I think I’ve already mentioned a few times the fact that this year as seen me retreating from Japanese music. That’s not to say that I don’t still enjoy most of my faves, but I think a lack of newness has sort of pushed me into different music scenes to find things that give me my much loved weeklong obsession hits. This week I do find myself listening to a few recent Japanese releases, one of them by Pizzicato Five influenced (right down to the fashion friendly music videos and style) Capsule who have released a new album, PHONY PHONIC. The music itself is alright, nothing new and a direct throwback to the old Shibuya-kei scene, but it does feature some beautifully stylish music videos for their singles that you could easily mistaken for something that THE INTERNATIONAL PLAYBOY & PLAYGIRL era P5 would have released. Nothing wrong with a bit of pretty eye candy, especially when accompanied by sounds that just seem to fit (like P5 did so well).

I’m also enjoying a compilation released a few months ago from Escalator Records called ESC-CORE that sees Escalator mainstays (Yukari Fresh, Miniflex, Neil and Iraiza, Cubismo Grafico) doing covers of label mates. Some nice tracks in there, especially the Miniflex cover of “Far Eastman.” A Bungalow Records compilation is also seeing high rotation in my iPod and iTunes, this one featuring remixes of loads of Bungalow artists. I’m also surprised at how I’m really enjoying Plus-Tech Squeeze Box’s FAKEVOX album. I wrote a post a few weeks back about loving their “Early Riser” single, but a listen to the rest of the album at first left me feeling like I’d heard all of these sounds countless times before (Momus made a correct link to Yukari Fresh, which I hadn’t realized from the single alone). But I’ve gone back to the album a few times, mostly to listen to “Early Riser,” and I’ll admit that the album has grown on me. I guess a bit of retro Shibuya-kei is not so bad for you, as long as consumed in small doses…