October 26, 2021
Tokyo Music Scene: New Japan Releases this October
Your monthly dose of new music from Japan
Image credit: actress.jp
We’re back with a rundown of our favorite new music releases from Japan. For October, we’ve picked from the worlds of Japan’s electronic and folk scenes and featured locally and internationally recognized artists such a D.A.N., as well as some of our favorite emerging artists. Whether you’re curling up on the couch or heading out for a dance, our October playlist has the best new music to keep you warm as the temperature drops. Listen to the full playlist at our Spotify and check out our artist highlights below.
Seimei – Don’t Bend My Life
“Don’t Bend My Life” is the latest track from electronic producer and founder of trekkietrax, Seimei. Seimei has been active in the Japanese EDM scene since he was a teenager and reached international acclaim after moving to San Franciso in 2014, performing with established international artists such as Purity Ring, Wave Racer and Basenji. “Don’t Bend My Life” is the opening track from Seimei’s debut full length album, A Diary From the Crossing, which mixes hard techno, trance and house.
D.A.N. – The Encounters
D.A.N. is a name you’ve probably seen popping up a lot over the past few years. Formed in 2014, they grew to prominence locally and overseas after performing at Fuji Rock Festival in 2016 and 2018, earning them opportunities to perform with established local and international artists such as The xx and Floating Points. “The Encounters” comes from their recently released third album NO MOON and features guest vocals from rapper Takumi (from hip-hop duo MIRROR) and Hikam (from audiovisual duo tamanaramen). What begins as a markedly mellow alt-R&B track to begin with, slowly evolves into a heavy, Caribou’esque dance floor banger.
ZOMBIE-CHANG – PaRappa the Gabber
Since releasing her debut EP in 2016, Zombie Chang has experimented with a wide variety of sounds — from ethereal psychedelic indie pop to live band arrangements and heavy dance. Her new track, “PaRappa the Gabber” was produced for a collaboration between fashion label Wind and Sea featuring iconic 90s video game PaRappa the Rapper. Aptly named, the song is a hectic voyage into the Dutch hardcore techno style known as Gabber. The cover art, designed by Zombie Chang, is a humorous nod to Chop Chop Master Onion, a character from the video game series.
Satoko Shibata – 雑感 (Zakkan – Miscellaneous Feelings)
“雑感” (zakkan, meaning miscellaneous feelings) is the new single from folk pop artist Satoko Shibata. Originally written in the middle of 2020, Shibata says the song expresses the mixed feelings she felt while being unable to visit friends and family during the pandemic. The song has become a fan favorite over the past 18 months, being played live multiple times before its official digital release at the beginning of this month. Whilst the single differs slightly from live performances, the final arrangement is a characteristically upbeat and charming Satoko Shibata release.
Yuta Orisaka – 炎 (Hono – Flame)
“炎” (hono, meaning flame) is taken from Yuta Orisaka’s first full length release since 2018, Psychology. After spending his childhood in Russia and Iran, Orisaka began releasing music in 2014 and has since carved out a niche for himself, blending elements of blues, jazz and folk in his releases. Featuring American saxophone virtuoso, Sam Gendel, “炎” is a sombre jazz number which showcases Orisaka’s vocal chops before Gendel takes the lead with a soaring saxophone crescendo.