Vacances Shibuya-kei

Maki Nomiya is releasing a new record in her “Shibuya-kei Standards” series, in which she covers classics of the era — including some new renditions of Pizzicato Five track — and this one is perfectly timed for the summer. Vacances Shibuya-kei o utau – Wonderful Summer is set for release on May 3, and you’ll find more details, including a trailer video, in this Tokyo’s Coolest Sound post.

Pizzicato Related

Patrick’s Tokyo’s Coolest Sound site has a few Pizzicato Five-related updates, including a new 7″ singles collection called Ace that is curated by Yasuharu Konishi (including the P5 singles pictured), some new singles by Maki Nomiya that are accompanied by a couple of events, and a new remaster of Pizzicato Five’s Pizzicatomania. It’s a stereoscopic sound spectacular!

Pizzicato Five Discography: 1998-2006

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And so here it is, the final part of David‘s massive Pizzicato Five discography review series. The fact that I’ve highlighted every part here probably gives away that I so love that David took the time to do this, and it was fun to read along and listen again to a lot of these records. I first met David through a Pizzicato Five mailing list (P5ML) during the years leading up to my move to Tokyo in 1998 (after visiting in 1997) and it’s great to be celebrating this stuff again together almost 20 years later.

Pizzicato Five Discography: 1994-1997

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Part 3 of David‘s review series of the Pizzicato Five discography is up on Neojaponisme, this time covering probably peak P5. So many great records here, including the album that introduced me to the band (and probably many other of us non-Japanese fans), Made in USA. I used to play so many tracks from that album on my college radio show.

Update: I was just reminded that Happy End of the World is also quite a special album for me, because it was the first Pizzicato Five album I bought in Tokyo — I visited Japan for the first time the summer it came out. I bought a PlayStation on that same trip (it was while I was a student in China), and I have memories of staying at a Love Hotel with my wife (it was cheaper than a hotel), and plugging in my PlayStation so I could listen to this album.

Pizzicato Five Discography: 1985-1991

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Following yesterday’s intro post, the first proper part of David‘s review of the entire Pizzicato Five discography is up on Neojaponisme, covering the “pre-canon” era that runs from 1985 to 1991. I’m with David here (as you’ll see through his scores), this is definitely my least favorite period of P5’s output, and I never spent much time listening to these records (with the possible exception of On Her Majesty’s Request).

The Pizzicato Five Discography Review

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I’ve mentioned in a few posts already that David was working on an exhaustive review of the complete Pizzicato Five discography, and it’s now ready. Head over to Neojaponisme for an intro post, and then check in throughout the week as he shares his reviews over 4 posts, each covering a particular era. The intro also goes ahead and gives you his top 5 P5 records — I’m sure mine would be similar, but I’d need to revisit their discography myself to make sure.

Matt Alt on Macross

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As I continue to go through my site archives to fix posts, I’ve now hit 2008, and came across this post that pointed to a big feature by Matt Alt on Macross, that he had written for Neojaponisme. Since I’m currently in the process of watching The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, I thought I’d share this again (and I’ve bookmarked it to re-read it).

And speaking of Neojaponisme, although the site isn’t active like it used to be, stay tuned because that’s where David will be sharing his upcoming reviews of the Pizzicato Five discography (that I had mentioned here).

Debusen Soundtrack

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Yasuharu Konishi has produced a lot of music for TV shows since the days of Pizzicato Five, and the latest soundtrack to get released with his music is for the drama Debusen, that runs on Hulu in Japan. I was listening to samples — which you can do on the CD Japan shop page — and really like what I was hearing, sounding a lot like the funkiness we’d get in P5 music. Found via Tokyo’s Coolest Sound.

Miniflex

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As I think I’ve written in recent posts, since unearthing my archives and going through my old posts, it’s gotten me back into the music I was listening to at that time, which mostly revolved around the Shibuya-kei scene. Through various means I’ve been able to start rebuilding my collection — the biggest thanks go out to Tom, one of the originals from the old Pizzicato Five Mailing List, who has been my savior — and it not only has me listening to this music again, but talking about it as well — often with David, another P5ML alumni. Miniflex came up, a name I remembered from those days but nothing more than that, but since listening to the album (or mini-album, as it’s pretty short) Sud on Friday night, I’ve been absolutely obsessed, and have been listening to it pretty much non-stop.

Miniflex is a solo project by producer Yugo Katayama, who was the man behind the music of Yukari Fresh, one of my favorite artists from those days. It looks like Sud was the only release he did under the name Miniflex, and that makes me pretty sad — I’m hunting for anything else that would be original music from him, but falling short.

And speaking of David, he’s currently listening to every single Pizzicato Five release (or at least pretty much all of them) and writing a review and scoring each of those releases. I’ve already read a few of them and they’re great (and they in turn made me revisit some of those records with a fresh pair of ears). I think he’s only planning on publishing the reviews once he’s written all of them, but I’ll make sure to link to them when he does do that.