to get any of their previous albums on disc have good reason to hold off for another few days, as Columbia is reissuing a series of eight of the group’s previous albums on February 3. The reissue series contains 2003’s imagination, mono and stereo versions of 2005’s Ten, 2007’s Musical, 2010’s uncreatively-named 2010, 2009 remix album Re-clammbon2, 2006’s cover song collection LOVER ALBUM and its 2013 sequel LOVER ALBUM 2.

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