Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on October 2012
Dancing After 1AM—a dig at Japan’s laws against late-night dancing—is the latest compilation from his Tokyo-based Call And Response Records, and bursts with offerings from no less than 18 Japanese bands.
Martin’s tastes run toward post-punk, new wave and “assorted experimental pop trash. ” As such Dancing After 1AM is more a snapshot of a certain side of Japan’s vast indie scene than a broad overview.
Anisakis lead off with “Poppukōn Hata Ni Kuroi Kage” (“Black Field Shadow Popcorn”), a driven slice of skronk in which the singer intones beguilingly about popcorn while guitars thrash about in the foreground.
The Extruders “Collapsing New Buildings” exudes a sense of calm quiet and wide-eyed wonder, while Jebiotto’s “Deacon Punk” is a standout—tuneful yet redolent with pheremonal synth-punk energy.
Indie stalwarts The Mornings are present with the chaotic, unsettling “Fuji,” and Tacobonds’ choppy, minimalistic “Ane” keeps things curious with a ceaselessly twisting and turning dance-punk narrative.
Dancing After 1AM may not be entirely representative of the Japanese indie scene, but it’s plenty intriguing temptation for a trawl through Tokyo’s claustrophobically welcoming live houses—assuming they haven’t been put out of business by police enforcing Japan’s no-dancing laws.