JAPAN UNDERGROUND presents: TarO&JirO (JP), Asian Chairshot (KR) and Mayu Wakisaka

When: Monday 12 May 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: TarO&JirO (Japan), Asian Chairshot (Korea), Mayu Wakisaka (Japan)
DJ: Japanese rock, punk, metal and alternative
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/232012583662620/

Are you guys in for a treat. Coming in all the way from Korea we have the indie rockers Asian Chairshot, produced by Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder, and nominated for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song at the 2014 Korean Music Awards. Then there’s guitar slap heroes TarO&JirO, winner of the Japanese leg of Emergenza, the world’s largest battle of the bands competition. And last, but by no means least, there’s the award winning singer-songwriter Mayu Wakisaka, fresh from playing SXSW and The Great Escape Festival this year. All that, plus authentic Japanese street food, beer, and JAPAN UNDERGROUND’s resident DJ for a mere fiver.

TarO&JirO

Taro&JirOFans of MIYAVI, eat your hearts out. TarO&JirO slap guitars to the power of two! They’ve shared stages with guitar legends such as Scorpions (Rock Oz’Arènes) and Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Steve Morse at the Guitare en Scene in 2012, just to name a few. In 2013 they entered Emergenza, the world’s largest battle-of-the-bands competition and won the 1st place in the Japanese division with their energetic and contagious performance. Soon after they headed to Germany to compete in the Emergenza World Final and although they didn’t win, they still landed 2nd place for best guitarists. Upon their return home they were immediately signed to TEICHIKU Records and dropped their first album Brothers Fight at the end of 2013. Catch them live in an intimate venue before they explode!

Asian Chairshot 아시안체어샷

Asian ChairshotFormed in 2011, Seoul, Korea’s Asian Chairshot took their name from a powerful (and very illegal) move done by many a professional wrestler to knock out their opponents – the famed “chair shot.” And just like a chair shot, the trio’s hard-hitting mix of psychedelic music, garage rock, and alt-rock usually has little trouble stopping people dead in their tracks. In December 2013, Asian Chairshot recorded their first full-length album. It was produced by Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder and engineered by Ryan Grostefon, who worked with Smashing Pumpkins on their 2012 Oceania disc. Asian Chairshot started off this year by receiving nominations for “Best Rock Album” and “Best Rock Song” at the 2014 Korean Music Awards. In March, they traveled to Singapore to perform at the Mosaic Music Festival. In May, they will be embarking on their first UK tour to play at Liverpool Sound City. “Korean rockers Asian Chairshot combine explosive guitars, bass and drum work with vocal melodies that are uniquely full of surprises.” – Music Weekly Asia

Mayu Wakisaka

Mayu WakisakaMayu Wakisaka is an an award winning singer-songwriter and her songs have been preloaded on Sony’s mp3 player “Walkman”. A native of Japan’s entertainment city, Osaka, Mayu, quit law school and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her music career. Her style is a warm mix of folk, pops and jazz with unique and well-written English lyrics. She is the winner of International Acoustic Music Award (Open Category) and also a finalist of “UK songwriting contest” “Australian Songwriting Contest” and “Great American Song Contest”. She has upcoming release of “Halfway to You”, a compilation album of her previous EPs in Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. In 2014, she has several international shows including SXSW in USA and the Great Escape in UK.

JAPAN UNDERGROUND 12 May 2014

MIYAVI Announces Album & World Tour 2014

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The outrageous, fun loving and exceptionally talented guitarist, MIYAVI is back on the world circuit in 2014. Today he announced that his album “MIYAVI” will be released throughout Europe on the 24th February 2014 followed by an extensive European tour. The three legs of the tour include Asia, Europe and Japan. This news has quickly followed the announcement that MIYAVI will feature as an actor in Angelina Jolie’s upcoming film “Unbroken”, due for release in December 2014.

European tour dates are as follows:

● 2014/3/14(fri) Paris, FRANCE LA Cigale
● 2014/3/15(sat) London, UK Shepherds Bush Empire
● 2014/3/16(sun) Helsinki,FINLAND Circus
● 2014/3/17(mon) Copenhagen,DENMARK DR Concert House
● 2014/3/19(wed) Moscow, RUSSIA Izestiya Hall
● 2014/3/20(thu) St. Petersburg, RUSSIA Aurora Club
● 2014/3/21(fri) Krasnodar, RUSSSIA Arena Hall
● 2014/3/23(sun) Krakow, POLAND Club Studio
● 2014/3/24(mon) Budapest, HUNGARY Barba Negra Music Club
● 2014/3/26(wed) Berlin, GERMANY Columbia Club
● 2014/3/27(thu) Cologne, GERMANY Live Music Hall

With a career spanning an impressive number of years and themes, and three successful world tours already under his belt, we’re very much looking forward to seeing what MIYAVI brings to the table in 2014. His sound is unmistakable, and his talents are solid. You won’t have seen a guitarist play like this live before in your life. A big fan of drama, we expect the MIYAVI circus to hit Europe hard and leave it with a hangover.

We can’t wait.

In the meantime, make sure you’re following the man himself on twitter @MIYAVI_OFFICIAL – you don’t want to miss any of the random moves MIYAVI makes, especially if he’s on his way to Europe!

For a taster of the upcoming album, check out the music video for Secret:

LM.C’s New Album Bringing All The Best B-Sides to Europe

LMC - B-Side BEST!! - Artwork-001

How’s your alphabet? Got all your A’s, B’s and LM.C’s? They aren’t convinced. LM.C think you might be missing a few essential B’s, so they have brought their latest album full of B-Side BEST!! to Europe. How kind of them!

Starting as a live band project and finding major Visual Kei success in 2006, this electro-rock guitar duo have carved out a style of their very own with their loud, bright costumes and seriously complicated music. With all their experiments and adventurous sounds, it’s fair to say that LM.C are one of the most musically interesting Visual Kei units there is. Maya and Aiji are veterans of how to rock, and get a chance to show it off with this heavy B-Side party.

This seventeen track album collects B-Sides from throughout Maya and Aiji’s entire career together, including some contributed by their evil alter egos, THE MAD LM.C. We can see why LM.C have decided to make an album by collecting all these tracks together – it’s time they had their chance to shine. The chance to get whimsical and weird on B-Side tracks has always been a thrill for this band, and it has produced some seriously cool music.

Out of the seventeen tracks, it’s difficult to choose highlights, but the return of Haunted House make a Secret and …with VAMPIRE has got to be a big one. Two of LM.C’s debut tracks, these creepy, sweet songs will LM.C press photo B-Side BEST!!-001have you groovin’ in no time. The combination of electronic samba rhythms, rap vocals and super heavy guitar, which all became B-Side staples for LM.C, started with these tracks.

For a different sound, check out ningyo no namida, a ska driven track with a killer guitar solo in LM.C’s favourite gritty, tough guitar sound. It also features some random steel drum sounds which momentarily transport you to the Caribbean. Alternatively, try Bad Spider or Shibuya Cantabile for some super speedy riffs and curious lyrics. No matter where you look on this track-list, there’s something exciting.

The album closes with three of LM.Cs most recent B-Sides, contributed by evil reincarnate, THE MAD LM.C. It must be useful having an alter ego this good at writing B-Sides, their remix of ★Rock the LM.C★ will knock your socks off.

As an all ’round album, this album showcases a full timeline of LM.C’s best experiments, hard rock and the cutest vocals you’ll hear this year. Furthermore, how often do you stumble upon a band whose sole purpose in life seem to be to scare you with cuteness? Not often, so you should definitely consider acquiring it from our good friends over at GAN-SHIN immediately.

Title: B-Side BEST!!
Release Date: June 28th, 2013

Tracklist:
1. GEKI FANFARE (4:04)LM.C_JWL_0508A
2. @Funny Phantom@ (4:27)
3. mR. century (4:07)
4. Haunted House make a Secret (4:43)
5. marble-s (4:40)
6. maple leaf (4:46)
7. Tiny Circus (4:19)
8. …with VAMPIRE (3:38)
9. DAYS (3:52)
10. ningyo no namida (3:59)
11. A Blueberry Night (4:07)
12. YASHA姫 (PRINCESS YASHA) (4:11)
13. Bad Spider (3:36)
14. Shibuya Cantabile (4:48)
15. ★Rock the LM.C★ by THE MAD LM.C (4:37)
16. No Fun. No Future. by THE MAD LM.C (2:58)
17. MAD or DIE by THE MAD LM.C (3:59)

Available from: iTunes and Amazon mp3 NOW!

MIYAVI – SAMURAI SESSIONS vol.1: Reviewed

SAMURAI SESSIONS vol.1 is possibly MIYAVI’s most ambitious and accessible album to date,  seeing the self-styled guitarist team up with a variety of different talents from differing musical backgrounds. From electro, to jazz, to traditional Japanese sounds to rap and punk, it’s all thrown in here.  Though, weighing in with seven tracks and a run-time barely over 25 minutes  it’s technically an album, but feels more like a suped up EP. Needless to say, there’s a high possibility it will leave you hungry for more, which is no bad thing. And if you’re an existing fan we bet you’re already hot about the next volume, especially seeing as the MIYAVI vs. YOSHIKI (vocalist of X Japan) collab the pair hinted at on Twitter didn’t make this cut this time round. Anyway, let’s move on and take a track by track look at the album.

It kicks off with opening track GANRYU, a short burst of energy featuring the self-titled guitar samurai’s slap-guitar technique used prominently in his 2010 WHAT’S MY NAME album, mixed in with electronic tinkering, scratching and effects by breakbeat duo HIFANA. The track is a great builder, and we really hope the two forces join together again in the future.

STRONG, featuring rap artist KREVA should be a track all MIYAVI fans are already familiar with as it was the first SAMURAI SESSIONS single. (Grab it from iTunes or Amazon MP3click here for an acoustic video rendition of the track.) It’s still one of our favourites on the album, and we’re not ashamed to admit to trying to rap along despite having no idea of the words. It leads on to DAY 1, with French electro producer YUKSEK, the second single of the series (and is also available from iTunes and Amazon MP3.) It’s a beat heavy dance track lead with MIYAVI’s now-typical fiddly guitar loops thrown into the background. So far the first three track have all been party anthems, however the mood of the album as a whole shifts from here onwards.

SILENT ANGER has punk-rock vocalist TAKESHI HOSOMI from ELLEGARDEN and the HIATUS behind the mic, and the style of the track is clearly moulded in the style of the HIATUS, offering a much darker tone than any of the other songs on the album, and an overarching impression of epicness. Check out the video for it at the start of this paragraph to get a feeling of what we mean. PLEASURE! is a polar opposite to SILENT ANGER, and is a burst of jazzy energy featuring P’ez pianist (and former Tokyo Jihen ivory polisher) H ZETT M.

HA NA BI is another technical number that pits MIYAVI against flamenco guitarist JIN OKI. If that doesn’t sound like an exciting enough combination, they throw in shamisen master HIROMITSU AGATSUMA to create a beautiful (if a little manic) clashing of sounds and styles. It’s the kind of track we can imagine Quentin Tarantino falling off his chair from excitement to.

Closer INORI WO is the nearest the album comes to a ballad, and not only features the famed producer and bassist SEIJI KAMEDA (Ringo Shiina, Porno Graffitti, Do As Infinity), but also stars the daughter of Ryuichi Sakamoto; MIU SAKAMOTO. It’s the slowest track on the album and a lovely piece of dreamy pop, that leaves SAMURAI SESSIONS vol.2 feel open to anything. And we can’t wait to find out.

Artist: MIYAVI
Title: SAMURAI SESSIONS vol.1

Tracklist:

1. GANRYU – MIYAVI vs. HIFANA (1:26)
2. STRONG – MIYAVI vs. KREVA (3:18)
3. DAY 1 – MIYAVI vs. YUKSEK (3:19)
4. SILENT ANGER – MIYAVI vs. TAKESHI HOSOMI (4:20)
5. PLEASURE! – MIYAVI vs. H ZETT M (3:45)
6. HA NA BI – MIYAVI vs. HIROMITSU AGATSUMA vs. JIN OKI (4:00)
7. INORI WO – MIYAVI vs. SEIJI KAMEDA vs. MIU SAKAMOTO (6:06)

Release Date: 14/11/2012
Available From: iTunes UK, iTunes DE, iTunes FR, iTunes ES, iTunes IT, iTunes US and 54 other stores.

Miyavi to Play Secret London Show Tonight

The guitar-slapping, 3/4-length trouser wearing samurai of the six-string, Miyavi, revealed on Twitter that he’ll be making a very special live appearance today at 8pm somewhere in London.

雅-MIYAVI- @MIYAVI_OFFICIAL
rise n shine my sweet ppl in UK wat u guys up to today? im slappin the strings the way I do somewhere around 8PM. guess where? #MYVinLONDON

Luckily, Miyavi left some clues for all budding Sherlock Holmes wannabes that want to find him. And by clues, we mean retweets disclosing the location. It’s all going down at the men’s fashion store Browns, just off of Bond Street in central London. The store’s holding a very special event to celebrate its pop up collection from Japanese designer and label Mihara Yasuhiro.

Browns Fashion@BrownsFashion
We’re welcoming samurai guitarist @MIYAVI_OFFICIAL to our menswear store this evening to celebrate our #Mihara event

So what are you waiting for? Get offline and get down to Bond Street! Only if you’re on the guestlist, mind…

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MIYAVI vs YUKSEK: Day 1 – Out Now on iTunes

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