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Sweet Jam Style "Shibuya-kei Bossa"
Bossa nova cover project Sweet Jam Style's first release is a collection of Shibuya-kei classics. Included are hit songs by Pizzicato Five, Cornelius, Kahimi Karie, Original Love, Flipper's Guitar and Ozawa Kenji. The album features various female vocalists, and is...
Posted on July 20, 2010 at 22:10
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Record Store Day 2017
Record Store Day 2017 will be taking place this weekend, on Saturday April 22! As usual, many limited releases will be available at record shops only from that date. Below is a selection of some of the best stuff that...
Posted on April 18, 2017 at 22:15
Watanabe Marina "Birthday Boy" (7"), Hiyajo Atsuko "maware maware" (7")
Part of Konishi Yasuharu's 7" single project that aims to release J-Pop songs that he had been wanting on 7" for his DJ sets, here are two more that made it to record shop shelves just recently. The first is...
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 00:20
Negicco "We Are VR Friends" (Download)
Negicco have just released a new digital single! "We Are VR Friends" is the opening theme song of Tokyo MX "Pakkun & Kawakita Mayuko no atsumare! VR Friends", a kids educational TV show that focuses on virtual reality. How...
Posted on February 5, 2017 at 10:36
Vanilla Beans "sweet life" (Download)
Vanilla Beans have a brand new single out today on iTunes! This song's music was composed by the late singer-songwriter bice, and lyrics by long time collaborator Takata Mikiko. In 2017, Vanilla Beans will celebrate their 10th anniversary! Here's...
Posted on February 1, 2017 at 23:13
Accordion and vocals sister duo Charan-Po-Rantan have a new mini-album coming this month! Consisting of 8 new songs, including two theme songs for recent TV dramas, this follows cover album "karimono kyōsō" released last September. The song "otakebi" features Tokyo...
Posted on January 3, 2017 at 12:13
Nomiya Maki "Tokyo wa yoru no 7ji (bon odori Version) / Sweet Soul Revue (bon odori Version)" (Download)
Nomiya Maki has just released two songs on iTunes Japan! These are newly recorded versions of Pizzicato Five hits "Tokyo wa yoru no 7ji" and "Sweet Soul Revue", in refreshing "bon odori" or "ondō" versions, a traditional Japanese musical...
Posted on June 29, 2016 at 00:40
Harada Tomoyo "Love Song Covers 2 ~ wakaba no koro"
Follow-up to last year's "Love Song Covers", here's a 2nd cover album from Harada Tomoyo. Whlie the previous was of foreign songs, this time the focus is on Japanese love songs. This time again the whole is produced by Itō...
Posted on May 4, 2016 at 12:25
Perfume "Cosmic Explorer"
Perfume has a brand new 6th album out now! This is the follow-up to "LEVEL3" (2013) since which 2½ years have passed. Amidst brand new unheard songs, some of the previously released songs such as "Sweet Refrain", "Cling Cling" and...
Posted on April 7, 2016 at 22:24
Osaka 80's style idol group Especia has a brand new album coming this month! Included are songs written by Fujii Naoyuki (ex-Checkers), Rillsoul, Schtein & Longer, PellyColo, with the rest mainly written by Hi-Fi City. The album is being released...
Posted on February 16, 2016 at 00:11
Halfby "Innn Hawaii"
Halfby aka Takahashi Takahiro has a brand new 5th album out now! This successes "Leaders Of The New School" (2014), and features VIDEOTAPEMUSIC, Alfred Beach Sandal, Hashimoto Tsubasa (cero) and Electric Sisters. Expect danceable exotic soundscapes of Halfby's trademark, with...
Posted on November 15, 2015 at 18:23
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu "Crazy Party Night ~Pumpkin no gyakushū~"
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has a brand new single out today! "Crazy Party Night" is a Halloween-themed dance track. Included are also 3 more new songs of which bits have been heard in TV commercials recently. As always, all are written...
Posted on September 2, 2015 at 22:21
Various Artists "Idol bakari Pizzicato -Konishi Yasuharu x T-Palette Records-"
What's new Pizzicato? Well here's an exciting album coming this week! Various groups from Tower Records' idol-only label T-Palette Records cover nothing but Pizzicato Five songs! Featured are Vanilla Beans, Negicco, lyrical school, Idol Renaissance and onelittlekiss. The whole was...
Posted on April 20, 2015 at 22:00
Negicco "LIVE & LIFE Negicco 2014-15 Winter" (DVD)
Negicco has a new DVD out this week, consisting of a full band-backed one man show held on January 25 at Ebisu Liquidroom in Tokyo. Plus, a documentary of the release event for single "hikari no Spur" is also included....
Posted on April 5, 2015 at 20:21
"Frenesi school: The legendary end-of-business ceremony"
Text and photos by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound 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...
Posted on January 4, 2015 at 00:34
Ruby* "sweet music float"
Ruby*, the solo-project of whisper-voice singer Lily, is back with a new album with songs produced by CTO LAB., Imai Kentaro (The Aprils, CTO LAB.), Okada Tohru (Moonriders, CTO LAB.), Nishiura Kensuke (daredemo Esper, ex-sōtaiseiriron), POCO (ku-tyu-bunkai) and more. Included...
Posted on November 13, 2014 at 22:52
Cherryboy Function "suggested function EP#3"
Cherryboy Function has released a 3rd mini-album of his "suggested function" series. It had been almost 4 years since the 2nd one. This new release includes 5 original songs and a remix by Dorian! Cherryboy Function can be seen live...
Posted on October 23, 2014 at 21:20
Crazy Ken Band "Spark da!", "Free Soul Crazy Ken Band", "Crazy Ken Band Tour Flying Saucer 2013" (DVD)
Here's a wave of releases from Crazy Ken Band! First, new single "Spark da!" which is being used as NHK's "minna no uta" for June and July. Included are 3 B-sides of new songs used in TV and radio commercials....
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 11:50
the fascinations "Green In Blue"
Recently I had been wondering what the fascinations are up to, and here's a new album! This is the follow-up to "latona" (2009). "Green In Blue" contains plenty of new originals by the vibraphone-led jazz band, as well as covers...
Posted on January 10, 2014 at 00:15
Kimura Kaela "Rock"
Kimura Kaela (official Facebook page) has a new cover album focused on 80's popular tunes (and some older ones). Various producers and collaborators are featured, including Ishino Takkyu (Denki Groove), Hosono Haruomi (YMO), Okamura Yasuyuki, Chara, Predawn, Kishida Shigeru (Quruli),...
Posted on November 13, 2013 at 23:45
Perfume "Sweet Refrain"
Perfume's upcoming single "Sweet Refrain" is being used as a theme song in TV drama "toshidensetsu no onna" (TV Asahi on Friday from 23:15). This is as always produced by Nakata Yasutaka (CAPSULE). The limited edition includes a DVD of...
Posted on November 7, 2013 at 22:37
Yucca "summer emotion" (Download)
Post-rock band Yucca have a sweet-sounding new single and clip for the summer! The song is available at Bandcamp and iTunes worldwide. Yucca "summer emotion" (Download) abcdefg*record Out now (8/13) Sample/buy: Bandcamp, ...
Posted on August 19, 2013 at 23:58
Vanilla Beans, Nomiya Maki & BIBA
Text and 2nd photo by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound. 1st photo by Kaz Sekiguchi, courtesy of Yoko Fujiwara. On July 5th was the 4th edition of Vanilla Beans' series of shows with a live band. Every time they...
Posted on July 11, 2013 at 23:34
Electro artist FQTQ (SoundCloud, Facebook page) has a new album out now (his 4th I believe). It features vocalists such as aco (spoon+), kuske (KPLECRAFT), Ōtsuki Maki and komaku Shredder. Official release page FQTQ "Hyperactive" 1. Super Hero feat. komaku...
Posted on July 3, 2013 at 22:40
Vanilla Beans band live with Kaji Hideki
Text and photos by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound Until recently, Vanilla Beans had always performed their shows "idol style", singing karaoke over a backtrack of the music. Last year marked their 5th anniversary, and then came 3rd album...
Posted on May 3, 2013 at 20:01
Kaji Hideki "Sweet Swedish Winter"
Kaji Hideki has a new album coming this month! This one is a tribute to Sweden's sweet winter, and it's his 2nd release from his own Blue Boys Club label (follow-up to "Blue Heart" (2012)). Title song "Sweet Swedish Winter"...
Posted on February 10, 2013 at 19:16
Negicco "Negicco One Man Live -Best of Negicco- @ Shibuya Sound Museum Vision" (DVD)
Niigata-based idol group Negicco has a new live DVD out now, of a show held on March 17, 2012 at Shibuya Sound Museum Vision following the release of 1st album "Negicco 2003~2012 -Best-". Negicco "Negicco One Man Live -Best of...
Posted on January 2, 2013 at 23:04
Nosa Reina release party w/ Portable Rock, Nomiya Maki, Takanami K-taro
Text by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound On November 30, I went to the release party for Nosa Reina's first album "don't kiss, but yes". Producer Takanami K-taro was on stage too part of the band, more on that...
Posted on December 11, 2012 at 00:19
Chocolat & Akito "Duet"
Chocolat & Akito, the unit of singer Chocolat and husband Katayose Akito (GREAT3) have a new album out now. This is their 3rd album, following "Tropical" (2007), and contains the song "tobira" from their latest EP (check it out for...
Posted on December 4, 2012 at 22:14
Koizumi Kyoko "Koizumi Chansonnier"
Singer Koizumi Kyōko has a new original album celebrating her 30th debut anniversary. Producers include Konishi Yasuharu ("omoshiro okashiku ikitekita keredo" and "Ma plus belle histoire d'amour"), Kikuchi Naruyoshi ("Une chanson pour les grands"), Soil & "Pimp" Sessions ("Sweet &...
Posted on November 1, 2012 at 23:39
Noko Inoko "Noko Inoko taizen Returns"
"TV commercial song queen" Noko Inoko, having sung some 800 during her career, has an album coming. This is a follow-up to "Noko Inoko taizen" released in 2006. Included here are 42 tracks, many of commercial and TV show jingles,...
Posted on June 19, 2012 at 21:52
Text by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound On Saturday June 2, I went to see Portable Rock at small venue Club Crawl in Shibuya. It was the first of two "one-man" shows (no opening band) the band played. This...
Posted on June 3, 2012 at 21:57
Beat Communist vol.10: Nakatsuka Takeshi, Kaji Hideki, akiko, P.O.P ORCHeSTRA
Text and photos by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound On Saturday May 26 was the 10th edition of the "Beat Communist" event presented by Nakatsuka Takeshi (Qypthone), which is regularly held every 3 months at jazz club JZ Brat....
Posted on May 30, 2012 at 23:20
Ram Rider "Audio Galaxy - Ram Rider vs Stars!!! -", "- Ram Rider Strikes Back!!! -"
Ram Rider is back with a new album out just now. It features collaborations with various "stars", including Nomiya Maki, Meg, Bose (Scha Dara Parr), Furukawa Miki (ex-Supercar), Fujioka Minami (Panda 1/2), and more. Out at the same time is...
Posted on April 11, 2012 at 23:45
Nomiya Maki's 30th anniversary concert
Text by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound. Photos by Kasuga Miwa. On Monday March 19, I went to Nomiya Maki's 30th anniversary concert held at O-East, coincidentally (?) almost the same place where was held Pizzicato Five's last concert...
Posted on March 23, 2012 at 22:31
Negicco "Negicco 2003~2012 -Best-"
Negicco, the 3-girl negi-promoting idol group from Niigata that was signed last year to Tower Records' T-Palette idol-specialized label, has a first full-length album coming. This comes as a greatest hits album covering their 8-year ongoing career, with many rare...
Posted on February 16, 2012 at 21:04
EeL "Bossa Nova" (Download)
Here's a rare acoustic album by EeL featuring only acoustic guitar and her sweet voice. It had previously only been released on CD-R, but is now available digitally with a bonus new track that uses piano and toy instruments. This...
Posted on December 13, 2011 at 19:50
plusico Produced by Thomas O'hara "Hatsune Miku plays gekkōkakishidan (Moonriders)"
Along with their 21st album "Ciao!", the Moonriders also have this official album of covers sung by virtual idol Hatsune Miku coming at the same time. ("gekkōkakishidan" in the title means Moonriders.) Miku sings The Moonriders' greatest hits, programmed by...
Posted on December 11, 2011 at 13:36
Macdonald Duck Eclair "kono tokimeki imasugu"
Pico-pico rock band Macdonald Duck Eclair are back with a 3rd album! It's been 5 years since "The Genesis Songbook" (2005, Usagi-chang Records), and this time they're back to their roots on K.O.G.A Records which released their debut maxi-single "Many...
Posted on May 4, 2011 at 01:43
Following last year's popular "Animentine", French bossa nova singer Clémentine has a new cover album coming this week. This time she covers both Japanese and French famous songs. Included are Yamazaki Masayoshi's "futari de Paris ni ikō" (feat. daughter Solita),...
Posted on January 10, 2011 at 15:25
Harajuku Performance+: Nomiya Maki, Open Reel Ensemble
Text by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound Last week on Tuesday December 22 was the first of two days of a performance-themed event at La Foret Museum, Harajuku, titled "Harajuku Performance+". On that day were two artists that I...
Posted on December 30, 2010 at 21:37
WOWOW "Music Ltd." 17th public live recording
Text by Patrick for Tokyo's Coolest Sound On October 12 I went to a public live recording for pay TV channel WOWOW's "Music Ltd." show. The recording isn't done in a TV studio but at a regular live house, and...
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 22:50
Nakatsuka Takeshi "53512010" Release Cruise
Text and photos by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound Last week, on Friday September 24, I had the chance to go to a live event in a very special place. Nakatsuka Takeshi threw a release party for his new...
Posted on October 2, 2010 at 20:33
Nakatsuka Takeshi "53512010" (Download)
Nakatsuka Takeshi (Qypthone) has a new download-only album out now on iTunes! This album is a collaboration with men's fashion brand 5351 POUR LES HOMMES by Abahouse. When buying the full album, a bonus 42-minute non-stop mix is included. A...
Posted on September 9, 2010 at 23:04
Rocketman Summer Fes 2010 - thank you for the music!!
Text and photos by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound On Sunday August 22, I went to Liquidroom in Ebisu for "Rocketman Summer Fes 2010", an event celebrating the 10 years since the debut of Rocketman, Fukawa Ryō's music unit....
Posted on September 1, 2010 at 22:47
Suzuki Ami "Dolce"
Not even a year after her album "Connetta" with a similar collaboration concept, Suzuki Ami is back with another album featuring Shinohara Tomoe, Nakata Yasutaka (capsule), Rocketman, Captain Funk, sugiurumn, Hoff Dylan, Studio Apartment, and more. Rocketman's track is produced...
Posted on January 15, 2008 at 17:29
Perfume "Fan Service ~Prima Box~" (3CD+DVD), "Fan Service: bitter (Normal edition)" (DVD)
This year again, idol unit Perfume will "service" their fans to special releases for Valentine's Day. First, there will be a boxed set containing their 3 indies-era singles ("Sweet Donuts", "Monochrome Effect" and "Vitamin Drop") plus a DVD of videos...
Posted on November 27, 2007 at 18:14
Original soundtrack "dai Nippon-jin"
The soundtrack for film dai Nippon-jin, music produced by Towa Tei is to be released at the end of November. The soundtrack is said to have a Sweet Robots Against The Machine style, and it's so well done that you...
Posted on October 3, 2007 at 14:29
Fantastic Plastic Machine "Sound Concierge" #701 and #702
After a 2-year hiatus, Fantastic Plastic Machine is back with his popular "Sound Concierge" mix CD series. As the good old concept goes, #701 is lounge and #702 house. The latter will contain a track by Mighty Dub Katz (aka...
Posted on May 15, 2007 at 09:58
Various Artists "The Transformer - Remix Works by Yukihiro Fukutomi"
Fukutomi Yukihiro, leading club music producer and also ex-programmer for Pizzicato Five (think "Happy End of the World"), has a 2-CD compilation of his remixes for Japanese and foreign artists coming up. The compilation will contain 20 tracks, and celebrates...
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 17:16
Perfume "Fan Service [bitter]" (DVD)
On White Day, that's one month after the Valentine's Day release of single "Fan Service [sweet]", will be released a live DVD featuring idol unit Perfume's rare live performance held at Harajuku Astro Hall on December 21, 2006. Backstage and...
Posted on February 6, 2007 at 15:02
Perfume "Perfume ~Complete Best~" (CD+DVD) (re-release)
Idol unit Perfume's sold out first album, which had only been released in a limited edition, is being re-released in a standard edition. The only difference seems to be the bonus track on the DVD which has been swapped for...
Posted on February 6, 2007 at 14:50
Elvis Presley "Readymade digs Elvis!"
One for the money, two for the show... or maybe not so. Readymade's Konishi Yasuharu selected his favorite Elvis tracks for an unusual compilation. This is a selection of rare groove, jazz & jive, soft rock, sweet and smooth Elvis...
Posted on December 26, 2006 at 10:57
Zazou "Zazou Best"
Zazou was the pre-Crazy Ken Band unit of Yokoyama Ken, Hiroishi Keiichi and Onose Masao. This is a priced-down re-release of the 2003 greatest hits album, it contains 16 remastered tracks from Zazou's two 1990 albums, selected by Yokoyama Ken,...
Posted on August 3, 2006 at 15:00
Perfume "Perfume ~Complete Best~" (CD+DVD)
After many indies and major singles, Perfume will finally have an album released this summer! This is actually a collection of all previously released singles (including the indies ones, it seems), and also some new songs. All is produced by...
Posted on June 27, 2006 at 17:14
Ram Rider "Portable Disco 8bit edition"
Vocoder house artist Ram Rider has a remix album of songs from its first album "Portable Disco" coming up. The theme is "8-bit", and of course when you say 8-bit music you think YMCK, and they indeed have remixed not...
Posted on April 21, 2006 at 11:10
Hatori Miho "Ecdysis"
Ex-Cibo Matto vocalist Hatori Miho, who has kept herself busy over the past years doing some releases and shows with her bossa nova unit Smokey & Miho (together with Smokey, best known as Beck's studio and tour guitarist), has a...
Posted on September 1, 2005 at 13:14
Crazy Ken Band "Soul Punch" (CD+DVD)
Crazy Ken Band has a new album coming out in time for summer. This time we get a bonus DVD, which will contain some promotional goodies as well as a guide to the album featuring Yokoyama Ken himself taking us...
Posted on April 28, 2005 at 13:34
Cityboys "20th Century Cityboys" (2CD)
Almost missed this one... This is a 2CD selection of songs from various City Boys soundtracks from 1992 until 2000 (covering at least "Toilet Without Key", "i messaggeri degli imbecilli vanno all'ovest", "Love's Rubber Brain", "Building on a Strong Foundation",...
Posted on March 16, 2005 at 12:01
Yellow Magic Orchestra "YMO Remixes 99-00 The Best"
A compilation of the best YMO remixes will be released soon, including two remixes said to be on CD for the first time (Konishi Yasuharu and Denki Groove's). Orders at Tower Records may include a limited edition bonus 12" containing...
Posted on February 7, 2005 at 17:05
Fantastic Plastic Machine "Sound Concierge" #501 and Annex
A third series of mix CDs by Tanaka Tomoyuki aka Fantastic Plastic Machine has been announced. The formula is same as before, one lounge CD and one house CD. Update 1/6: This time, one of the two CDs seems to...
Posted on November 12, 2004 at 13:12
8-ban Records Nu-Music Sampler Softly! Edition
Now isn't this the coolest stuff ever! Label Softly!, teaming up with other indie labels, is releasing a series of eight 8-ban records and also an original Softly! color 8-ban player! Featured artists include Aprils, EeL, Hazel Nuts Chocolate and...
Posted on September 17, 2004 at 10:31
Sunaga Tatsuo "World Standard.04 -A Tatsuo Sunaga Live Mix-" (CCCD)
Record banchō Sunaga Tatsuo (Sunaga t̀ Experience) is back with a new live mix album, 4th of his "World Standard" series. Sunaga Tatsuo "World Standard.04 -A Tatsuo Sunaga Live Mix-" (CCCD) 須永辰緒 「World Standard.04」 Track list 1. TNBC nihongo hōsōkyoku...
Posted on August 24, 2004 at 17:06
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