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

moumoon and PASSEPIED, Two of Japan’s Rising Talents, Announce Special One-off London Show

moumoon x PASSEPIEDEvent Name: JAPAN UNDERGROUND presents moumoon x PASSEPIED – JAPAN RISING Warm Up
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/454371931382680/
Date: Wednesday 13 May 2015 (from 7pm)
Location: The Pipeline (basement), 94 Middlesex Street, London E1 7DA [map]
Nearest Tube/Train: London Liverpool Street, Aldgate, Shoreditch High Street
Entry: £5

7-8pm: Japanese music DJ session
9pm: moumoon
10pm-close: Japanese music DJ session

Two of Japan’s hottest rising talents, moumoon and PASSEPIED have already been selected to represent the best in new talents from Japan at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton between 14-16 May 2015, and now they have announce a very special one-off show in London to warm up for the festival appearance, accompanies by DJ sessions from UK-based Japanese music label JPU Records.

PASSEPIED (www.passepied.info)

Named after French composer Claude Debussy, PASSEPIED have became a sensation in the Japanese music scene since forming in 2009. With their unique music style crafted by keyboardist and founder Narita Haneda, who graduated the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music with a degree in classical music, and illustrations, artwork and music clip animation created by the band’s own vocalist, Natsuki Ogoda. This will be PASSEPIED’s very first performance outside of Japan.

moumoon (www.moumoon.com)

moumoon is a Japanese group formed by YUKA (Vo.) and MASAKI (Gt./Composer). They both grow up with classical music with Masaki playing piano and YUKA playing violin. Their present musical style covers various types of music such as pop, alternative rock, electronica, folk and indie rock with YUKA’s lyrics and vocal adding scenery and a story to Masaki’s sensitive but dynamic melodies. After moumoon was formed, their songs were power played on radio and used in many TV commercials earning them name recognition. Their latest single is also currently being used in hit new anime series Assassination Classroom as its closing theme.

moumoon and PASSEPIED are in the UK to take part in the JAPAN RISING showcase at The Great Escape on Saturday 16 May, where they will be joined by Yosi Horikawa. The showcase is supported by The Foundation for Promotion of Music Industry and Culture (PROMIC) and 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.

JAPAN UNDERGROUND: New Year Party + Tokyo’s AC/DC Tribute

AD/CDWhen: Thursday 30 January 2014 (7pm-10:30pm)
Where: The Pipeline, 94 Middlesex Street, London, E1 7DA. (map)
Nearest Tube/Train: Liverpool Street, Aldgate/East, Shoreditch High Street
Tickets: £5 on the door.
Bands: AD/CD, Of Fire and Flames, QWERTY.
DJ: Japanese rock, punk, metal and alternative
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/663263117029722/

Right, let’s kick this new year in good and proper. Thursday, end of January, you, the craziest AC/DC tribute band Tokyo has to offer, upcoming melodic punk outfit Of Fire and Fate and Japanese singer-songwriter Yuma Imaoka with his band QWERTY and shiny green bunny guitar. Sound good? You betcha! Plus Japan Underground’s resident DJ spinning a mixture of tracks from Japan to get you headbanging, fist swinging and having a damn good time – just a fiver on the door! See you there.

Sponsored by JPU Records

Here’s a video from our events last year:

Coldrain Confirms Three UK Headline Shows

coldrainAs we reported at the end of last year, the more-than-a-little-bit-wicked Coldrain are planning to break out of Japan in 2014. The first step of which involves touring Europe with Bullet For My Valentine (as reported here). However, before all that kicks off, the metalcore group has confirmed 3 headline shows in the UK!

It all kicks off with in London on Friday 31 January where they’ll headline at the Camden Barfly, followed by Thekla in Bristol on 1 February, and Red Room in Nottingham Sunday 2 February 2014. Tickets are on sale now, and can be bought in a bundle with merchandise (tshirts and/or hoodies!) from Coldrain’s newly opened online merch shop (visit by clicking here).

JPU Tom’s Top 5 Albums of 2013

JPU TomIf you’ve been following Japan Underground this month, you’ll have seen we’ve been talking to the staff at JPU Records on their favourite albums of the year, Japanese or otherwise. Today’s the last of these features as we check out the five biggest albums of the year according to JPU and Japan Underground founder and head honcho, Tom Smith. Any words on the selection, Tom? “Circles and triangles were in this year when it came to cover design, weren’t they? Anyway, a number of people ask me what kind of stuff I listen to outside of ‘work’ – this should give you an idea! I had to be careful not to fill this list entirely with JPU releases… so I’ve been good and only included one… and it’s also my favourite album this year.”

Ling tosite sigure – i’mperfect
Ling tosite sigure“This album. It’s not only at the top of my personal five favourite albums of 2013, it’s also in my top ten albums this side of the millennium. It took me well over a year for the LTS sound to click with me, but once it did, I was HOOKED. I’mperfect reminds me a lot of another favourite album of mine; Relationship of Command from At The Drive-In (listen on Spotify) – yet Sigure sound nothing like ATDI, but the energy of that album is present here too. Scratch that, imagine Relationship of Command condensed to 4 minutes and you have Ling tosite sigure’s ‘Sitai miss me’. My only problem with this album is that it’s over far too soon.”
Outsanding tracks: abnormalize, Beautiful Circus.
Buy from Amazon: Regular Edition, Digital Edition
Buy direct from JPU Records (worldwide shipping)

Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal
Bring Me The Horizon“BMTH first appeared on my radar years back when friends were going crazy over ‘Pray for Plagues’ and ‘[I Used to Make Out With] Medusa’. I didn’t really get the fuss, but that didn’t stop them ramming BMTH down my throat for the next few years… as a result I never really looked into the band much, which, looking back, is a shame. It was thanks to a different force shoving BMTH my way that I did eventually get into them; Youtube, with its barrage of Sempiternal ads earlier this year. I decided to listen on Spotify, and then buying the album after my month’s listening limit was used up just from playing it over and over. It still gets a lot of play today too.”
Outstanding tracks: Can You Feel My Heart, Shadow Moses.
Buy from Amazon: Regular Edition, Vinyl Edition, Digital (Deluxe) Edition.

Enter Shikari – Rat Race EP
Enter Shikari“Much like Bring Me The Horizon, Enter Shikari are another band my friends have been going bonkers about for years, especially as they’re local boys. I’d seen more than my fair share of human pyramids at Shikari shows over the years  but never felt the need to buy an album. That was until I heard RADIATE on BBC Radio 1’s Rock Show. In fact, RADIATE is probably my favourite song this year, from anyone. I love it and it always lifts my mood. From there I worked backwards, and a month later I was the proud owner of all of Enter Shikari’s studio albums. Now they’re one of my favourite bands, and if this was a list of top 5 albums listened to during 2013, Enter Shikari’s A Flash Flood of Colour would be number one by a long way.”
Outstanding Tracks: RADIATE, Paddington Frisk.
Buy from Amazon: Digital Version

crossfaithCrossfaith – Zion EP
“Yep, the EP and not APOCALYZE, their newest album. That’s not to say APOCALYZE isn’t  a lot of fun – it’s just too much for me. It’s like eating chocolate cake, with a side helping of chocolate cake, with extra chocolate cake on top. Sure, I live chocolate cake but in moderation, man… Zion, is just the right length, and full of nothing but killer tune after killer tune. I’m listening to it while I write this and I want to go out and jump around.”
Outstanding tracks: Jagerbomb, Monolith.
Buy from Amazon: Regular VersionDigital Version, +1 Import Version

“I went to a live show severely hungover while in Tokyo, just to see my mate’s band Silhouette from the Skylit support the amazing JAWEYE. Except, for some reason JAWEYE was on first and I totally missed them from rolling in late… instead NOISEMAKER were headlining, and despite hurting from the night before, their live set brought me back to life and rocking down the front with everyone else. They gave me their album, and I haven’t stopped listening to it since. They remind me a bit of what would happen if SPYAIR went heavier… mixed with the stuff I used to listen to as a teenager. Anyway, awesome band, and now I’m seriously thinking about releasing this album in Europe – so do tell me what you think and have a listen to the tracks I link below. Plus their cover of Rhianna’s Rude Boy is also genius.”
Outstanding tracks: THE NEW ERA, platinum shoes.
Buy from iTunes


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