Muso Planet’s Newest Contributor: Jairo Manzur

Muso Planet aims to be a truly global music magazine, and to date I have tried to reach out to every corner of the world to get info on a lot of great artists.  There are some difficulties, however, not the least of which is the size of the planet and the amount of talent that exists.  Another such issue is the language barrier that can exist when trying to contact or simply gather information on artists.  I am fortunate to be a native speaker of a language that is widely compulsory in education systems, though it can’t always be relied upon.  It is because of these reasons and more that I am happy to announce that Jairo Manzur of Latinoamerica Shoegaze (whose interview can be read in Muso Planet volume 2) is signing on as a regular contributor to Muso Planet.
Jairo’s Latinoamerica Shoegaze blog is an outstanding resource on music in the region, and his wealth of knowledge will be an asset to Muso Planet.  Being a native Spanish speaker, Jairo has already helped a ton with contacting artists and relaying important bits of information that is far beyond the capabilities of whatever remains of my middle to high school Spanish education.  There is a lot of quality music being made in Latin America and I look forward to reading Jairo’s input on his field of expertise in future issues of Muso Planet.

Jairo’s first contribution will be a preview of some exciting releases coming out of Latin America in the upcoming months and will be included in Muso Planet volume 3.

Muso Planet Volume 3 Content/第3号の内容

The release date of Muso Planet volume 3 will be announced within the next few days. In the meantime here is a list of the content for the issue/Muso Planet第3号の発行日をもうすぐ発表する。

★The Blog That Celebrates Itself – An Interview with Renato Malizia/Renato Maliziaとのインタビュー
★A Look at Upcoming Releases from Latin America/ラテンアメリカのバンドより来たるべきリリース

Bands:
Trementina (Chile/チリ), Curelight Wounds (U.S./アメリカ),skip skip ben ben (China/中国), His Name Is Codeine(Scotland/スコットランド), Disco las palmeras! (Spain/スペイン), Fashion (Japan/日本), Charlatan (U.S./アメリカ), FPRF(Russia/ロシア)

Muso Planet Volume 2 is here! 第2号発行!

Muso Planet Volume 2 is now available for download!  第2号は発行しました!

Click here to download/ダウンロードはこちら:Muso Planet Volume 2 Download (70MB)

Latino America Shoegaze/ラテンアメリカシューゲイズ
A Year In Review of Japan Shoegaze/日本シューゲイズの年回顧

Bands:  Stella Diana (Italy/イタリア), Elephant Stone (Canada/カナダ), Oeil (Japan/日本), The Megaphonic Thrift (Norway/ノルウェー), Future (France/フランス), Afor Gashum (Israel/イスラエル), Zeit (Sweden/スウェーデン), Sonic Hearts Foundation (Scotland/スコットランド)

TBTCI’s Cocteau Twins Tribute Compilation Now Available!

cocteau

The Blog That Celebrates Itself today released its Cocteau Twins tribute album featuring a number of artists from around the world.  The album is available on Bandcamp for whatever price you’d like to pay for an outstanding homage to the legendary dreampoppers.

今日The Blog That Celebrates ItselfがCocteau Twinsトリビュートコンピレーションアルバムをリリースした。 Bandcampで好きな値段でダウンロードができる。

http://theblogthatcelebratesitself.bandcamp.com/album/a-tribute-to-cocteau-twins

Muso Planet Volume 2 Coming Soon! 第2号はもうすぐ!

Muso Planet volume 2 is in the works and is due out at the end of December.  Volume 1 featured some great bands and the follow-up promises more of the same.  The lineup of content for volume 2 is as follows.
第2号は制作途中で良い感じに仕上がってきている。創刊号には世界の良いバンドが特集され、次号にも素晴らしいバンドが参加してくれた。第2号の内容は下記の通りである。

-Interview with Jairo Manzur, the man responsible for the wonderful blog Latino America Shoegaze/ラテンアメリカシューゲイズのブログを担当しているJairo Manzurとのインタビュー。
-A year in review of Japanese shoegaze/日本のシューゲイズの2013年回顧

Bands
Stella Diana (Italy/イタリア)
Elephant Stone (Canada/カナダ)
The Megaphonic Thrift (Norway/ノルウェー)
Zeit (Sweden/スウェーデン)
Afor Gashum (Israel/イスラエル)
Oeil (Japan/日本)
Future (France/フランス)
Sonic Hearts Foundation (Scotland/スコットランド)

Volume 1 Has Arrived! 第1号創刊!

Muso Planet volume 1 has arrived.
Muso Planet第1号が創刊されました。

Download the first issue here.  こちらでダウンロードして下さい。

Download/ダウンロード

Volume 1 contents/第1号の内容

The Japan Shoegazer Festival

The First East Asia Shoegaze Festival

DKFM Shoegaze Radio

Bands:  Wavr (U.S./アメリカ), The EARTH EARTH (Japan/日本), Follow the Sea (Sweden/スウェーデン), Beach Volleyball (U.K./イギリス), Forsaken Autumn (China/中国), the 6 o’clock phantoms (U.K./イギリス), The Cherry Wave (Scotland/スコットランド), Venera 4 (France/フランス)

Glasgow’s Lamppost Records – Global Shoegaze

Lamppost

Over the last year there has been a lot of evidence that shoegaze is re-emerging as a popular genre in Japan, as well as all over the world.  Sure, it’s never really gone away, but thanks to My Bloody Valentine’s resurrection this year and all of the anticipation, the global shoegaze scene is booming once again.

Lamppost Records is a new Glasgow-based DIY label focused on showcasing the globe’s finest up-and-coming shoegaze artists.  Founded by members of The Cherry Wave, Lamppost has just put out its first release – a 4-track shoegaze compilation titled Under the Wildflowers Volume 1: A Lamppost Records Compilation.  The CD features one track by the Cherry Wave as well as songs by Beach Volleyball (London), Shallow (Arizona), and Fluorescent Tiger (Alabama).  The album is currently available at bandcamp as a “Pay-What-You-Like” release, though really the quality of the music is well worth a few bucks if you’re willing to part with it for a good cause.

In addition to managing releases by The Cherry Wave, Lamppost is looking to put out some more compilations featuring artists from different countries.  Though primarily a shoegaze label, Lamppost features noise and psychedelic sounds as well as “pretty much anything that’s fuzzy”.  They are looking for acts that fit the bill for future volumes of Under the Wildflowers.  It’s my hope that the next edition will feature some artists from Japan.  Regardless, I’m looking forward to future releases from a label with a brilliant mission to globalize shoegaze music.

To listen to and/or purchase Under the Wildflowers Volume 1 please visit the Bandcamp page here:  http://lamppostrecords.bandcamp.com/.

 

Making Music in Japan part 1 – A Brief Introduction

MusoBlogImgPart 1 – A Brief Introduction

Music is something I’ve always been interested in.  When I was a child I was obsessed with throwing together mix tapes, carefully choosing select tracks from my father’s casette and vinyl collections.  When I entered high school I started a band with some friends with whom I shared an affinity for metal.  From that point on making music is something I have been passionate about.  It was perhaps my own experience in a “garage band” (though later we made the transition to a “drummer’s grandmother’s basement band”) that I have always found self-production and humble beginnings an endearing and attractive quality in music.  My taste in music has of course changed over the years, but I still am overcome with a sense of nostalgia and appreciation when I hear a demo track from a home studio or a recording of a live practice session.

It is because of this, and the fact that I was preparing for a move to Japan, that I started this site. Coming from Chicago I grew up amidst a wealth of homegrown talent.  From high school and into my adult years I frequented some of the well-known local venues that young band members, including my teenage self, dream of eventually playing.  Moving to Japan I was instantly infused with the same sense of wonder I had when I was younger.  The country’s general music identity overseas is comprised mainly of J-Pop idols and Visual Kei artists.  This isn’t to say that there aren’t folks in other countries who aren’t aware of what a rich music scene exists in Japan, but simply that I don’t believe it gets enough credit or is easily accessible.  Being able to make a modest effort toward doing a service to fans of music that I personally find enjoyable is something that’s evolved into a cool little adventure.

Over the last few months or so my enjoyment of music in a Japanese context has led me to a new adventure however.  I recently moved to Nagoya and was lucky enough to find a relatively spacious 3-bedroom apartment.  One major selling point was a small icon of a guitar on the real estate papers indicating the apartment was music-friendly.  This was a huge bonus as a lot of apartments here have paper thin walls through which a person can hear more than they’d probably care to.  Two extra bedrooms and the thumbs up for music eventually led to one room being converted into a “music room”.  It’s been a few months since we moved here and it has gradually been transforming into a nice little humble (no amps, direct input, laptop recording-level of humble) home studio.  It is in this room that I kicked off a new musical project and can hopefully use as a starting point for my own journey into the local music scene in Japan.

MattStudio

I plan to use my own experiences from this point on as sort of ethnographic research into a music scene that I have been lucky enough to be involved in to some capacity.  It’s no secret that Japan is different than my home country in a number of ways, and the process of starting a band and making music is no exception.  It’s a topic that I find very interesting and really am excited to delve into on a personal level.  More progress and commentary to come in future posts!