My favorite LPs and EPs were (in no particular order): Suiyoubi no Campanella - SUPERMAN Suzuki Mamiko - Deep Green EP tricot - 3 Izumi Macra - Yuki to Suna Mondo Gross - Nandodemo Atarashiku Umareru POLKADOT STINGRAY - Daisegi heaven in her arms - White Halo Seiko Oomori - kitixxxgaia gesu no kiwami otome - Daruma Ringo
Although my favorite LPs and EPs were mostly Japanese, K-Pop singles dominated most of my actual listening time in 2017. I easily listened to TWICE's "LIKEY," "LOOK AT ME," and "HEART SHAKER" more than 100+ times each. I also loved the singles and b-sides from Red Velvet, Cosmic Girls (WSJN), GFRIEND, DREAMCATCHER, and the girls of LOOΠΔ. Some Korean hip-hop-inspired stuff was just as additive like offonoff's "Gold" and San-E's "Mohae." Morever, we saw collaborations between artists like Dean and Syd (previous Odd Future and The Internet member), and Jay Park was on my favorite song from Charlie XCX's Pop 2 ("Unlock It"). I stopped paying attention to music videos some time in the 00's even for my favorite artists, but K-Pop is the one genre where I actually watch (and rewatch) videos. They're just really fun and neat, and they are usually the best way to get a first listen on the latest releases.
I'm pretty sure my listening habits this year will be pretty similar, and I'm guessing that I'll post at around the same rate as I did last year, although the skew towards K-Pop might continue become more prevalent. Anyways, here's to hoping for another great year of music.
・・・・・・・・・ is a Japanese shoegaze idol group. It consists of nine members, each known only as 「・」, who were selected from auditions held in Tokyo in April 2016. Other than the nine middle dots, they're also known as Dots (ドッツ) or Dots Tokyo (ドッツ東京 / ドッツトウキョウ). Other names fans have called them include dotstokyo (ドッツトーキョー), dotnine, tenkyuu (てんきゅー, "nine dots"), nakaguro (中黒, "middle dot"), tententen (てんてんてん, "dotdotdot"), and ten-chan (てんちゃん, "dot-chan"). There isn't an official pronunciation, although their official homepage and Twitter handle are versions of "Dots Tokyo."
The group's music debut was Shuwa Shuwa EP (しゅわしゅわEP), a three-song EP released January 9, 2017 via OTOTOY. It was also available on CD-R which included 3 bonus tracks – versions of the 3 songs featuring Hatsune Miku on vocals instead.
On August 16, 2017, they will release CD, which is a single 72-minute-long work titled "Tokyo." "Tokyo" is comprised of the following pieces: "Tokyo1, Tokyo2, Tokyo3, Tokyo4", "スライド", "トリニティダイブ", and "ねぇ". "Tokyo1, Tokyo2, Tokyo3, Tokyo4" was composed by ・・・・・・・・・ with Hakobune, who also mixed and mastered it. The lyrics, composition, and arrangement of "スライド" was handled by 管梓 (For Tracy Hyde).
3. "Re: Favorite Releases from 2017" In response to Reply # 0
I'm finally starting to listen to Daisegi (POLKADOT STINGRAY) and I can already tell I'm going to be replaying this one for a while.
My recent favorite bands, tricot and Suiyoubi no Campanella had great albums and, as usual, Suiyoubi has continued to drop random singles that I like.
But I love MONDO GROSSO's Nandodemo Atarashiku Umareru. He was able to release an album with a cohesive, yet varied, sound with different vocalists on each track. Nothing feels out of place and there is some really great stuff on here. This one might be favorite of the year.
I also really enjoyed the releases from hyukoh and Suchmos. I need to go back and listen to some of the older stuff from them and MONDO GROSSO as well since these were the first releases that I heard from any of them.
12. "who dat who dat who dat boy?" In response to Reply # 8
It's only February, but there's no doubt this will be in the running for song of the year for me. I love this as much as anything I heard in all of 2017. There's certainly a '90s/early '00s R&B influence but without sounding too derivative. One thing I love about K-Pop girl groups is the sequencing and layering of vocals that they establish with the various members. And not only is the song great, but the video is also killer.
10. "LOOΠΔ/Go Won - One&Only (Single - Korean, Pop)" In response to Reply # 0 Tue Jan-30-18 11:12 AM by Steve O Tron v2
Her singing voice isn't great (especially compared to the Red Velvet release that came out this), and the rapping/speaking parts don't blow me away either, but I enjoy the overall song, which is certainly carried by the beat. The b-side, "See Saw," is also good.
14. "iri (Japanese, R&B, Hip-Hop, Electronic, Pop)" In response to Reply # 0 Fri Feb-09-18 03:14 PM by Steve O Tron v2
I think fans of artists like Suiyoubi, Mondo Grosso, tofubeats, and CICADA will like her music. The only thing is that I can't really find any videos on YouTube to post, but you can easily find her releases on Spotify or Apple Music (unfortunately not on Google Play Music).
She's worked with Kenmochi Hidefumi (of Suiyoubi), so a lot of the production on her songs sounds like a lot of the more relaxed Suiyoubi songs or the more R&B-laced songs by tofubeats. Overall, she and her music sound a little bit less eccentric than KOM_I/Suiyoubi, as she has a deeper voice and more conventional delivery. The music has a very late night cruising vibe and maybe a modern take that vaguely feels city pop-ish.
She has a new album called Juice coming out soon, but in the meantime I highly recommend checking out her Life EP from 2017 (especially the tracks "For Life" and "Fruits") and Groove It LP from 2016.
The whole song isn't available on YouTube (yet), but it is available on Spotify/iTunes. Aina the End is from BiSH (Brand-new idol SHiT), an "alternative" idol group, and I'm loving her sort of husky/deep voice on this song. Her skittering/skipping vocal pattern during the verses is great (almost sounds like a rap flow). I'm a sucker for the deep bass over the house-y/acid jazz-y keys, and the hook has the perfect mix of groove and drive. MONDO GROSSO sort of went behind-the-scenes and produced/remixed under his own name in the 2000s, but it seems like he's resurfaced while bringing back some of those wonderful sounds from electronic music from that period to the present. I can't wait for this album now.
20. "RE: MONDO GROSSO / TURN IT UP [Vocal：大橋トリオ]" In response to Reply # 19
This is great, and I didn't know about it either. Wasn't sure where the song was going to go with just the guitar lines and relatively minimal style in the beginning, but I really what it eventually builds into.
18. "Sidepost: Not 2018 Asian Music" In response to Reply # 0 Mon Feb-12-18 12:10 PM by dagu
Rather than starting a new post I figured I would just put this in here. I've been trying to listen to the back catalogs of new "discoveries" (mostly artists from this series of posts) and recommendations from jpopsuki or other places. Fortunately there's a lot of stuff available of YouTube so I can listen to it at work. I'll probably try to make a new sub-thread for each artist that I feel like mentioning or any other topic (genre, release year, etc.).
21. "Yeah, this will be nice." In response to Reply # 18
I'm making some discoveries for older releases, but I sometimes don't post about them unless the band also has something relatively new (coming) out, and I also don't want to just make new threads, so I think this will be great for sharing non-2018 releases.
I think a lot of people have been waiting for them to return with this kind of sound for over a decade, although it certainly has elements that sound modern enough. Their sound in the past was a mix of pop, R&B, and hip-hop, and I was really into them as a teenager getting into Japanese music.
I don't think I've ever really liked Verbal (the MC) much, but he was serviceable on most songs, and his back and forth with various guests worked well. However, it really the production (Taku Takahashi) that I was a fan of. 2004 was when they started to really go for more broad mainstream appeal and did collaborations with artists like BoA and Crystal Kay, and LISA had left/parted with the group. You'd think that as a hip-hop head (I was the annoying "no-fun allowed" backpack kind at that time) that their more hip-hop based stuff would have been my favorite period, but this more pop period is actually my favorite.
They continued to go for a more pop and mainstream sound, but I think their style wasn't as popular in the late mid and late 2000s, and they disappeared for a bit until 2012 when they returned with Square One, which had a more pop and EDM sound that definitely was "in" at the moment. I didn't care for the album, but I did think "All I Want Is You" is a good pop/electronic song. NEVEN & THE FUTURE IS WOW were continued misses for me, and I think for the majority of their original fanbase too they had built in the 2000s. With that said, during that period they did give us "IRONY" with (IMO) peak daoko.
A (nostalgic for me) trip through their past singles: