Sony Music to Release Impressive Compilation of Iconic City Pop Tracks

20.September.2021 | MUSIC

A two-disc album that includes songs from Ohtaki and Rainych’s first album, a compilation of 70s/80s City Pop, and Neo City Pop from the 90s onwards will be released on October 27 2021.


The album is the first compilation work from Sony Music Direct’s new ALDEIGHT label, who are proud to release this compilation featuring 31 remastered iconic songs, both new and old, that have garnered attention both in Japan and overseas following the growing popularity of City Pop.


Among the track list is ‘Kimi wa Tennen Iro’ from Ohtaka Eiichi’s ‘A LONG VACATION 40th Anniversary Edition,’ which was released on March 21 2021 with a music video soon expected to surpass 7 million views on YouTube. It also includes ‘RIDE ON TIME’ covered by Indonesian singer Rainych and evening cinema’s Yamashita Tatsuro, which gained huge popularity on YouTube.


Disc One is full of classic songs from the 70s and 80s, while Disc Two is full of iconic songs from between the 90s and now, that are said to have influenced the current Neo-City Pop sound. This definitive compilation represents the recent City Pop boom in just two discs.


Look forward to the release of this timeless CD which makes the perfect introduction to Japanese City Pop!


  • 7ORDER Announces Details of Largest-Ever National Tour, ‘Date with…….’

    15.October.2021 | MUSIC

    Up-and-coming seven-member J-pop group 7ORDER is scheduled to embark on a massive winter tour across Japan! The first performance will take place in Tokyo on November 27, 2021, and the final show will be held at Yoyogi National Stadium on February 26 and 27, 2022. The 7ORDER LIVE TOUR 2021-2022 ‘Date with…….’ tour will be coming to thirteen locations nationwide. 


    The group clearly isn’t interested in taking a break any time soon, with their most recent tour wrapping in September. The 7ORDER Musha Shugyo TOUR ~NICE “TWO” MEET YOU~ eight-city tour was a massive success, with over 20,000 tickets sold. 


    Check the tour dates below to see if 7ORDER is coming to your city soon!

  • Sony and SF Authors Team Up to Imagine Tokyo in the Year 2050

    23.August.2021 | SPOT

    The Creative Center, the design division of the Sony Group, is collaborating with a number of science fiction authors to use sci-fi prototyping to find out what Tokyo will look like in the future. 


    Inspired by the three keywords ‘2050,’ ‘Tokyo,’ and ‘love,’ Sony designers have created four design prototypes, each with a theme: wellbeing, Habitat, Sense and Life. Science fiction authors Taiyo Fujii, Miyuki Ono, Haruka Mugihara, and Itsuki Tsukui each created a sci-fi short story to accompany these creations.


    These prototypes will be available to see at the Sony Park Exhibition at Ginza Sony Park starting on August 31. 


    Sci-fi prototyping is a technique using science fiction to envision the future, then using it as a starting point to consider what society can do now to impact that possible future. 


    The current global pandemic has made it more difficult than ever before to envision what the future will look like. Audiences around the globe are more interested than ever before in seeing what the world will be like in 30 years, and this technique might be able to put some minds at ease. 


    Would you like to take a look at what the future might hold? 


  • Japanese City Pop Playlist Curated by Toshi Kanazawa Now Available on Streaming Services

    21.May.2021 | MUSIC

    Japanese music journalist Toshi Kanazawa released Vol.6 of his ‘J-DIGS: Light Mellow City Essence’ music playlist series last Wednesday. It comes as the final installment to the series which began in July last year.


    The 20-track playlist includes jazz fusion instruments, pop tunes by jazz singers, and others, all of which are compiled with urban city music vibes. The playlist is now available on major streaming and download services including Spotify.

    Kanazawa’s J-DIGS project began as a way to promote the rich catalogue of Japanese record label Nippon Columbia which was established 110 years ago. The project now has its own YouTube channel, so if you love music from Japan, be sure to check it out below.


    Additionally, a Chee Shimizu playlist taken from his 2013 book Obscure Sound is also available to listen to on music platforms with genres ranging from psychedelic to spiritual, experimental, cosmic, tropical, groovy, and more.


  • Sony Store Collaborates With Snoopy on New PEANUTS Collection

    06.April.2021 | FASHION / MUSIC

    Sony Marketing released its new PEANUTS Friends Collection on Wednesday in collaboration with the beloved American comic strip Peanuts known for its iconic cast of characters like Snoopy and Charlie Brown. The colleciton includes wireless headphones, wireless speakers, and Walksman®.


    A look at just some of the items in the PEANUTS Friends Collection


    WF-XB700 Wireless Stereo Earphones | ¥16,500 (Tax Included)

    The WF-XB700 wireless stereo earphones comes in 36 different patterns from a choice of six designs including Snoopy A, Snoopy B, Snoopy C, Woodstock, Charlie Brown, and Snoopy’s Footprints.


    There are also two case designs as pictured above featuring Woodstock and Snoopy/Charlie Brown and Snoopy.


    The WF-XB700 offer crystal clear, high-quality audio wirelessly and are durable against water droplets like rain and sweat.


    WF-XB700 Wireless Stereo Headset | ¥22,000 (Tax Included)

    This headset features Snoopy on the left ear and Charlie Brown on the right. They offer immersive, high-quality sound and can be folded up to make them compact for carrying.


    SRS-XB23 Wireless Portable Speakers | ¥15,400 (Tax Included)

    Listen to your music wherever you go whether in the bathtub, kitchen, are at the beach, outdoors, and more with these wireless portable speakers. Available in two designs: Snoopy & Woodstock/Snoopy & Charlie Brown.


    Walkman® NW-A50 Series| ¥27,500 (Tax Included)

    This stylish collection of Walkmans® will make you forget about listening to music on your phone. What’s even better is that buyers can have letters, Japanese characters, and numbers (up to 23) engraved on them to create a personalised device whether for yourself or as a birthday present for someone.



    Walkman® S Series | ¥15,400 (Tax Included)

    A slimmer version of the Walkman® if you’re looking for something more compact. Up to 16 letters can be engraved on this one.


  • How will robots and AI shape the future? Find out at the “AI×Robotics Exhibition” at Sony Square Shibuya Project

    19.August.2017 | SPOT

    Located on the first floor of Shibuya MODI, “Sony Square Shibuya Project,” a hub for delivering the latest information regarding Sony, is going to hold a new exhibition from September 2nd based around AI and robotics.



    Sony were the first to bring attention to the possibility of fusing AI with robotics as demonstrated with AIBO, a series of robotic pets designed and manufactured by Sony to be used in the household.


    Since then, they have gone on to develop even more advanced AI robots and continue to create a huge range of new robotic experiences. They have even begun work on creating AI systems that can self-learn and develop their own frameworks.


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    To celebrate the past and present achievements of Sony’s activities, they are holding an “AI×Robotics Exhibition” in Sony Square Shibuya Project to showcase their work and the possibilities that lie ahead in the future. They will also be holding a workshop for their educational robot programming kit “KOOV.”



    Works on Display:


    “AIBO” – An ‘entertainment robot’ whose behaviour can change depending on its surroundings and environment. This autonomous robot gained much attention for its ability to think and move by itself thanks to its capacity to learn, feel, grow and maintain an instinct as a result of its sense of touch, hearing, sight and balance.




    “QRIO” – A bipedal humanoid robot that can walk on two legs, QRIO was developed to seek the possibility for a robot to walk upright like a human. Along with its movement capabilities, it can also communicate with people very well.



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    “Xperia Smart Products” – You will have the opportunity to test the latest Xperia smart products from Sony that offer a new way to communicate. Among the list of products is the “Xperia Ear,” an earpiece that enables you to communicate with people handsfree, search for information and more, as well as the “Xperia Touch,” a projection device that allows you to project an interactive touchscreen onto any surface and is also controllable via voice command.



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    Experience first-hand the latest technology at Shibuya MODI.






    “AI×Robotics Exhibition in Sony Square Shibuya Project”
    Location: Shibuya MODI 1F (1-21-3 Jinnan, Shibuya, Tokyo)

    Running: Saturday September 2nd to Wednesday September 20th

    Time: 11:00-21:00

    *Sony Square Shibuya Project is open all year round apart from August 23rd, January 1st and preparation dates for events. For full information, check the website below.


    ・“KOOV” Workshop

    *The products used will be different for both the ‘general’ sessions and ‘children’s’ sessions.


    General Sessions:

    Wednesday September 6th – 19:00-20:00

    Wednesday September 13th – 19:00-20:00

    Friday September 15th – 19:00-20:00

    Saturday September 16th – 18:00-19:00

    Sunday September 17th – 18:00-19:00


    Children’s Sessions:

    Saturday September 9th – 11:30-12:30

    Sunday September 10th – 11:30-12:30

    Saturday September 16th – 11:30-12:30

    Sunday September 17th – 11:30-12:30


    For full details, please check the website below.



    Related article:Be greeted by a dinosaur robot bellboy at the new Henn na Hotel in Maihama


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  • Asking foreigners about popular artists in Japan! “WAO-RYU! TV”, the internet-based show for foreigners

    26.September.2016 | MUSIC

    “Ask Japanese”, a channel on “WAO-RYU! TV” – an internet show aimed at foreigners – have posted a brand new video entry. The theme of the topic this time is titled “MUST-LISTEN Japanese music? Ask foreigners in Japan about their artist recommendations”.

    The latest video features German talent “Cathy Cat” heading around town asking foreigners about their favourite artists. From artists well-known in Japan to others you might not expect a foreigner to know, lots of different names popped up in their answers. Check out the interview below to see what artists appeared came up. Who do you think they mentioned?


    ▶Video: 日本の音楽、何か知っていますか? 外国人に聞いてみました! (translation: We Ask Foreigners What Japanese Artists They Know)

    ■Related Article: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu hits Hawaii with her successful premium live “SKY Perfect! SUPER LIVE KPP 5iVE YEARS PREMIUM LIVE in HAWAII”!

    ■Related Article: I can’t know with just the music! What’s the fascination with Perfume & BABYMETAL, two groups gaining attention all over the world!?

  • Ongaku Daisuki With Matt Bennett | Doopees “Doopee Time”

    06.August.2016 | FEATURES / MUSIC

    “The dope on dope and the Doopees”


    Yann Tomita is a man living on the edge. Known as Japan’s preeminent steelpan drum player, Yann’s music is a mix of Brian Wilson/Van Dyke Parks-era Beach Boys, musique concrete, 90’s lounge lizard acts, and the wacky inventions of Dr. NakaMats.
    With a large discography of albums released under his own name, it’s a surprise the album he may be best known for was released by his side project, the illusive, imaginary Doopees. “Doopee Time,” their one and only album, is a stroke of plunderphonic genius, novel in its blend of recognizable pop songs (the Beach Boy’s “Caroline No,” Petula Clark’s “Now That You’ve Gone”) with a loose storyline, something I haven’t encountered on another plunderphonic album.

    Whether or not plunderphonics is a recognized genre in Japan, I do not know, as Yann is really the only artist I have discovered who has mastered the art. But around the same time “Doopee Time” was created, plunderphonics had become a highly controversial topic in the western world. The phrase, coined by artist John Oswald, refers to a form of sample culture consisting of new compositions made entirely from preexisting material. Musical saboteurs Negativland first brought the name to public attention with their 1991 EP “U2” . The single prominently featured the characters “U2” on the cover, in a font significantly larger than the band’s name. Many people bought the single expecting a new U2 song only to hear a midi-version of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” accompanied by an audio clip of DJ Casey Kasem on a profanity-ridden rant about U2. Negativland was subsequently sued, and the “U2” EP was withdrawn, but not before turning a lot of heads and making a few headlines.

    Plunderphonics is a unique genre created on the fringes of mainstream culture, existing both as a critique and guarded appreciation of the gargantuan acts of pop music. By taking tracks by artists like U2 or Michael Jackson (the cover to John Oswald’s 1989 album “plunderphonic” is notorious for it’s doctored nude photograph of Jackson) then splicing and rearranging them, plunderphonic artists became the progenitors of sample-based hip hop, and still influence new popular Internet genres like vaporwave.

    And Yann Tomita is the Japanese King of Plunder.

    According to the band mythos, Doopees is comprised of friends Caroline Novac (reportedly portrayed by Buffalo Daughter’s Rumiko Ohno) and Suzi Kim. The album follows a loose narrative in which Doopees search for a cure for Caroline’s chronic sadness. Caroline, the younger of the two Doopees, cries her way through a rocky piano performance of Chopin’s Opus 28 No. 4. “Poor Caroline, playing Chopin and crying,” laments Suzi. “Why don’t those love songs leave me satisfied?” Caroline asks on “Love Songs (Love Is A Many Razor Bladed Thing).” Things start to get brighter when they meet Dr. Domestic and are sent on a bus trip through space and time. But where in time do the Doopees end up? The packaging of the album might give us a clue: the cover features a clock with no hands as if to say every time is Doopee Time.

    All this is played comically, underscored by Tomita’s intricate and far-out compostions. My favorite song “Doopee Time,” is a reworking of Hugo Montenegro’s iconic theme to I Dream of Jeannie, revitalizing the tired sitcom theme song and giving it a more modern beat-driven vibe.
    And Tomita obviously has an affinity for far-out music. On his solo steel drum album “Music For Astro Age” he performs both a straight version of John Cage’s infamous “4’33’” AND a DUB version of it. Not to mention a cover of Sun Ra’s “We Travel The Spaceways.” His influence transcends just the Doopees. Tomita has worked with experimental artists Ryuichi Sakamoto, Boredoms, and my guy Cornelius.

    So what does it mean to be a Doopee? The back cover of the album says it all: “CUTE MUSIC is keep you healthy, mind clear.” That is Yann Tomita’s overall message with this album. “Doopee Time” is cute on the surface but is ultimately a statement on the healing power of music. Yann gains inspiration from “living sound,” the random and mundane places most people overlook. Music is all around us: in the air, on the bus, at the airport or doctor’s office. All you have to do is listen. Maybe then you can be a Doopee too.

    Enjoy this wonderful, rare Doopee promo video:

    Get yourself a copy of Matt Bennett’s debut album “Terminal Cases” — out now!

    ★Purchase your copy here:

    Matt Bennett




  • Ongaku Daisuki With Matt Bennett | “Slow Ballad” RC Succession

    26.June.2016 | FEATURES / MUSIC

    Being a crate digging historian, nothing matches the thrill of (re-)discovering forgotten avenues in music just begging to be exhumed. There’s a world of lost gems to find, like an archaeologist digging for fossils. Only I’m not an archaeologist, I’m a boy. On the lookout for hot bands.
    Sometimes buying records is like finding an extinguished bonfire on the beach and feeling the dead coal for a flicker of warmth still left in them.
    There is most definitely heat still emanating from RC Succession’s “Slow Ballad.”

    When talking to fans of Japanese music, I commonly find, for convenience sake, people describe Japanese bands as “the Japanese equivalent” of some famous Western band.
    For example: “Cornelius is the Japanese Beck.”
    Or: “The Blue Hearts are the Japanese Clash.”
    Or: “Happy End is the Japanese Beatles”
    From my growing knowledge in the field of J-rock, I’m going to go out on a limb and say RC Succession are the Japanese Rolling Stones.

    I first came across the name RC Succession in Rolling Stone Japan’s “Top 100 Japanese Albums of All Time” list (a great place to start for anybody looking to get more into J-Rock). Their 1980 double live album, “Rhapsody,” was ranked the second best Japanese rock album of all time behind the Japanese Beatles themselves, Happy End.
    Aha! The age old battle of Beatles vs. Stones transcends international boundaries!
    So when I heard “Slow Ballad” as the closing track in Shion Sono’s holiday masterpiece “Love
    & Peace,” I was intrigued.

    The movie tells the story of a pet turtle who gets flushed down a toilet, meets homeless Santa Claus and his gang of sentient misfit toys and is turned into a giant kaiju (monster) all while his heartbroken nerdy owner desperately tries to find him while simultaneously becoming Japan’s biggest rock star. Novel and unique, as Sono’s films always are. If you’ve seen one of his movies before, this kind of chaos should make sense to you. His films veer so far off the beaten path they could be from Mars.
    Sono has a great ear for music as well, his magnum opus “Love Exposure” exclusively uses music from indie rock band Yura Yura Teikoku. I take music recommendations seriously so a Sono-affirmed song is worth investigating.
    When the soft piano and arpeggiated guitar of “Slow Ballad” trickled in, I knew Sono had done it again. This song is beyond catchy! I stayed through the credits to discover: “Slow Ballad” by RC Succession
    “Oh!” I thought, “RC Succession? #2 on the Japanese Rolling Stone List?”

    “Slow Ballad” tells the story of two lovers sleeping together in the back of a car while a slow ballad softly plays out of their car radio. It sums up that sweet point in a new relationship where feelings are still fresh and new. The sentiment is touching, with singer Kiyoshiro Imawano‘s (“Japan’s King of Rock”) impassioned, strained vocal approach over a swell of horns and strings bringing a sweeping feeling, like you’re swept up in the romance along with the two lovers.
    Watching the “Rhapsody” concert you get a very 1980 picture.

    Popular music had not quite evolved out of funk and rock, but not yet fully transitioned into disco or new wave either. It was an age when star wipes (watch below video for reference) and picture in picture was still cutting edge.

    And their live theatrics echo Start Me Up era Stones. Wannabe-punk-inspired but not above throwing a splash of Dayglo in there. Imawano plays up that Mick Jagger strut, with maybe a hint of David Johansen thrown in for good effeminate measure, and guitarist Reichi “CHABO” Nakaido is a shoo-in for Japanese Keith Richards.
    “Slow Ballad” may not have rocked the Western world, but it just may rock YOUR world. And that’s what Matt Bennett is all about. I love to rock. So rock with me, won’t you?


    Get yourself a copy of Matt Bennett’s debut album “Terminal Cases” — out now!

    ★Purchase your copy here:

    Matt Bennett