Mimi246 on J-pop music (2)

This is a part 2 of mini246’s entry. Again, very rough translation – sorry for my mistakes! -tomomi

There were quite a few musicians who were active abroad, but I had an impression that those who are supposed by local musicians and music lovers, regardless of the trend of “showbiz” promotions and hit charts, increased in the beginning of the 90s. Especially I remember Boredoms and Shonen Knife, who were supported by alternative rock lovers in the U.S. Boredoms were in touch with Sonic Youth, and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana claimed that he loved Shonen Knife. I got to know of the band, Shonen Knife, for the first time when I was in San Francisco and a guy there who loved alternative music taught me. At the time, I only knew of the bands that were commercially successful and covered in the mass media, and I couldn’t realize the greatness of their music at first. The alternative guy, however, said, “they are doing the “honest” music,” which, I think, shows why those who were not satisfied with commercialized music supported them. At the same time, both Boredoms and Shone Knife were not sticked with the imitation of British-American music,” despite the fact that they sing in English.

Boredoms, “Super Go!”
Shonen Knife, “Twist Birbie

On techno in Japan.

Ken Ishii, “Extra
Denki Groove, “Shangri-La
Takkyu Ishino, “The Rising Suns

There are many superb Japanese techno artists evaluated highly abroad, but Ishino Takkyu should particularly deserve honorable mention. Via his works in Denki Groove, he let those who didn’t know anything about techno at all – including myself – know how attractive techno is. Not only that, as a DJ, he also did a groundbreaking work for techno in a club scene, deepened the exchange with German techno scenes, and was invited as a DJ to a Love Parade in Berlin.

The above mentioned were rather musics for enthusiastic and deeply interested listeners, but in the hit charts of the mid to late 1990s, the works produced by Tetsuya Komuro occupied the top spots.

globe, “Departures
Namie Amuro, “Chase the Chance
Tomomi Kahara, “I’m Proud

The trend to focus on producers continues after then, and Tsunku♂ produces many works by idol singers of Hello! Project, most notably Morning Musume.

Hikaru Utada and Ayumi Hamasaki are listed as the key artists of the 00s, but I reacted “oh how about Ringo Shiina?” I think it was a right choice to list Utada and Hamasaki considering the sales figures, but I remember that the media converage of Ringo, her influence over youths, her charisma, etc. were truly amazing. Not just Ringo, but this period (the late 90s to the early 2000s) produced many unique female singers with lots of personality, such as Cocco, aiko, Hitomi Yaida, Chihiro Onitsuka, etc.

Ringo Shiina, “Kabuki-cho no Joou” (Queen of Kabuki-cho)
Cocco, “Hane~Lay Down My Arms~
aiko, “Boyfriend

About Japanese hip-hop music, those who do “party rap” after Scha Dara Parr, as opposed to “serious rap” by King Gidra, are as follows.

Rip Slyme ”Funkastic
Kick the Can Crew, “Marche

At last, one thing that I will just point out as I don’t really don’t know about, is where we should situate TV stars who belong to Johnny’s (Johnny & Associates) in the history of Japanese popular music. I have an impression that for the past 30 years or so, the top ranks of Japanese hit chart are occupied by the Johnny’s artists in many cases.

…I wish I could write the above in English, oh well… I can read English quite well, but haven’t written in English for many years..

Another Japanese blogger, “brother-t,” added his own thoughts to mimi246’s entry as a comment to mimi246’s blog. He said,

I would like to poke my nose into this a little..Before Yuumin (Yumi Matsutoya), in the 70s, the original rock in Japanese was very popular. For example,

Happy End, Sugarbabe, Hiroshi Sato, Tatsuro Yamashita, YMO, Tugitoshi Goto, Takashi Matsumoto, etc.. The last two are necessary figures in talking about Seiko Matsuda.

Thinking about the female vocals of the 90s, I think the vocalists born in the late 60s, such as Yumi Tanimura, is missing from the list. If we connect the line from the 80s Seiko Matsuda to Onyanko to the artists produced by Komuro, we can probably tell the history centering around idol singers.

On the 21st century, I think Dragon Ash might be the necessary to include in the hip-hop genre. We can discuss the inclination to the right-wing as well.
(This final sentence by brother-t, including the word, “beta-de,” ベタで is so hard to translate!!)


One Response to Mimi246 on J-pop music (2)

  1. tiffanysays says:

    Boredoms are pretty amazing as well.

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