Image credit: actrice.jp
We’re back with a preview of our favorite new music releases from Japan. For October, we’ve chosen from the worlds of electronic and folk scenes from Japan and showcased locally and internationally recognized artists such as DAN, as well as some of our favorite emerging artists. Whether you’re curling up on the couch or going out dancing, our October playlist has the best new music to keep you warm when the temperature drops. Listen to the full playlist on our Spotify and check out the highlights of our artists below.
Seimei – Don’t bend my life
“Don’t Bend My Life” is the latest track from the electronic producer and founder of trekkietrax, Seimei. Seimei has been active on the Japanese EDM scene since his teens and gained international fame after moving to San Francisco in 2014, performing with established international artists such as Purity Ring, Wave Racer and Basenji. “Don’t Bend My Life” is the opening track from Seimei’s debut album, A diary of the crossing, which mixes hard techno, trance and house.
DAN – The Meetings
DAN is a name you’ve probably seen popping up a lot in recent years. Formed in 2014, they rose to prominence locally and abroad after performing at the Fuji Rock Festival in 2016 and 2018, which earned them the opportunity to perform with established local and international artists such as The xx and Floating Points. “The Encounters” comes from their recently released third album NO MOON and includes the guest voices of rapper Takumi (from hip-hop duo MIRROR) and Hikam (from audiovisual duo Tamanaramen). What starts off as a distinctly mellow alt-R & B track to begin with, slowly evolves into a big Caribou’esque dance floor piece.
ZOMBIE-CHANG – PaRappa the Gabber
Since releasing his debut EP in 2016, Zombie Chang has experimented with a wide variety of sounds – from ethereal psychedelic indie pop to live band arrangements and heavy dancing. His new track, “PaRappa the Gabber” was produced for a collaboration between fashion label Wind and Sea with iconic 90s video game PaRappa the Rapper. Aptly named, the song is an eventful journey through the Dutch hardcore techno style known as Gabber. The cover art, designed by Zombie Chang, is a humorous nod to Chop Chop Master Onion, a character from the video game series.
Satoko Shibata – 雑 感 (Zakkan – Various feelings)
“雑 感” (zakkan, meaning diverse feelings) is the new single from folk pop artist Satoko Shibata. Originally written in mid-2020, Shibata says the song expresses the mixed feelings she experienced while being unable to visit friends and family during the pandemic. The song has become a fan favorite over the past 18 months, being performed several times live ahead of its official digital release earlier this month. While the single differs slightly from the live performances, the final arrangement is a quintessentially upbeat and charming version of Satoko Shibata.
Yuta Orisaka – 炎 (Hono – Flame)
“炎” (Hello, meaning flame) is taken from the first full-length version of Yuta Orisaka since 2018, Psychology. After spending his childhood in Russia and Iran, Orisaka began releasing music in 2014 and has since carved out a niche for himself, mixing elements of blues, jazz and folk in his releases. Starring American saxophone virtuoso Sam Gendel, “炎” is a dark jazz number that showcases Orisaka’s vocal chops before Gendel takes the lead with a rising saxophone crescendo.