|Beautiful Thing||Automatons|| |
|One Night Stand||Eclectric|| |
|Make You Mine||Eclectric|| |
|Cared More||Eclectric|| |
|Psychotherapist||Yours, Svoy: The Best of 2005-2012|| |
|Front Line (Telling You)||Grow Up|| |
|Looking for You (Consequence EP 1.0 Version)||Yours, Svoy: The Best of 2005-2012|| |
|On My Own||Eclectric|| |
|Over Me||Automatons|| |
In 1995 the melodic rock quartet Supercar was formed in the northern Japanese prefecture of Aomori. This guitar and vocal oriented band, which consists of Nakako on guitar and vocals, Miki on bass and vocals, Junji on guitar, and Kodai on drums, released their debut single, Cream Soda, in September of 1997. Their first CD, Three Out Change, was released in April of 1998 and featured Cream Soda with two other previously released singles (Lucky and Planet). A year later Supercar released their second CD, Jump Up. With this CD they sped into second place on the Japanese domestic charts. In May of 1999 the band shifted into overdrive and cranked out a compilation of outtakes entitled OOKeah!!, which was distributed in limited numbers. A few months later Supercar added some tracks to OOKeah!! and reissued the CD domestically in conjunction with the release of their fourth CD, OOYeah!! In the Supercar sound, one can identify such influences as the Jesus and Mary Chain and Echo and The Bunnymen. Supercar has a particular predilection for richly textured guitar distortion and melodic vocal lines. Due to their admiration for such acts as the Chemical Brothers and Primal Scream, Supercar has recently been working with sounds and techniques related to the realm of techno, swapping sound files with outside collaborators and relying more heavily on drum loops and samples. On the live side of things, they opened for Pavement in Tokyo back in 1999 and played Austin's SXSW at Sony's Japan Not For Sale artist showcase in March of 2000.
John Vallier, Rovi
dep is a producer and multi-instrumentalist living in Asheville, North Carolina. He produces his own brand of melodic electronic music using home grown samples, field recordings, and an array of electronic gadgetry.
Provided by artist representative
Bonnie Pink is currently one of Japan's strongest female rock singer/songwriters in a country not known for such a thing. Blessed with a keen ear for melody and a voice that hints at Suzanne Vega, Chrissy Hynde, and Alanis Morissette but ultimately remains her own, Bonnie Pink has gone on to attract worldwide acclaim and the attention of producers including Tore Johhansen (the Cardigans) and Mitchell Froom (Suzanne Vega). Born in Kyoto, Japan, she snagged her first recording contract while still attending college. Adopting her stage name Bonnie Pink to match her electric pink Beatle-cut hair and to give a nod to the Western artists who influenced her, she released her first mini album, Blue Jam, in 1995 on Pony Canyon, containing eight cuts of '70s-tinged soulful rock. It was enough to attract the attention of Tore Johhanson, who brought her to Sweden to record her breakthrough debut, Heaven's Kitchen, in 1997, which resulted in three high-charting singles. Her popularity garnered her a spot on the Japanese version of George Martin's ill-fated In My Life album, singing "Blackbird." Evil and Flowers appeared in 1998, her last album for Pony Canyon (two best-of compilations, Bonnie's Kitchen number one and number two, soon followed). Switching to Warner Bros. subsidiary East West, she first released a single "Sleeping Child" that featured remixes by Stereolab and the High Llamas, then followed up with an album Let Go in 2000. She has yet to find Western distribution, but surely has paid her dues to deserve it.
Ted Mills, Rovi
Like their countrymen the Cardigans and Komeda, Sweden's Cloudberry Jam drew from an eclectic pool of influences -- the vintage Motown sound, cool jazz, even a hint of Latin American music -- to hone their own distinctive brand of elegant, finely-textured lounge-pop. Formed in the town of Linköping in 1991, the group comprised vocalist Jennie Medin, guitarist Jörgen Wärnström, bassist Per Valsinger, multi-instrumentalist Henrik Sundqvist and drummer Per Byström; while their 1992 debut EP La La La offered a more faceless, guitar-driven lo-fi sound, their 1994 follow-up The Art of Being Cool began moving towards the fresh diversity of their best work. Blank Paycheck, Cloudberry Jam's full-length debut, arrived in 1995, and offered a complete integration of the quintet's myriad influences, yielding a bright, sophisticated sound topped off by Medin's gorgeous vocals. 1996's Providing the Atmosphere was even better, adding an element of Stereolab-styled space-age pop; the record was a huge success not only at home but also in Japan, where it sold over 100,000 copies. A singles compilation, Going Further, preceded the release of Cloudberry Jam's third studio LP, The Impossible Shuffle, which appeared in late 1997. After Medin then decided to return to university, the group's break-up was announced the following year.
Jason Ankeny, Rovi
Brahman are a respected mainstay of the Japanese punk/alternative scene of the '90s/2000s, their music displaying both metal and pop leanings, as well as subtle touches of the Eastern traditional music. Formed in 1996 in Tokyo, the band went the traditional route, playing shows and making small releases, the first being the mini-album Grope Our Way. Their reputation built on, and by 1998 Brahman were already playing the 30,000-strong Air-Jam fest in Tokyo, along with other energetic newcomers of the national rock scene, such as Hi-Standard and Rude Bones. The same year they broke in the charts for the first time with A Man of the World, which got them a deal with the major label Toys Factory. The next years were spent touring heavily, including a return to Air-Jam, as well as stints at Fuji Rock Festival and the Tibetan Freedom Concert, not to mention debut shows in Hong Kong and Europe. After that, it came as no surprise that their 2001 effort, A Forlorn Hope, went platinum, selling 500,000 copies and allowing them to play on the same scene at Fuji Rock Fest '01 as Eminem, System of a Down, and Tool. That was followed by another string of shows, both local and international -- this time Brahman hit Taiwan, the U.K., Italy, and France, and landed a special guest slot on the Japanese G.B.H. tour. The band's third studio album, The Middle Way, was released in 2004 and sold well enough to get a U.S. release through the hardcore label Revelation Records in 2005. Another series of sold-out nationwide shows pre-dated the tenth anniversary live DVD Theoria in 2006, and the fourth album Antinomy (2008), which enjoyed moderate commercial success like most of its predecessors.
Alexey Eremenko, Rovi
Premier Japanese hip-hop group Rip Slyme got their start in 1994 when Ryo-Z and Ilmari began writing together for fun. As the duo became more ambitious, they added their rocker pal Pes to the lineup and soon were winning accolades in amateur rapping contests. With some recognition under their belts, Rip Slyme released their first album, Lips Rhyme, in 1995, and soon after added DJ Fumiya to their ranks. After some touring and studio experimentation the group released album number two, Talkin' Cheap, in 1998. As their popularity grew in Japan, the boys released a string of indie singles of increasingly hit-worthy material (notably, their collaborations with Fantastic Plastic Machine Underline No. 5 and Mata au Himade), leading to serious interest on the part of mega-label Warner. By 2000, Warner signed the band and on March 22, 2001, their first major single for the label, "Stepper's Delight," was released. By 2002, their popularity was reaching mega proportions and saw the boys winning both the Best New Artist and Best Hip-Hop Group distinctions at that year's MTV Japan Video Music Awards. Riding on that career-topping high, Rip Slyme unleashed their giant-budgeted Tokyo Classic album later that year -- becoming Japan's first million-selling hip-hop group in the process. More MTV awards followed and the band dominated the hip-hop scene in its homeland for the next several years, releasing four massively popular full-length albums, as well as a number of singles and collaborations. At the end of 2005 DJ Fumiya was out of the performance picture due to illness (with fellow hip-hopper DJ Soma filling in on subsequent Rip Slyme concert appearances), but he was back on board for 2006's ultra-popular Epoch album and for its follow-up, Funfair, in 2007.
J. Scott McClintock, Rovi
Tokyo club-pop programmer and DJ Yoshinori Sunahara was born September 13, 1969, adopting the alias Marin Ishino upon joining the techno trio Denki Groove in 1991. He made his solo debut in 1995 with Crossover, followed by a series of LPs exploring his fascination with flight -- Tokyo Underground Airport, Take Off and Landing, and Pan Am--The Sound of 70s.
Jason Ankeny, Rovi