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Hickville, a band with many Shibuya-kei ties and a neo-GS background, is back with a 4th album 15 years after the release of "Mileage" (1999). Full of new songs, this includes a first Christmas song by the band, as well as a self-cover of "kuchizuke kibonnu", song written for Dempa Gumi inc.

Their "Welcome Back" tour will stop by Zher The Zoo in Yoyogi on March 29, 2015. Reservations by email can be done by email from this special page.

Hicksville "Welcome Back"
ヒックスヴィル 「WELCOME BACK」

1. Retropicana
2. FLY AWAY
3. kotoshi no Christmas Song
4. Videotape
5. LOVESONG
6. kaerō
7. Listen
8. kuchizuke kibonnu
9. Sunset Sunrise
10. kaiki gesshoku

Village Disc VDCD-0001
Out now (12/10), ¥2800 (excl. tax)
Order: Amazon, HMV, Tower Records
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

"Christmas Song of the Year (kotoshi no Christmas Song)" lyric video

Tags: Hicksville (click for more info)

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" Recommended show: Andreas Dorau(!), JINTANA & EMERALDS, BTB, Omodaka 12/20 @ Basement Monstar Oji http://otooto22.com/dorau / follow @ADJPtour " — @coolestsound on December 12, 2014 at 09:28 | Retweet


" Vanilla Beans go shopping with their wallet phones in this special version of "uchoten Girl"! http://youtu.be/yYbQFY8Ehng @vanibe_fans " — @coolestsound on December 11, 2014 at 20:48 | Retweet

Ukulenica is a new project of Okada Tohru (Moonriders, CTO LAB.), and consists of 4 ukulele players including himself, Natsuaki Fumihisa (Jack-tati), Yoshida Takashi (Rose-Unlimited, 5th Garden) and Kuroda Hideaki (plusico). This first album is of covers of the Moonriders. Guest vocalists include Maika Leboutet (EA), Satō Yusuke and Sato Nozomu (both of caméra-stylo).

A free in-store event will be held at Tower Records Shibuya on Friday January 16, 2015, from 20:00 (details here).

Okada Tohru presents Ukulenica "Phases of the moon ~ Ukulenica meets Moonriders"
岡田徹 presents ウクレニカ 「フェイゼズ・オブ・ザ・ムーン ~ ウクレニカ・ミーツ・ムーンライダーズ」

1. ELEPHANT
2. K no Trunk
3. musunde hiraite te o utō
4. Lolita Yaya
5. G.o.a.P
6. A FROZEN GIRL, A BOY IN LOVE
7. ano ko no Loveletter
8. onwa na rōdōsha to benri na hatsudensho
9. kassha to furiko
10. Knit Cap Man
11. kikyū to tsūshin
12. daitokai kōkyōkyoku
13. K no Trunk (Vocal version)

Solid Records CDSOL-1611
Out now (12/10), ¥2400 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records , 岡田徹 presents ウクレニカ "フェイゼズ・オブ・ザ・ムーン ~ ウクレニカ・ミーツ・ムーンライダーズ" (Japan )
† Tower Records ships within Japan only
How to buy from iTunes Japan?

"ELEPHANT"

Album trailer clip

Tags: Maika Leboutet, OKADA Tohru (click for more info)

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hitomitoi has a new mini-album out this week! With a title that refers to summer and winter, it contains three summer songs previously released digitally, then three new winter-themed songs, plus a cover of Yuming's "A Happy New Year". Producers consist of Cunimondo Takiguchi (Ryūsenkei), Dorian, Kashif, grooveman Spot, Okuda Kensuke (Nona Reeves' guitarist).

Jintana & Emeralds, band in which hitomitoi sings, can be seen live with Andreas Dorau (!) on December 20 at Basement Monstar, and with Dorian and BTB on December 29 at SuperDeluxe.

hitomitoi "Pacific High / Aleutian Low"
一十三十一 「Pacific High / Aleutian Low」

1. Glass no Summer Holiday
2. natsu kōsen, kira.
3. toki o tomete koi ga odoru
4. Holy Night Tuxedo
5. Whisper Room
6. Haneda made
7. A Happy New Year

Billboard Records HBRJ-1015
Out 12/10, ¥2000 (excl. tax)
Order: Amazon, HMV, Tower Records , 一十三十一 "Pacific High / Aleutian Low" (Japan )
† Tower Records ships within Japan only
How to buy from iTunes Japan?

Digest clip

Trivia!
Some track listings prior to release had "Pillow Song" for the 5th track.

Tags: Cunimondo TAKIGUCHI, Dorian, grooveman Spot, hitomitoi, Kashif (click for more info)

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Osaka-based "idol robot group" NyoROBOtics has a first original album out now on Orange Records. The songwriters behind this include Jean-Paul Takahashi and Rinda, both of group Chupi*Chupi on the same label.

Audio samples of all songs at HMV.

NyoROBOtics "3 micron no neji"
にょロボてぃくす 「3ミクロンのねじ」

1. koi suru Vinyl ningyō
2. Love dame otoko
3. ginga Drive '14
4. hyaku nen Melody
5. denki hitsuji no yoru
6. Rehearsal Date
7. 3 Micron no neji

Orange Records ORGR-52
Out now (11/26), ¥2000 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

"3 Micron no neji" live at release party event on November 26

Tags: Chupi*Chupi, Jean-Paul TAKAHASHI, Label: Orange Records, NyoROBOtics (click for more info)

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Kojima Mayumi has a 9th album out now! Her back-band features Kaji Hideki on bass, with guest appearances by Asa-chang and others. All songs are originals.

Her "last show of the year" is to be held on December 18 at Ebisu Garden Hall, also celebrating her 20 years career. An in-store event will also be held at Tower Records Shibuya on January 24 for those who have bought the CD there.

Kojima Mayumi "On the Road"
小島麻由美 「路上」

1. Moby Dick
2. Texas no kiiroi hana
3. shiroi neko
4. suiyōbi no asa
5. suteki na Rock 'n' Roll
6. anata wa Me watashi wa You
7. Mary-san no hitsuji
8. awa ni natta koi
9. anata no fune
10. Modern Lovers

AWDR/LR2 DDCB-12073
Out 12/3, ¥2593 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records , Amazon MP3 U.S., On the Road by Kojima Mayumi (World), 小島麻由美 "路上" (Japan), OTOTOY
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

"Moby Dick"

"awa ni natta koi"

Tags: Asa-Chang, KAJI Hideki, KOJIMA Mayumi (click for more info)

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jōdan hakushaku (Maezono Naoki & Arai Toshiya) (Facebook page) have a new single out now! "yūrei no Ballad" features accordionist Tanooka Saburō and a kids chorus group. B-side "itsuka dokokade" features Smooth Ace, and was written in memory of DJ Hirabayashi Shinichi (Moodsville Records, Showa Dance Party) who passed away last April.

jōdan hakushaku "yūrei no Ballad / itsuka dokokade"
冗談伯爵 「幽霊のバラード/いつかどこかで」

1. yūrei no Ballad feat. Sazanka Chorus-dan
2. itsuka dokokade feat. Smooth Ace
3. yūrei no Ballad (instrumental)
4. itsuka dokokade (instrumental)

Love Shop LSB-1004
Out now (12/3), ¥728 (excl. tax)
Order: Jet Set

Tags: ARAI Toshiya, MAEZONO Naoki (click for more info)

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Negicco have a new single out now, featuring two new songs. While both were produced by Negicco's main producer connie, the winter-themed title track is arranged by Tajima Takao (Original Love) who also produced previous single "Sunshine Nihonkai".

Two limited editions were also released (one with a bonus DVD and the other a bonus remix CD) though they have already sold out on most online shops. You can still try your chance at CDJapan and YesAsia though. A limited 7" is also available.

The music video is their first shot abroad, in Finland! Watch it below.

Negicco can be seen tonight (December 7) at Tower Records Shinjuku from 22:30 for a brief thank you speech, following shows held today at Daikanyama Air.

Negicco "hikari no Spur"
Negicco 「光のシュプール」

1. hikari no Spur
2. 1000% no kataomoi
3. hikari no Spur (inst)
4. 1000% no kataomoi (inst)

DVD (Limited edition A only)
1. hikari no Spur (Music Video)
2. hikari no Spur (MV making & bonus footage) (Bonus Video)

ReNegi CD (Limited edition B only)
1. koi no EXPRESS TRAIN (ayU tokiO rearrange ver)
2. sōshi sōai (arakoi remix) (Remixed by Ikenaga Shōji (arakajime kimerareta koibitotachi e))

Limited edition A (CD+DVD)
T-Palette Records TPRC-0116
Out 12/2, ¥1500 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Amazon, Tower Records
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

Limited edition B (2 CDs)
T-Palette Records TPRC-0117
Out 12/2, ¥1500 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Amazon, Tower Records , Negicco "光のシュプール - EP" (Japan ), OTOTOY
† Tower Records ships within Japan only
How to buy from iTunes Japan?

Regular edition (1 CD only)
T-Palette Records TPRC-0118
Out 12/2, ¥1000 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

Negicco "hikari no Spur" (7")
Negicco 「光のシュプール」

A. hikari no Spur
B. 1000% no kataomoi

T-Palette Records TPRV-0013
Out 12/2, ¥1500 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, Amazon, Tower Records
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

"hikari no Spur"

Tags: connie, Negicco, TAJIMA Takao (click for more info)

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" New compilation from Pan Pacific Playa (@PanPacificPlaya), $5 on Bandcamp! https://panpacificplaya.bandcamp.com/album/ppp5 Jintana & Emeralds, Kashif, BTB & more! " — @coolestsound on December 6, 2014 at 00:57 | Retweet

Spend groovy holidays with rappers P.O.P's new winter-themed EP. This contains brand new collaborations with Nakatsuka Takeshi and others. And leave it to YMCK to take a good rap tune into retro game world with their remix of hit song "Watch Me".

This digital release is available now on iTunes Japan, and in high quality formats at OTOTOY.

Sample all tracks below, from P.O.P's own label's SoundCloud.

P.O.P "fuyuzora to utagoe wa kirei na hou ga ii" (Download)
P.O.P 「冬空と歌声はきれいなほうがいい」

1. Endless Christmas feat. Iwasaki Taisei
2. hajimari no hi feat. Nakatsuka Takeshi
3. roji no Piano feat. Saitō Ryōji
4. The Last Train feat. Baba Tomoya
5. Watch Me (YMCK 8bit REMIX)

indahouse
Out now (12/3)
Order: OTOTOY, P.O.P "冬空と歌声はきれいなほうがいい - EP" (Japan)

Tags: NAKATSUKA Takeshi, P.O.P ORCHeSTRA, YMCK (click for more info)

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Half-French half-Japanese singer-songwriter Maika Leboutet (of band EA) has a first solo album out now, the result of a crowd-funding project started last June. The album features several guest musicians such as Matsue Jun (daredemo Esper, Spoozys), Araki Yūko (mi-gu, The Cornelius Group), Shimizu Hirotaka, jan (GREAT3, jan and naomi), Saitō Shinya (EA), with a remix by Ohno Yumiko (Buffalo Daughter).

A release party is being held at Nishi-Azabu Shinsekai this Friday December 5 (details here).

All songs can be sampled at CDJapan.

Maika Leboutet "100 (momo)"

1. MOMO
2. YAYUYO
3. Jojo
4. Nuigurumi Syndrome
5. Open Me
6. Dodo
7. AONISAI
8. H2O
9. Open Me (Remix by Yumiko Ohno)

P-Vine Records PCD-20351
Out now (12/3), ¥2000 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records , Maika Leboutet "100" (Japan ), Amazon MP3 Japan
† Tower Records ships within Japan only
How to buy from iTunes Japan?

"Open Me"

"Jojo"

"YAYUYO"

Tags: ARAKI Yuko, Maika Leboutet, MATSUE Jun, OHNO Yumiko, SHIMIZU Hirotaka (click for more info)

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Nosa Reina's band has a 2nd 7" out now. Both songs are brand new originals. Included is a CD-R (probably of the same content) autographed by Reina, and a DVD of herself playing unreleased song "Star Ocean" on ukulele.

A first album is expected to be released in February 2015! Stay tuned!

Reina & The Blue Valentines can be seen live on December 27 at Nishi-Azabu Shinsekai, on January 9 at Daikanyama Loop, and on January 11 at Shinjuku Jam.

Reina & The Blue Valentines "Space Camera" (7"+CD-R+DVD)
野佐怜奈とブルーヴァレンタインズ 「スペースカメラ」

A. Space Camera
B. Rock 'n' Roll Drive

Apricot Sounds ACEP-1
Out now (11/19), ¥1852 (excl. tax)
Order: Jet Set, CDJapan, HMV, Tower Records
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

Sampler clip

Tags: NOSA Reina (click for more info)

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Continue reading in the December 2014 archive.
Next entry: "EmiLy "colorful ribbon"" (December 4, 2014 at 20:52)

Release calendar

Music news archives:
Gig report archives are on the gig reports page.

日本の音楽シーン関係のプレスリリースは こちらのメールアドレス までお送りお願いいたします。
Please send your Japan music scene press releases to this email address.