Today (Saturday, April 22) is Record Store Day, and as you’d expect, over at Tokyo’s Coolest Sound, Patrick has put together a massive post highlighting all of the best releases you should be on the lookout for in Japan.
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.
The title of this post is literally the name of the new compilation that brings together highlights from Yasuharu Konishi’s drama soundtrack work over the past decade — the joke is that it often ends up being used as background music in variety shows as well. I quite like the Debusen soundtrack he did last year (even though I’ve never watched the series), and so I imagine this is something I’d quite like too. You’ll find more details on the release in this post over at Tokyo’s Coolest Sound. Also of interest, this new compilation by DJ Hasebe, Butter Smooth – Tokyo 90’s Groove, which Patrick says is Shibuya-Kei centric.
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!
Pied Piper House was a famed record store in Tokyo during the 70s and 80s, that has been revived as a temporary pop-up shop in Tower Records (until July of this year). They’d already released a compilation record, Best of Pied Piper Days, selected by the store’s original owner, and now they have a Vol. 2 out as well. You’ll find more details in this post over at Tokyo’s Coolest Sound.
I have a thing for female rapping in Japanese — it’s a sound I really love, starting with Halcali, and followed by a few artists since. I’m not in love with all of their songs, but there’s something neat about the hip-hop idol group Lyrical School, who are about to release their first major label album, Guidebook. You may have heard of them before, as they had a music video go viral earlier this year for the song “Run and Run,” that was specially formatted for mobile phone screens. This post on Tokyo’s Coolest Sound includes a few videos to check out.
Oh man, I really want to get my hands on these two compilation mixes, called Japanese Sounds, especially the Tatsuo Sunaga one — I was a big fan of Sunaga back in the Shibuya-kei days, and also quite enjoyed his live mixes from Tokyo’s Organ Bar. You’ll find lots more details in this Tokyo’s Coolest Sound post, including full track listings and some teaser videos.
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.