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Tower Records, Tokyo, sports the slogan ‘No Music, No Life’. Expanding this equation to ‘Silence = Death’ convinced me to don some headphones.

Now, J-Music (Japanese Music) has something of a bad reputation. If Pop manufactures bands, J-Pop manufactures them and then wraps them up and ties a pretty pink bow. Or so I thought.

Yet listening to a shop-floor’s-worth of J-Music has opened my ears to some surprisingly palatable sounds.

Here’s a rundown of what I heard:

Kiga – J-punk – Screamy energy.

Fragment – J-Club – Spacial eerie beats for early morning clubbing

Fear and Las Vegas – J-Punk – Teeny vocal synth.

Kunyuki Takahashi – J-Cub – Jazzy prog beats.

Yuki – J-Classic – Whispering classy concerto.

Christmas Time Bosa Compilation – J-Pop – Sweetly digitalised snowy treats.

Fantasma – J-Club – Dirty turntable sample jokeying with trombone.

Suburban EP2 – J-Hiphop – Ghetto jazz for Starbucks.

Temp5 – J-Indies – Cheery tonal loopiness with twiddles.

Juju: Request – J-Pop – Piano + classy bird + ‘pop creation for dummies’ book.

Acidman – J-Rock – Easing into wild and wacky crescendo.

So there we have it. J-Music. A mixed bag, as with any music, but worth more of a listen than you may realise…

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