Nobuo Uematsu — Coconut Castaway

A lovely! perky melody with shuffling drums, strummed guitar and dual female vocalists (actually it sounds like the same multitracked singer). So far so predictable. But a couple of minutes in, things get odd with a fairground waltz rhythm and a pervading melancholy air. Then gradually, as a bird tweets, the original melody hesitantly reappears… Read more »

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MOL. — Highsense Nonsense

This sounds like a quirky chiptune pop song, played at approximately double speed. It makes hyperactive seem comatose. Zac, the Japanator Radio presenter, called it insane. He’s probably right, but it’s good insane, not bad insane. Source: Japanator Radio 103

Perfume — Electro World (Omodaka remix)

The usual vocals layered over a better-than-usual rhythm. Initially it’s slow, half the speed of the usual frantic Perfume beat. In parts it shuffles into a dub rhythm, sounding a lot like Dubstar (one of my favourite pop bands). Later on the beat heats up, as opera themes and jungle animal noises spice things up…. Read more »

Swinging Popsicle — Go On

Sweet, well-produced pop, with real instruments: guitar, bass, drums. And a clear female vocal. Very summery and melodic. Hey, I’m smiling! It’s from the album of the same name. Source: Japanator Radio 103

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Rad Wimps — Order Made

This is very easy on the ear without quite being easy listening. It builds quietly to almost-crescendos a few times, but stays quiet and pleasant enough to remind me of Jose Gonzales(?) and even Jack Johnson. (I have heard JJ’s soundtrack to Curious George about a hundred times as that DVD is a family favourite.)… Read more »

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Sweet Vacation — Why Don’t You

Clean and jaunty electronic pop with an uplifting chorus that asks, “why don’t you believe that pop will save the world?” I do believe, I do! And this song is a good argument. Well, the chorus is, anyway — the verses fail to soar to the same stratospheric heights. It’s the autotune — I love… Read more »

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Aira Mitsuki — Plastic Doll

That retro synth/peppy rhythm/autotune combo gets me every time. For me, the bass synth stands out in this song. Not Aira’s best track, but still well worth bobbing your head to. Source: Japanator Radio

Puffy — Wedding Bell (80kidz remix)

This track is lovely, dominated by synth keyboard stabs that remind me of MGMT, and a celestial chorus of “Aaaaamen!” (At least I think that’s what they’re singing.) I haven’t heard the original, but this track is a good one. Despite the busy instrumentation, it still sounds like Puffy. Source: Japanator Radio

Nobuo Uematsu — Here Comes Conga Boy

This seems to be credited to Nobuo Uematsu and the Dog Ears. “Here Comes Conga Boy” is ridiculous in a good way. Silly voices at the beginning give way to a a nice jaunty song, slightly homey and old-fashioned sounding. But as the song goes on it starts to go insane. The singer starts being… Read more »

Aira Mitsuki — Re:x

Aira’s track is is a slightly chaotic and noisy beast. Synth stabs, odd rhythms, vocal samples and odd effects over a disco beat. Aira even sings a bit too. I like it. On this episode of Japanator Radio I also heard Immi’s version of “Joe Le Taxi”. It’s musically much tougher than the original, with… Read more »