We made it through a cold and windy February in Tokyo and like clockwork March is already bringing some welcome heat and sunshine. It wasn’t all doom and gloom in February, though, with some amazing new releases from some of our favorite Tokyo artists like Wez Atlas, tamanaramen and Gezan along with the promise of some exciting upcoming EPs, albums and live shows around the corner. We’ve wrapped up five of our favorite releases from last month and our full eight-track playlist is available for you to check out via Spotify.
Gezan, Million Wish Collective – もう俺らは我慢できない
“もう俺らは我慢できない (We can’t stand it anymore)” comes from Anochi, the first full-length release from Tokyo-based quartet Gezan since 2020. Released on February 1, the album features new bass player Yakumoa as well as Million Wish Collective, a 15-person chorus group put together by band leader Mahito the People, comprising friends and colleagues of the band. The album, equal parts political protest and an optimistic look towards the future, is crafted almost like an experimental concept album and the track “もう俺らは我慢できない,” although sitting on the protest end of the spectrum, is not without its share of optimism. Million Wish Collective’s rhythmic chant adds a moody backdrop to the track which fittingly meshes punk rock chord progressions, heavy breakdowns and experimental interludes.
Haru Nemuri, Pizzali, SiNNER MOON, Peatle – Old Fashioned
Currently in the midst of her 20-show world tour, Yokohama-born Haru Nemuri dropped a new version of her track “Old Fashioned” in mid-February. Going from strength to strength since her 2016 debut, in just the last twelve months the young artist has sold out her first ever North American tour, performed at SXSW, receiving high praise from outlets such as Austin Chronicle and released her second album Shunka Ryougen, earning rave reviews from Pitchfork, The Fader, Stereogum and Spin. The new version of “Old Fashioned,” a bitingly sardonic track about capitalism and greed, features new verses from up-and-coming Taiwanese rappers Pizzali, SiNNER MOON and Peatle who performed the song together with Nemuri for the first time in Taipei on Feb 28. Nemuri’s current tour ends with her return to Tokyo at Ebisu’s Liquidroom on July 1.
Wez Atlas – It Is What It Is
February was a busy month for Tokyo’s Wez Atlas, dropping his latest single “It Is What It Is” and announcing his second mini album This Too Shall Pass, slated for release on March 15 via Hip Land Music. The mini album announcement comes after a string of single releases in 2022 including collaborations with label mates and Solgasa Collective buddies such as Jua, VivaOla and Sagiri Sol. “It Is What It Is,” produced by VivaOla and Kota Matsukawa is a characteristically introspective track from Atlas about finding acceptance and calm, despite life’s many curveballs. Keep an eye out on dates for Wez’s next “Kids’ Night Out” party and mini album launch event via his Instagram account.
tamanaramen – baby fish
Sibling audio-visual duo tamanaramen are back with their first major release in two years, the five-track EP Hajimari. Meticulous curation on the new EP sees each track stand alone as its own brooding nocturnal soundscape and the overall production quality on the release is leaps and bounds beyond 2020’s future. The release party for Hajimari is at WWW Shibuya on March 9 and keep an eye out for the sisters performing as DJ duo 4ngelkidz at their new regular party, IMO, at Shibuya’s Enter.
WAZGOGG – fat
WAZGOGG continued his current string of releases this month with new single “fat.” Prolific as both a producer and DJ, the Akita-born artist has released no fewer than nine albums since his debut in 2018 and 13 singles in 2022 alone. With tracks spanning a broad spectrum of electronic, dance, trance and hip hop he’s a frequent collaborator with artists such as SKRYU with whom he also released an EP with last month. The new track “fat” is true to its name with dense layers of bass and a mix of stylistic influences that the artist himself says wouldn’t be out of place on his next business card.