idea of the Japanese music scene is that of thousands of screaming
fans chasing down their favorite pop idols. It's been heavily
documented in the little bit of Japanese culture that penetrates
U.S. Borders, most notably in Anime films (perhaps the most popular
form of Japanese-born entertainment in the United States - besides
Pokemon and videogames of course). But as any halfway-intelligent
person can tell you, stereotypes are for the most part wrong.
to Japan For Sale vol. 2, however, it becomes clear just
how wrong - for this album proves that the Japanese music scene
is one of the most interesting scenes going on right now.
Take the intro
track, "Nakanaide" by Mayu Kitaki. It's a perfect example
of Janet Jackson meets Japanese vocals, only better. You'll be
hard-pressed to find a cuter pop song than this.
Or move on
to DJ Krush's "Candle Chant (A Tribute)." There's a
reason Krush has become one of the premier names in hip-hop, and
this track shows why. The infectious guitar / beat loop with unbelievably
smooth rhymes makes this track alone worth the price of the disc.
Think MC Solaar with Portishead laying the beats.
Satellites offer up their usual hard-edge electronica on "Soliloquy."
A smoothed-out NIN-esque electorock jam, it shows why the Satellites
have long been one of the Japanese acts to watch for in the U.S.
- and where rock should be heading.
continues to tread throughout genres, thoroughly displaying why
the Japanese music scene simply cannot be dismissed as nothing
more than pop-idol chasing teens. With the Daft Punk styled synth-funk
of "Stereo Nights," Takkyu Ishino shines and the duo
of Puffy Amiyumi offer the delicious Vacation-era Go-Go's
meet 60's cheese-organ sugarcoated pop track "Atarashii Hibi
(Brand New Days)" - a track so syrupy sweet that it just
oozes through your ears, dripping all over your body.
So yes, if
you haven't picked up on it, this is an excellent compilation
disc - especially for those new to the Japanese music scene. Even
the cover art designed by L.A.-based artist, Shag.
this album is nothing short of cool.
liked Japan For Sale Vol. 2...
Mayu Kitaki - Nakanaide
2. Ken Ishii - Iceblink (main mix)
3. Dt. - Yume No Nakae - Malted Milk Mix
4. DJ Krush featuring Boss the MC - Candle Chante
5. Yoshinori Sunahara - Balance
6. Boom Boom Satelites - Soliloquy
7. L'Arc-en-Ciel - Spirit Dreams Inside
8. Chara - Skirt
9. Supercar - Yumegiwa Last Boy
10. Takkyu Ishino - Stereo Nights
11. Puffy Amiyumi - Atarashii Hibi (Brand New
12. Polysics - New Wave Jacket
13. Aco - Shinsei Romanticist