#PSRecommend Bandcamp Surfers: Listening to the independent Japanese scene

These are some of the most sophisticated projects that Bandcamp hides in the plurality of musical subgenres in the North Pacific

Digging the East Asia area, specifically Japan, on Bandcamp - one of the contemporary platforms that is characterized by having an exquisite musical selection led by independent bands and artists - is an almost utopian challenge when deciding what to hear. Whether it is a search through subgenres or countries, the list will always be very long and the possibilities of finding musical wonders, infinite. It is somewhat predictable to think that in the North Pacific, the projects have a totem in electronic music, sampling, ambient sounds and sophisticated experiments with machines that musicalize a cyberpunk reality (complexity and artificial intelligence as primary characteristics), without However, the hope of encountering a different sound is not consumed (all thanks to the mental meringue that the Internet has achieved in the last couple of decades), the Japanese scene has also grown in other elementary musical genres, creating clusters of underground projects that challenge to any scene in the world in quantity of musicians and recording quality. Here are some of the most distinguished of the platform:


(hip hop / rap / chill out / beat tape)

It is difficult not to enjoy a hybrid of loops that can get tangled up softly after the spoken word of hip hop, so that it drives like a raft between the waves of its rhymes. Visionaries like Youtaro carry this gift in their blood, the sound of exciting relaxation, which in their case was endowed in the serenity of Nara, the city of the great abandoned temples and the deer that roam the streets and parks. Records such as The Sun Downer-Old Fashion and Chillin U, transpire samples seduced by imposing descents of an afternoon in hash, while a pair of riffs with fine keyboards give the vintage spirit to all their recordings, Youtaro does not ask the New York beats for anything . In spite of being very young, his musical experience is vast, he leaves us 10 albums in Bandcamp with some collaborations of musical friends of great creative force.


(trip hop / instrumental / jazz)

If there is something that we owe to electronic music (and in what seems unfortunate to have failed in rock), it is their constant innovations that seem to bring us closer to the future of new musical genres that ensure not only the quality of the composition but also for the authenticity of the imagination. To emphasize it, we stop by the sophisticated Tokyo, home of one of the finest producers in the hermetic neighborhoods of the capital: Bugseed, passionate about the classical composition of jazz and swing; just listen to his latest LP Magnetics, where the saxophone and the delights of a melodic piano disturb the visual art generated by some night this winter or the wonderful collaboration, 7th Wonder, together with producer Pigeondust, majestic performances in octaves of the key that they raise the constant fiddling of the powerful bass, encrypting some of its great influences like Large Professeur, Pete Rock or Dj Premiers. Comparing these works with his first material, Bohemian Beatnik, is also pleasant because in addition to being a very fine jazz production in its purest form, it turns out to be a fairly soft comfort for lovers of primary music.


(electronic / experimental / IDM)

In Horikawa pieces, complexity is achieved in the simplest sounds of nature. The singing of the birds, the energy of the wind, the disturbances of the water in the sky and the insects talking with the night, each simple sound is a piece with its own life, subsists by itself within a tribal atmosphere that, with the passage of the ethnic spirit beats, it is made of a new consciousness, a complicated entity that functions as a human brain reflecting ideas written on a holographic plaque.


(experimental / future beats / vaporwave)

An impressive shoal of tracks with the genre vaporwave is found in Asian waters. The concept was used in technology for those prototypes of computers never carried out; they were shown as an idea and never got to be finished or even initiated, they were simple projects that vanished in the air. Starting from this, you can imagine that the sounds that reign largely in these songs come from computers, specifically those that were produced in the 1980s and 90s. Curiously Bandcamp has the highest vaporwave rate than any other platform, and Dream Catalog is one of the new independent labels that are responsible for distributing all the music in relation to this apparently vintage genre that is shown as the sound of the future. Within this label are many Japanese tapes that are worthwhile: DERELICT メ ガ タ ワ ー, with "International Team", compilation of 84 tracks, some of very short duration, characterized by soft samples and romantic synthpop-style keyboards; Smooth Jazz Online, VHS project album テ ー プ リ ワ イ ン ダ ー, one of the strange sounds that mixes 80's pop and jazz and telepath テ レ パ シ ー 能力 者, ambient sound experiments on mechanical bases.



Based in Tokyo, this independent label aims to unite musicians from all over Asia to create a more influential psychedelic scene that manages to match that of Europe and America, which have been procreated in this genre in recent years. His contribution has begun with a compilation of 21 tracks that includes bands like 幾何学 模 様 / Kikagaku Moyo, guests of Austin Psych Fest this 2014 and distinguished by the use of zither, piccolo and plurality of languages. Dhidalah, children of stoner rock and passengers of trips of 17 minutes and riffs in maximum power, same with which Death By Raygun shows us how to play the garage in Japan. The sixties alone fall like a storm on each track without forgetting to embed a couple of folk themes that complete the sound wave. This project is still new and judging by the excellent quality of this compilation, future results will be heard by everyone, before arriving at any psychedelic festival.

Author's Twitter: @surrealindeath