taffy, PASSEPIED, moumoon and Yosi Horikawa in JAPAN RISING Showcase at The Great Escape 2015

JAPAN RISING - THE GREAT ESCAPEFB Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1381477455513705/

Four Japanese artists have been confirmed to perform at The Great Escape, held 14-16 May in Brighton, England. taffy, PASSEPIED, moumoon and Yosi Horikawa will appear at the JAPAN RISING showcase on the afternoon of Saturday 16 May at Queens Hotel, accompanied with a buffet of free sushi. They will perform in front of fans from all over Europe, music industry professionals and media outlets. All four artists will also perform separately during the festival with other international bands.

Held annually in Brighton since 2006, The Great Escape is Europe’s fastest-growing music marketplace and consumer festival. This year, 400 selected artists from over the world will perform at 35 clubs around the city.

JAPAN RISING will present the first UK performances from major-label artists PASSEPIED and moumoon; the former being iTunes Japan’s “Breakout Artist of 2013” and the latter bringing a dose of unadulterated J-pop, whose latest single featured as the opening theme to hit new anime series Assassination Classroom. The special showcase will also be opened by Tokyo shoegaze-pop quartet taffy, while experimental DJ Yosi Horikawa, who was recently part of compilation Nihon Kizuna which raised over £20,000 for earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Northern Japan, will conclude the proceedings.

The showcase is organised by The Foundation for Promotion of Music Industry and Culture (PROMIC), supported by Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) and coordinated by Japan Underground. It is part of a remit to create overseas showcase opportunities for performers at Tokyo International Music Market; further showcases will follow.

Venue / Time:
Queens Hotel, Saturday 16 May (11:30-4pm) – Entry with festival pass only

taffy: 12:00-12:30pm

taffy is a four piece fuzzy guitar pop band with a female vocal Iris. They are often compared to the Britpop and the Grunge bands from the 90s. Their music is described as art-punk (247magazine) , shoegaze (Buzz), 90’s Britpop revival (NME), highly addictive (DiS) and so on. The band has three albums out already, and has done 4 national UK headline tours so far. And the new EP “Darkle” out on May 4th 2015 includes a song “Young Tines” which was remixed by The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

moumoon: 1:00-1:30pm

moumoon is a made-up term with a French word “mou(soft)” and “moon”: soft moon.
Ever since their inception in 2005, they have continuously gained recognition through their radio live-performances on various networks and had their songs featured in commercials and television dramas. They have taken further steps in their career as they performed in large-scale music festivals and went on their biggest tour to date (16 different areas in Japan) in 2014.
Recently, they have been holding live performances overseas, in an attempt to showcase Japan’s high quality pop songs to the rest of the world.
Also playing: 8:30pm Saturday 16 May @ Brighton Museum

PASSEPIED: 2:00-2:30pm

Formed in 2009 by keyboardist, Narita Haneda. Their name, PASSEPIED was taken from a composition by French composer, Claude Debussy. Ever since their formation, PASSEPIED are causing sensation in the Japanese music scene with their unique music style created by Haneda, who has a classical background, and the illustration/artwork and music clip animation created by the band’s own vocalist, Natsuki Ogoda. Their sophomore album “MAKUNOUCHI-ISM” was released on June 18. In October, the band released “MAKUNOUCHI-ISM e.p” which includes 4 tracks from the latest album “MAKUNOUCHI-ISM” re-recorded all in English on iTunes Stores worldwide.
Also playing: 8:00pm Saturday 16 May @ Komedia Studio Bar

Yosi Horikawa: 3:00-3:30pm

t’s clear that Yosi Horikawa is not only obsessed with music, but sound itself. The Japanese producer consistently incorporates field recordings into his tracks to vibrant effect offering an exciting musique concrete version of electro beat.
He released his first EP, « Touch » on Eklektik Records (FR) in 2009 and his LP « Vapor », on First Word Records (UK) in 2013. He recently performed among international festivals (Sonar, Mutek, Glastonbury etc.). 2011 academy grad, a documentary about him « Layered Memories : Searching For Sound With Yosi Horikawa » have been released on 2014 by RBMA
Also playing: 6:45pm Friday 15 May @ Unitarian Church

ROVO and SYSTEM 7 Bring Phoenix Rising Tour to the UK: March 2014


ROVO and SYSTEM 7 - phoenix risingJapan’s popular progressive-rock jamsters ROVO, featuring guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto (of Boredoms fame) will join forces with British electronica outfit SYSTEM 7 to recreate their phenomenal album PHOENIX RISING, live. Four very special tour dates have been announced; Manchester Ritz (7 March), London O2 Islington Academy (8 March), Brighton Concorde 2 (9 March) and The Leamington Assembly Rooms (10 March).

Tickets are available by clicking here, and includes 5-track EP Hintori for free! Check out the video at the end of the article to hear the title track.

The tour has been masterminded by progressive rock / electronica guitarist Steve Hillage from System 7, who was recently given the The Visionary Award at the Progressive Music Awards 2013.

For those unfamiliar, ROVO features two drummers, funky bass and innovative keyboards and are fronted by guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto and masterful electric violinist Yuji Katsui. SYSTEM 7 is the dance music project of Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy that presents a unique combination of tech-house beats and live musicianship. The band has had a strong influence on the development of psychedelic ambient and electronica.

PHOENIX RISING live is a combined show of System 7 and ROVO playing together, utilising the techno beats as the rhythmic basic and live drums, seamlessly morphing into each other.

Book tickets now.


The UK’s exclusive Japanese music club night returns, bringing the finest and most exciting rock, pop and dance tunes of Japan to the cities of London, Birmingham, Brighton and Nottingham this February. Expect authentic karaoke, a Japanese style purikura photobooth, Harajuku fashion and the first overseas performance from Tokyo’s urban techno-punk act Hibari!

After its huge success in London, which saw partygoers as far away as Newcastle attend, and the event being listed in the top 365 things to do before you die, word soon spread of Japan Underground across the British Isles and its Facebook page was inundated with requests to bring the J-themed mayhem to other cities.

Live music will be provided by the electric Hibari, a Japanese double act that captures the energy of Tokyo’s famous street performers and delivers it with the punk-rock attitude rarely found in a country that lives by the proverb ‘the nail that sticks out will be hammered down’. Clad in tattoos and piercings, non-conformist Tsutomo (Hibari’s vocalist) refuses to be hammered down and is the epitome of everything the country’s officials fear from its ever growing, rebellious alternative youth.

Previously the tunes were supplied by Japanophile, radio DJ and all-round top fella Iain Lee. This time Japanese music journalist Tom Smith will be providing the tracks, incorporating the likes of Mad Capsule Markets, Dir en Grey and Polysics, as well as gaming remixes and pop tracks from Hikaru Utada, T.M. Revolution, Arashi and many more.

Couple all this with vibrant fashion styles influenced from the country’s Harajuku, visual kei and Shibuya scenes, a purikura studio from Cosplay Portrait where users can make fun and exciting prints in the style of Japan’s exciting photobooths, merchandise on sale including music CDs, DVDs, video games and an exclusive store at the London show courtesy of sponsors Manga Entertainment, plus karaoke supplied by On Board, tipped as London’s most authentic Japanese karaoke experience with over 120,000 songs available in English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and more!

What are you waiting for? Go grab your tickets now and get ready to party, Japanese style!


2nd – LONDON: The King Pin Suite (Bloomsbury Lanes basement)  – map
(Tickets: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/103858)

3rd – BIRMINGHAM: The Victoria (upstairs) – map
(Tickets: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/103859)

4th – BRIGHTON: The Hobgoblin (upstairs) – map
(Tickets: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/103860)

9th – NOTTINGHAM: The Centralmap
(Tickets: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/103861)

All tickets are £6 in advance.

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