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.
I took a trip to Sakae for some Saturday afternoon wandering around and stopped off on the way at Nagoya’s famed File Under Records where a copy of the debut from local shoegaze outfit Aysula was waiting for me. I’d caught them last year at the Japan Shoegazer Festival in Nagoya and their abundance of what many Japanese shoegaze bands lack – a face blasting amount of guitar noise by way of their ridiculously loaded pedalboards – was one of the more impressive aspects of the evening. At the time there was only a little of their music available at the time, and most of that was the series of live videos on Youtube I’ve come to be accustomed to.
In June, however, the band released their debut effort titled, in an almost beckoning way, Release Me. I popped the CD in as soon as I got home and, while this is based on a mere couple listens through, it’s phenomenal. It’s got the shoegaze guitar noise that distinguished them at the JSF event, and on the recording the somewhat whiny, moody vocals really stand out a lot moreso than on Tsurumai Daytrip’s PA (understandably). The album has a really dark feel throughout. That guitar sound produced by the more than 70 pedals in their arsenal is all I need. Tracks like “Sphere” and “Remark” stuck out from their live performances, but “Lay Down Your Feathers”, the closest thing to a pure shoegaze track on the album, is the early favorite.
It’s a really impressive debut, and an important one for the city as Nagoya has started to produce its share of talent as the shoegaze scene in Japan continues to grow more and more. The band has also been announced as a participant in the Osaka leg of this fall’s Japan Shoegazer Festival. You can give them a follow on Facebook or Twitter and be sure to check out their homepage as well for info on how to purchase their CD. There are some “trailers” available on Aysula’s Soundcloud page as well.
Osaka shoegazers Ether Feels have released their new 3-track EP “Twilight Dreams” this week. The EP, which features re-recorded versions of some of their earlier material, includes the fan favorite “Raindrop Sparkle” sandwiched between two other songs which feature regularly at the trio’s gigs – “Morning Star” and “Paddy”. The improved recording quality does well to really capture the band’s light, somewhat melancholy brand of shoegaze capped by the dreamy vocal lines of frontman and principal songwriter TOMO which really carry well on this new EP. Having released a bunch of material previously, “Twilight Dreams” is the most mature of their works thus far and with a new lineup in place it will be cool to see a new full length in the future.
Here’s a preview of “Raindrop Sparkle” from the album which is available on Amazon (JP).
Japanese net-label Kiiro Records has released a new compilation titled FOREVER SHOEGAZE. The label, which has released a lot of great comps in the first half-year or so of its existence usually focuses on “listenable pop music”, but this time around (as the title would entail) it is all shoegaze. The comp features 11 Japanese bands and 4 foreign artists.
As with all of Kiiro Records’ releases, FOREVER SHOEGAZE is 100% free to download via their Bandcamp site. It’s been a highly anticipated release and the allotted free downloads have gone quite quickly, so if you see the “700 yen” tag, don’t panic. Just scroll to the bottom of the Bandcamp page and click on the mirror to the free download.
While you’re at it check out some of the other releases they have thrown together.
Here it is! Muso Planet volume 6 is now available for download. We had a slight content change at the last minute but are pleased with the way the issue turned out. Thank you to everyone involved! The issue can be downloaded here.
★Sounds Better With Reverb☆
★Barcelona Indie Label Siete Senoritas Gritando☆
★A Review of 2014 In Latin America☆
And the tracklist:
1. Flying Vaginas (Italy) – “Happiness and Flour”
2. Loomer (Brazil) – “Road to Japan”
3. the.city (Japan) – “Fall”
4. Ummagma (Ukraine) – “Risky”
5. Surfer Rosa (France) – “dead in your life”
6. AERO_fALL (Russia) – “Off The Beam My Dreams”
7. Sounds of Sputnik (Russia) – “Astronomical Summer”
8. Luna Ghost (Australia) – “Future End”
9. Miners (Australia) – “Soft Focus”
10. Sexores (Spain) – “Shinigami”
Muso Planet volume 6 will be released on the June 30th! We discuss shoegaze music in Australia with Jimmy from Sounds Better With Reverb and take a look at Spanish Indie Label Siete Señoritas Gritando. Jairo takes a look back at Latinoamerica Shoegaze in the first half of 2014, while looking at releases in the region during the Internet era.
With features on and free music from:
★Sounds of Sputnik (Russia)
★Luna Ghost (Australia)
★Flying Vaginas (Italy)
★Surfer Rosa (France)
Cigarette in your Bed have been a part of the Japan Shoegaze scene as it has been growing over the last few years. The trio released their debut LP Darkness earlier this month via shoegaze label High Fader Records (Lemon’s Chair, sugardrop, Yellow Loveless). They’ve been gigging alongside Lemon’s Chair, who released an album of their own in April and who are getting ready to re-release their much sough after debut. Cigarette in your Bed released a video for their first single “Let Me Out” and today announced that they will be shooting another for the album’s title track. The EP version of “Let Me Out” is available for free download as part of Muso Planet volume 4.
Tokyo’s The Florist were featured in the most recent issue of Muso Planet, having just released their debut full-length Dark Entries. One of many emerging shoegaze artists in Japan, the band made their name with the track “Middle of Winter” which originally appeared on their first release, a maxi-single of the same name. The band have announced a summer tour in support of the album and have released a video for new single “Sun Kills Moon”. Though the physical CD is currently available on a bunch of Japanese sites, the band has announced that it will be available via iTunes in June.
Tokyo’s Cigarette in your Bed have announced that their debut full-length album “Darkness” will be released this coming May via High Fader Records (Lemon’s Chair, Sugardrop, Yellow Loveless). The trio, who frequently feature at the Japan Shoegazer Festival have been gigging regularly since the new year in addition to working on their upcoming release. In March they will be taking the stage at Lemon’s Chair’s record release show at Tokyo’s Koenji High.
Cigarette in your Bed are a treat live, always putting on a powerful and entertaining show en route to establishing themselves as one of Japan’s more impressive shoegaze acts. To date they have released a handful of EPs which are made available at gigs. Until now, it’s been difficult to hear their music online outside of recorded live footage, so the upcoming album should be much anticipated for fans of Japanese shoegaze music.
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.