Over the last month or so the anticipation of this year’s Japan Shoegazer Festival has been building. This year’s edition of the event has reverted back to it’s previous two city format, with the first leg taking place in Osaka and the second in Tokyo. This year’s Shoegazer Festival features a whopping thirty artists (twelve in Osaka and eighteen in Tokyo) and a ton of DJs, shaping up to be the biggest events in the fest’s history.
A couple months ago event organizer and guitarist of annual headliner Lemon’s Chair, Masashi Imanishi announced a that a special promotion with net label Kiiro Records would take place at this year’s festival. Around that time Kiiro Records, whose catalog consists largely of free-to-download pop releases, put out its most recent shoegaze compilation titled Forever Shoegaze. While details were completely unknown at the time, it was assumed that some sort of collaborative release was in the works. Today the details were announced via Imanishi’s blog.
People who attend the event will receive a free copy of the Japan Shoegazer Festival-exclusive compilation, kiirorecords & JAPAN SHOEGAZER FESTIVAL V.A. The full track list of the limited edition CD-R was released today as well. Though it does include some songs that have appeared on previous Kiiro Records comps, it marks the first physical release by the label. It’s a pretty nice bonus for folks who are able to attend what has to date been a really enjoyable day of music. One can asuume that when the Japan Shoegazer Festival concludes, this release will make its way to Bandcamp as well. The track listing for the CD is as folows:
01. SAPPY / 天国のフィーリング 02. adgreen. / mieko maiko 03. The Feedback Radio’s / smile 04. HUSH / Dumb 05. kazuma / I am waiting last summer 06. penguin airways / heatdown 07. PARASOL/ Sometimes 08. 17歳とベルリンの壁 / サーチライト 09. Cuicks / warp to the next door 10. daisyblue / early wing 11. ヨシオテクニカ / 夜汽車で見た古い夢 Old dream takes somewhere 12. magao / 海へ沈む 13. magu / 轟音少女はうつむかない 14. なゆたのつぶて / 星座 15. the Jinn’s / din 16. nina likes light blue skirt / Wednesday 17. cosmos / 素晴らしい世界
To check out more of Kiiro Records’ releases visit their Bandcamp page.
Just months removed from the news that their rhythm section had left the band, Art School have announced the addition of three new support members to support core members Riki Kinoshita and Satoshi Todaka. The future had looked bleak after it had been announced that bassist Takeshi Uno and drummer Hiroyuki Suzuki decided to part ways with the band. With Kinoshita and Todaka focusing a lot of time on their side-projects (Killing Boy and Ropes, respectively) there were a lot of questions about whether Art-School was nearing the end, and some ominous tweets from Kinoshita made it seem like that was the case.
Now here we are in late-March and how things have changed. The band has showered its fans with a series of exciting announcements. The first of which is the addition of three new support members: bassist Kentaro Nakao and drummers (yes drummers) Yuichi Sakurai and Isamu Fujita. The new lineup will make its live debut at the also recently-announced “Kinoshita Night AX 2 Days” which will take place at Shibuya-AX on June 2nd and 3rd. Both nights will be headlined by Art-School with Asian Kung-Fu Generation opening on Saturday and Straightener and The Mirraz supporting the Sunday evening show.
The last of the big announcements was that the band would be recording a new album. Normally, this sort of news is exciting enough for fans of any band, but news that the band is currently in Chicago recording with legendary producer Steve Albini at Electrical Audio. Taking a look at the laundry list of bands with whom Albini has worked (Nirvana, the Pixies, Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the Stooges, Helmet, to name just a few) it seems safe to say that his unique and distinct recording style should complement Art-School’s sound wonderfully.
Hopefully this is just the start of a resurgence of a band whose fans have spent the last few months worried and confused about what the future would hold. At least for now, we have a lot to look forward to.
Earlier this year Muso Japan announced that Tokyo-based dreamy rockers Kinoko Teikoku had released their self-produced 2nd EP “Yoru ga Aketara. Well in the midst of their Japan tour, the band has announced plans to release its debut full-length album to be titled “Uzu ni Naru.” The album is going to include songs from “Yoru ga Aketara” as well as new tracks that I personally am very excited to hear.
The 7-track album will be released via UK.Project, Inc./Daizawa Records and will be available on 5/9 for ￥1890. It can be pre-ordered at Amazon. The track list is as follows:
02. 退屈しのぎ (Taikutsu Shinogi)
03. SCHOOL FICTION
04. Girl meets Number girl
05. The SEA
06. 夜が明けたら (Yoru ga Aketara)
07. 足首 (Ashikubi)
On January 21st, one of Japan’s most promising up-and-coming bands Kinoko Teikoku formally released their second EP “Yoru ga Aketara.” Formed in 2007, Kinoko Teikoku got their start in Shibuya playing at local live houses and soon established themselves in Japan’s indie scene.
The band’s sound can best be described as beautifully intense. Satou’s dreamy vocals carry the listener as the music, driven by a-chan’s guitars, flows from beautiful and melodic to thick and powerful. Their songs are beautifully composed and sophisticated and above all else extremely catchy. Kinoko Teikoku provides well-crafted and passionate music. A definite must-listen and a prime example of a hidden gem in the Japanese music world.
Maintaining their status as a true local indie act, Kinoko Teikoku had previously only sold their music at live shows. Until now. The self-produced 5-track CD “Yoru ga Aketara” is now available online through diskunion (http://diskunion.net/portal/ct/detail/IND8920#.Txo16e-s43I.twitter) for a very reasonable ￥1,050 (about $13.53 USD and well worth it) which will get you 30 minutes of some excellent music.
For a taste of Kinoko Teikoku visit their myspace page and sample some tracks at http://myspace.com/kinokoteikoku
A live version of Taikutsu Shinogi can be seen here. Enjoy this wonderful band!