music, news

New videos from Towa Tei and Negicco

The first video from CUTE is out now, with an appropriately old-school clip accompanying the star-studded “LUV PANDEMIC” – with Haruomi Hosono, Yukihiro Takahashi, Keigo “Cornelius” Oyamada, Leo Imai and actress Yuka Mizuhara providing their faces and voices to the incredibly bad song. It’s absolutely horrendous by all means, possibly the worst single Tei has ever put out, but just look at all those guest stars!

For those who prefer their music videos with far less wasted talent, Negicco and Sachiko Kobayashi recently revealed their “Niigata☆JIMAN!” video, a cute song made to promote tourism in Niigata city (soon to be home of the next regional expansion of Yasushi Akimoto’s ongoing 48G project). Negicco fans, rejoice! Everyone else, continue to be confounded by the continued presence of this only tangentially Shibuya-kei group’s presence on Memories of Shibuya!

Advertisements
Standard
music, news

New video for an old song by Towa Tei

A short version of the Bakubaku Dokin-supported number “Upload” from Towa Tei’s Mach 2012 album got the animated video treatment recently, and if this is your first exposure to “Upload”, be warned – it’s probably not going to leave your head for another year or so. Seriously. Thing is an earworm like few others. Tei’s Cute LP comes out July 29, and anyone who wants to hear more of “Upload” can find it on the fun (albeit brief) Mach 2012.

Standard
music, news

Negicco’s Megu featured on happy machine song

Described by Natalie.mu’s delightful copywriting as “a Frenchman who loves Japan”, happy machine makes music that makes not descending into snark incredibly difficult. Making his debut in the netlabel scene before signing to Tower Records’ in-house label (no, not T-Palette – the one people don’t care about, the label that’s just called “Tower Records”) and snagging Megu from Negicco for a guest appearance, this is as much of a bio as I can be bothered to write and you can feel free to look up the rest yourself if you care. The short version of the resulting track is embedded above, and if you actually like this for any reason you’ll probably be happy to know that happy machine’s building the machine comes out on July 8.

Standard
music, news

New album from Towa Tei? New album from Towa Tei!

His first full-length release since 2013’s Lucky, Towa Tei’s new album will be called CUTE – and the guest list  alone is certainly worth getting excited about. Boasting contributions from the likes of post-rock darling Leo Imai, frequent Tei collaborator YUI of Bakubaku Dokin, Yoshinori Sunahara of Denki Groove, and Shibuya-kei veterans Keigo “Cornelius” Oyamada and ASA-CHANG, he’s moving away from the international cast of contributors that had graced recent releases and focusing exclusively on Japanese talent – not, in any way, a bad thing.

The album comes out July 29 on Tei’s own MACHBEAT label, and Natalie has a full tracklisting.

Standard
music, news

New videos from Cornelius, Original Love and color-me frog

If Keigo Oyamada seemed a little less busy than usual last year, he’s more than making up for it in 2015 – the latest update to his Kokakua Sound page is a “studio live” version of his laid-back Ghost in the Shell theme song “Mada Ugoku”, featuring vocalist Maaya Sakamoto and the Cornelius band. No YouTube mirror as per usual, but thankfully Kokakua Sound’s generic video player works perfectly fine. Which is a lot more than can be said for some pages, or anything that ever used RealPlayer. Why did anyone ever think that program was a good idea?

If soul is more your thing, Takao Tajima has you covered – a digest version of the upcoming Original Love album Lover Man has been helpfully made available to the most popular video-sharing site on the web, containing previews of each song on the new release – including Tajima’s own version of “Sunshine Nihonkai”, a song written for Negicco and previously featured on the girl group’s Rice&Snow album.

Perhaps most excitingly, Shin-ichiro Aoyama’s color-me frog has released their first music video, a sparingly-animated clip set to the binaural sounds of Aoyama’s most musically daring work to date. Echoing the work of Shibuya-kei pioneers like Takako Minekawa and Kahimi Karie, “Sky Holic” marries Sayoko Nagamuu’s gorgeous vocals to a warm, summery musical backing that only makes the vocals’ unconventional mixing that much more striking. Girl on the Train is yet to have an official release date, but it should be out by the end of the Summer – definitely a release to look out for.

Standard
music, news

News from Negicco, Cornelius and Konishi

Something for everyone here, no matter what permutation of Shibuya-kei you find yourself preferring. For those who favour the quirky, unconventional alternative sound that characterizes Shibuya-kei’s more experimental extremes, Penguin Cafe Orchestra has just the thing. They recently did a cover song exchange with Shibuya-kei pioneer Keigo “Cornelius” Oyamada, and have shared a video for their cover version of Point highlight “Bird Watching in Inner Forest”, rechristened  “Birdwatching in Silent Forest” and accompanied by footage of birds in silhouette against a striking backdrop of fluid imagery.

If the pop kitsch of Negicco is more your speed, they recently released a live album as an exclusive to Japanese music destination OTOTOY – happily free of any pesky DRM and regional restrictions. Titled “Negicco to Gakkou”, the album captures the girls’ performance at the “alternative art space” 3331 from October 10 of last year, available in a number of lossless formats as per OTOTOY standard. The girls also have an announced release date for their next single, which is as yet untitled and will be coming out on August 11. As with all of Negicco’s recent singles, it will be available on 7″ vinyl in addition to CD and DVD options, although, in an unconventional move for the group, both A and B-sides will be getting the music video treatment. A version with a bonus disc containing three remixes will also be available, as was the case with Hikari no Spur – most likely this version will make its way to OTOTOY, as such was the case with the aforementioned single as well.

Old-school fans should get a kick out of the announcement of Yasuharu Konishi’s new album as “Pizzicato One”, his second full-length under the name and first release as P1 since 2011’s One and Ten Very Sad Songs. The new album, titled Watakushi no Nijuu Seiki (“My 20th Century”, for those of whom are understandably miffed by the fact that Memories of Shibuya never translates titles for things) features contributions from a guest list that, true to form, is dominated by fashion models and actresses – Konishi is, after all, still Konishi – and is written and produced in its entirety by the man himself.

Standard
music, news

New “Ghost in the Shell” music video from Cornelius

If you liked Cornelius’s previous work with Salyu (as Salyu x Salyu) for the Ghost in the Shell ARISE series, this new one should be right up your alley. Available exclusively on the official Ghost in the Shell music page, the song “Anata wo Tamotsu Mono” features vocals from Maaya Sakamoto (who provides the voice for Motoko Kusanagi in the anime feature) and a suitably odd music video to accompany its chic minimalism. The single will be released on June 17, and Amazon is taking preorders.

Standard