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It's been about 6 years since Scha Dara Parr's previous album, "11" (2009), and here comes a brand new one! This 12th album features 12 new songs including collaborations with girl rock band Chatmonchy, talent Shimizu Michiko and also longtime friends Robochu (Dassen 3) and Kaseki Cider.

The limited edition comes with a DVD of over 2 hours of footage from a show held in June 16, 2013 at outdoor venue Hibiya Yaon. Watch the clip below, and hear more audio samples at HMV.

On February 26 there will be a mini-live and talk event at Tower Records' Cut-Up Studio (B1F) from 19:30, for those who bought the album there (details here). Meanwhile, a free in-store talk event will also be held at Tower Records Shinjuku (7th floor) on January 28 from 21:00 (details here).

Scha Dara Parr "1212"
スチャダラパー 「1212」

1. Introduction One Two
2. Scha Dara Memo
3. Game Boys 2
4. Warp Tunnel feat. Robochu & Kaseki Cider
5. M4EVER
6. The Best
7. kanashimi turn it up
8. chuyu heibon Punch
9. A.K.A ETC
10. Off The Wall feat. Shimizu Michiko
11. koi no Penetrate
12. Boo-Wee Dance

Limited edition (CD+DVD)
SSDP Records DDCB-94003
Out 1/28, ¥3241 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Play-Asia, Amazon (11% off *), HMV (10% off *), Tower Records
* Discount at time of writing
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

Regular edition (CD only)
SSDP Records DDCB-14032
Out 1/28, ¥2315 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Play-Asia, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records , スチャダラパー "1212" (Japan )
† Tower Records ships within Japan only
How to buy from iTunes Japan?

"chūyō heibon Punch"

Find out more about: Kaseki Cider, Robochu, Scha Dara Parr

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" Recorded Ustream of Maika Leboutet's solo live yesterday at Tokyo Tower ☞ http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/57930555 Album info: http://coolestsound.jp/Maika_Leboutet_100_momo/2014.12.05/010695/ " — @coolestsound on January 25, 2015 at 13:47 | Retweet

dip in the pool (official Facebook page), a band that has now been around for 30 years, has a brand new album out now! This is the follow-up to "brown eyes" released in 2011. Included is a cover of "Bali Ha'i" from musical South Pacific, as well as a re-take of Portmanteau's "toast to my shadows" (a side-project of member Kimura Tatsuji), and "a king unseen" which is a collaboration with Canadian musician Michael Silver (CFCF).

Watch the clip below, and hear more audio samples at CDJapan.

A recent episode of streaming program Music Share featuring the band can be watched here.

dip in the pool "HIGHWIRE WALKER"

1. Bali Ha'i
2. a boat sublime
3. Northern Lights
4. toast to my shadows
5. the house of change
6. Air-fish
7. Woman
8. a king unseen

Bellwood Records BZCS-1116
Out now (1/21), ¥1852 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records , OTOTOY
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

"Bali Ha'i"

Find out more about: dip in the pool

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Negicco have a brand new album just out this week! This includes songs written by Tajima Takao (Original Love), Yoshida Tetsuto, Yano Hiroyasu (ex-Cymbals), Nishidera Gōta (Nona Reeves), Miura Kōshi (Kuchiroro), and of course Negicco's main producer Connie. Also there are songs arranged by Kitagawa Katsutoshi (Round Table), Skirt, Orland, Shiggy Jr. and more.

There will be a live event this Saturday January 24 at Liquidroom in Ebisu, with Negicco and also Shiggy Jr., Skirt and Orland. The next day is a one-man live at the same place, though that one is already sold out. For those who can make it, there's an in-store on Friday Jan. 23 at Tower Records Shinjuku from noon.

Negicco "Rice&Snow"

1. Triple! WONDERLAND
2. tokimeki ni Headliner
3. 1000% no kataomoi feat. Tomoko Ikeda (Shiggy Jr.)
4. Cream Soda Love
5. Sunshine Nihonkai
6. hadashi no Rainbow
7. futari no yūgi
8. Pajama Party Night
9. BLUE, GREEN, RED AND GONE
10. Space Nekojaracy
11. jiyū ni
12. hikari no Spur
13. arigatō no Present

T-Palette Records TPRC-0121
Out 1/20, ¥2800 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records , Negicco "Rice&Snow" (Japan )
† Tower Records ships within Japan only
How to buy from iTunes Japan?

Digest clip

"hikari no Spur"

"Sunshine Nihonkai"

More clips after the jump...

Continue reading...

Find out more about: KITAGAWA Katsutoshi, MIURA Koshi, Negicco, NISHIDERA Gota, Orland, Shiggy Jr., Skirt, TAJIMA Takao, YANO Hiroyasu, YOSHIDA Tetsuto

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This is an album of covers of Japanese songs from the 60's to the early 70's, here sung with translated English lyrics! Both the originals and the covers were performed by Japanese women, completing the theme of this compilation. Vocalists include Nomiya Maki, Toki Asako, Chara and more. All music is arranged by guitarist and producer Toriyama Yūji, and this is the first release on his new label Super Paw.

Hear audio samples of all songs at CDJapan, or on the release official site.

Various Artists "Women's Liberation"

1. Overture -Melody For A New Dawn- (Original: "yoake no Scat" by Yuki Saori (1969)) / Mika Beyond Jazz
2. Love Vacances (Original: "koi no Vacance" by The Peanuts (1963)) / Toki Asako & Mika Beyond Jazz
3. The Music Played (Original: "wakare no asa" by Pedro & Capricious (1971)) / Keiko Lee
4. The Lord's Love (Original: "anata" by Kosaka Akiko (1973)) / Chara
5. Blue Light Yokohama (Original by Ishida Ayumi (1968)) / Nomiya Maki
6. One Summer It Happened (Original: "manatsu no dekigoto" by Hirayama Miki (1971)) / Fried Pride
7. Melody For A New Dawn (Original: "yoake no Scat" by Yuki Saori (1969)) / Mika Beyond Jazz
8. Four Wishes (Original: "yottsu no onegai" by Mayuzumi Jun (1968)) / Toki Asako
9. The Night Flight (Original: "yakan hikō" by Chiaki Naomi (1973)) / Mika Beyond Jazz
10. Love And The Wind (Original: "Ken to Mary ~ai to kaze no yō ni~" by Buzz (1972)) / Keiko Lee
11. Letter (Original: "tegami" by Yuki Saori (1970)) / Mika Beyond Jazz
12. One Sided Love (Original: "kataomoi" by Nakao Mie (1971)) / Chara
13. A Doll's House (Original: "ningyō no ie" by Hirota Mieko (1969)) / Nomiya Maki

Super Paw / Hats HUCD-10174
Out now (1/7), ¥3000 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records , Women's Liberation "Women's Liberation" (Japan )
† Tower Records ships within Japan only
How to buy from iTunes Japan?

Find out more about: Chara, NOMIYA Maki, TOKI Asako

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Sugar's Campaign, the unit of producers Avec Avec (aka Takuma Hosokawa) and Seiho (aka Seiho Hayakawa), finally has a full-length album coming! This includes latest single "Holiday" as well as an album version of previous hit track "Netokano". A must!

The limited edition includes a 65-page comic book (176mm x 112mm).

A release party will be held at Daikanyama Unit on March 19, and another the next day in Osaka. Free in-store events will also be held at Tower Records Shinjuku on February 7 from 18:00 (details) and at Tower Records Shibuya on February 8 from 18:00 (details).

Sugar's Campaign "Friends"

1. Holiday
2. Netokano
3. It's Too Late
4. tonari Town
5. Memory Melody
6. Big Wave
7. yume michaina Girl
8. Kaleidoscope
9. Shopping Center
10. yūmei na eiga no yō ni Lovely na koi ga shitai
11. Hong Kong seikatsu
12. Parabola shabon Line

Limited edition (CD+original comic)
Speedstar Records VIZL-767
Out 1/21, ¥3400 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

Regular edition (CD only)
Speedstar Records VICL-64276
Out 1/21, ¥2500 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records , Sugar's Campaign "FRIENDS" (Japan )
† Tower Records ships within Japan only
How to buy from iTunes Japan?

"Holiday"

"Netokano"

Find out more about: Sugar's Campaign

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Text and photos by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound

フレネシ

The last show I saw in 2014 was Frenesi, and it was a very special one. In November Frenesi announced that she would put a stop (though maybe temporary) to her music career. Her last activity would be this concert held on December 27 in the Denshō hall of the Shibuya Cultural Center Ōwada. This seated hall seems to be more often used for traditional performances such as rakugo (Wikipedia), so it felt special to see a pop-oriented concert there.

For the last 2½ years or so, Frenesi's shows have always had a "school" theme, where Frenesi is the "head teacher" and those who attend are "students". Also for at least the same time she has been hiding her face from the public (Internet and photos), except in her shows where her fans are allowed to see her. The reason is unclear as she is really a cute and charming person, although this definitely works great in building a lot of anticipation for fans who get to see her show for the first time.

The show began as a kind of ceremony. People sitting in the front row were called one by one on stage to receive a pile of certificates, and once back to their seat they had to keep one and pass the rest to the person behind. Remember those school days? Yup, this is Frenesi school! The large square sheets were distributed to everyone. On one side was the certificate proving that one attended Frenesi school's end-of-business ceremony, and on the back was... Frenesi's signature cartooned face, just like the board she holds as a mask every time a photo is taken!

Continue reading...

Find out more about: Frenesi

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" Cornelius and U-zhaan wish a Happy New Year with a studio session of YMO's "Technopolis"! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTY-szDOuU8 RT @corneliusjapan " — @coolestsound on January 2, 2015 at 23:32 | Retweet

Show more tweets...



" Happy New Year to all! Wishing you a great 2015 with plenty of good Japanese music! #JPN " — @coolestsound on January 2, 2015 at 00:34 | Retweet

Let's start 2015 with this compilation of Crazy Ken Band's grooviest jazzy tracks, as compiled by Sunaga Tatsuo (Sunaga t Experience). This takes part of his long-going "yoru jazz" (Jazz Allnighters) series which started almost 10 years ago. Released on the first day of the year!

Crazy Ken Band "Crazy Ken Band no iyoru Jazz Compiled by Tatsuo Sunaga"
クレイジーケンバンド 「クレイジーケンバンドのィ夜ジャズ Compiled by Tatsuo Sunaga

1. kuroi Auto-bai
2. namida no Italian Twist
3. Shantung
4. Girlfriend
5. Shift Change
6. onna no Grand Prix
7. yoru no Vibrato
8. Rodriguez kyōdai
9. Fukutomi-chō Boogaloo
10. TIKI TIKI TROPICAL KINGDOM
11. honmoku wa gozen reiji
12. chi no iro no Spider
13. mankan zenseki ichirō
14. chūkagai daisakusen
15. Playboy kakumei
16. yama no oto -sō da, Kyoto ni ikō. REMIX-
17. Koro
18. BIBIMBOP
19. Eye catch / anata to watashi no CKB
20. Red Light Yokohama
21. a, yarutokya yaranakya damme na no yo. ~Sunaga t Experience's du bop remix~

DoubleJoy International UMCK-1504
Out now (1/1), ¥2800 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

Find out more about: Crazy Ken Band, SUNAGA Tatsuo

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Vanilla Beans have a brand new album coming, you guessed it, "Vanilla Beans IV"! Once again this comes with artwork that's both very non-idol-like and unforgettable. The album will include several brand new songs, plus the title tracks of the latest 5 singles: "Muscat Slope Love" (written by Kaji Hideki), "Please Me Darling", "watashi... fukō guse", "kitto ii basho (fuchi)" and "uchōten Girl". A cover of Belle & Sebastian's "Funny Little Frog" also made it (original on YouTube).

The limited edition comes with a DVD of footage from the unit's latest one-man live held at Liquidroom on December 17.

Vanilla Beans can be expected to perform many in-store shows around the release date, so keep an eye on their schedule.

Vanilla Beans "Vanilla Beans IV"
バニラビーンズ 「バニラビーンズ IV」

1. Booby Boy Near Pin Girl
2. mada yo Boyfriend
3. Muscat Slope Love
4. Vogel o Wind
5. tasogare Highball
6. watashi... fukō guse
7. Please Me Darling
8. Happy Day!!
9. Cop no Fuchico kōshiki Song: kitto ii basho (fuchi)
10. uchōten Girl
11. Funny Little Frog
12. uchōten Girl (osaifu keitai ver.)

Limited edition (CD+DVD)
T-Palette Records TPRC-0125
Out 2/3, ¥4000 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

Regular edition (CD only)
T-Palette Records TPRC-0124
Out 2/3, ¥2500 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

"uchōten GIrl"

More videos after the jump...

Continue reading...

Find out more about: KAJI Hideki, Vanilla Beans

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This recently released clammbon tribute album features a great amount of like-minded artists, including Buffalo Daughter, salyu x salyu, Nona Reeves, Tokyo No.1 Soul Set, GREAT3, Hanaregumi, Rekishi and more.

Check out the trailer clip below, and hear samples of all songs at CDJapan.

Various Artists "Why not clammbon!? ~ clammbon Tribute"
オムニバス 「Why not clammbon!? ~ クラムボン・トリビュート」

(Title / Artist)
1. Folklore / Straightener
2. aru kodō / Shuta Hasunuma Philharmonic Orchestra
3. Ahoi! / salyu x salyu
4. daihinmin / Rekishi
5. hana kaoru aru hi ~clommbon loves clammbon ver~ / Hanaregumi
6. Super☆Star / Nona Reeves
7. Rock Climbing ~Let's Roooooock Mix~ / Buffalo Daughter
8. 5716 / Downy
9. 246 / GREAT3
10. hanare banare / Tokyo No.1 Soul Set
11. umi no fūkei / Husking Bee
12. ame / Aoba Ichiko
13. Hallelujah / Mice Parade (feat. Chancellor)
14. Vital Sign ~Tetsuya Komuro Remix~ / Komuro Tetsuya

Columbia COCP-38844
Out now (12/3), ¥3000 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Play-Asia, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records , (Japan )
† Tower Records ships within Japan only
How to buy from iTunes Japan?

Trailer clip

Find out more about: Buffalo Daughter, Clammbon, Great3, Hanaregumi, Nona Reeves, Rekishi, Salyu, Tokyo No.1 Soul Set

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In November, Sheena Ringo released a brand new original album. It had been 5 years and a half since the previous, "sanmon Gossip" (2009) (Amazon, CDJapan).

The limited edition comes with a bonus Blu-ray or DVD of 6 music videos.

Sheena Ringo "hi izuru dokoro"
椎名林檎 「日出処」


1. shizuka naru gyakushū
2. jiyū e michizure
3. hashire wa Number
4. sekidō o koetara
5. JL005 bin de
6. chichin buibui
7. ima
8. irohanihoheto
9. arikitarina onna (Une femme ordinaire)
10. Carnation]
11. kodoku no akatsuki (shin neko ban)
12. NIPPON
13. ariamaru tomi

Blu-ray or DVD (Limited edition only)
ariamaru tomi (Video clip)
Carnation (Video clip)
jiyū e michizure (Video clip)
irohanihoheto (Video clip)
NIPPON (Video clip)
arikitarina onna (Une femme ordinaire) (Video clip)

Limited edition A (CD+Blu-ray)
Universal Music TYCT-69069
Out 11/5, ¥4600 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Play-Asia, Amazon, HMV (15% off *), Tower Records
* Discount at time of writing
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

Limited edition B (CD+DVD)
Universal Music TYCT-69070
Out 11/5, ¥3900 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Play-Asia, Amazon (21% off *), HMV (15% off *), Tower Records
* Discount at time of writing
† Tower Records ships within Japan only

Regular edition (CD only)
Universal Music TYCT-60053
Out 11/5, ¥3000 (excl. tax)
Order: CDJapan, YesAsia, Play-Asia, Amazon, HMV, Tower Records , (Japan )
† Tower Records ships within Japan only
How to buy from iTunes Japan?

"arikitarina onna (Une femme ordinaire)"

"NIPPON"

Digest movie

Find out more about: SHEENA Ringo

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Continue reading in the December 2014 archive.
Next entry: "Gig report: Miss Maki Nomiya sings "Shibuya-kei Standards" 2014" (December 31, 2014 at 15:43)

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.