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Bands A

Abyssal

Matthew Bedford

Formerly known as AZMA, Abyssal formed in Fukuoka in 2010.  Since then the band has built up a reputation for its massive live show.  Abyssal's first EP Light To The Future And For You The Gospel - released by Deady Funny Records prior to the name change - is an orgy of massive, droning guitar noise and reverb soaked vocals.  You know there are drums in there somewhere thanks to the presence of cymbals in the mix.  Shoegaze producer extraordinaire Kensei Ogata had his hand in the mixing and mastering of the EP.  

Abyssal's impressive live performances have earned them opening slots for such foreign artists as Deerhoof and Sebadoh, among others.

Discography

1.  Light To The Future And For You The Gospel (EP) (2013)

Links

AIR

Matthew Bedford

AIR is the solo project of Koji Kurumatani, which began in 1996 after the breakup of Kurumatani's previous band Spiral Life.  AIR's earlier music carried a heavy shoegaze influence compared to later material, which ranged anywhere from guitar pop to acoustic ballads to rap-infused hard rock via collaborative efforts with Dragon Ash frontman Kenji Furuya.  Kurumatani stopped performing as AIR in 2009, and the following year announced his new project, Laika Came Back.  

Discography

  • AIR (mini-album) (1996)
  • WEAR Off (1996)
  • MY LIFE AS AIR (1997)
  • SPAWN (mini-album) (1998)
  • Usual tone of voice (1998)
  • Freedom/99 (1999)
  • Stilly (mini-album) (2001)
  • Flying Colors (2001)
  • My Way (2002)
  • one (2003)
  • A Day in the Life (2005)
  • The New Day Rising (2007)
  • Nayuta (2008)

Alice Kitela

Matthew Bedford

Alice kitela is a post-rock/shoegaze band from Osaka, whose sound also occasionally veers toward more progressive scream-infused rock (not unlike thrash-inspired Tokyo band Grinch).

Alice kitela released its first demo in January 2014, and later that year released a split EP Specimens with 土曜日と人鳥とコーヒー (Doyoubi to Penguin to Coffee) via Neksia Records (free download).

Discography

1.  Drowned at a Little Time (demo) (2014)

2.  Specimens (split EP) (2014)

Links

Al Van She's Coming

Matthew Bedford

Al Van She's Coming formed in 2009 in Asahikawa City in Hokkaido.  The band, whose core duo is comprised of Koto and Sataka (pictured above), craft uptempo pop melodies blanketed with layers of guitar noise.  Though Al Van She's coming remains active in their hometown, they also gig in Tokyo where they have appeared frequently at the monthly Total Feedback event.  

In 2012, Al Van She's Coming collaborated with Yusuke Hata of cruyff in the bedroom.  The following year they submitted a track for cruyff in the bedroom's 14th anniversary tribute compilation and toured throughout Japan in support of the album.

Discography

1.  voyage de souvenirs (EP) (???)

2.  3songs sampler (demo EP) (2012)

3.  drop* (single) (2014)

Links

Ame no Naka no Uma (雨の中の馬)

Matthew Bedford

Ame No Naka No Uma (taken from the title of a Murakami Haruki short story, meaning 'The Horse in The Rain') is a shoegaze band from Osaka.    The band formed as a solo project in 2010, and released its debut nowhere e.p. in 2014, with a follow-up 3-track titled heart released in 2015.  Both releases were made available via free netlabel Kiiro Records, whose 2014 compilation album Forever Shoegaze2 also included a track by Ame No Naka No Uma.  Their sound combines elements of shoegaze and post rock, fuzzy and droning over light electronic rhythms.  

In 2015, the band's founding member (also known as Amenonakanouma) joined forces with ex-neutrinos member sugoi_inu to form a new alt-rock project called Utopia Corridor.

Discography

Links

AOQ (青く)

Matthew Bedford

AOQ (pronounced "Aoku") formed in Kyoto in 2012 and, following a number of lineup changes and breaks in activity since then, settled on its present lineup in October 2014.  Founded by Norikazu Katayama (guitar and vocals) and Yasuo Kajihara (bass) the band added Shuhei Kouzaki (drums) and Yuri Okamoto (live guitar) to the ranks.  

 

AOQ have appeared at a number of shoegaze events in the Kansai area including the Japan Shoegazer Festival in Osaka and the Kyoto's own shoegaze fest, Kyoto Shoegazer.  With very little recorded music to date, and no formal releases, AOQ has emerged as one of Japan's up and coming shoegaze acts on the back of its tight and incredibly loud live performances.  

Frontman Norikazu Katayama also books a number of shows at Annie's Cafe, establishing the venue as the place to go to see shoegaze events in Kyoto.

Discography

 

Links

Aysula

Matthew Bedford

Aysula is a four-piece alt rock band from Nagoya, which founded in 2012.  Their sound combines elements of shoegaze, post rock, and new wave on the back of blistering guitars noise and angsty vocals.  While Nagoya has generally produced more pop-oriented shoegaze bands, Aysula opts for a more aggressive, somewhat darker sound.

In 2014, Aysula released its debut mini-album Release Me, which was supported by appearances at Japan Shoegazer Festival events in both its hometown and Osaka.  

Discography

  • Release Me (mini-album) (2014)

Links