#NP Nujabes

Nujabes is one of those producers that makes me believe in reincarnation.  Beautiful, stunning, ethereal, romantic, sentimental, compassionate, inspirational and the list goes on.  Words are my job, but I cannot do what Nujabes music invokes in me justice.

Oyasumi Tokyo ☆

Raekwon confirmed for Japan tour

Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan is coming to Japan.

For those familiar with the Japanese party scene there is a distinct divide between the ‘Japanese’ parties and ‘international’ parties.

Depending on the promotion and promoters on events the kinds of crowds will different greatly in demographics.  While Raekwon is a universal symbol of hip hop who would no doubt be an act of interest for both sides of the fence, the fact that this event is being promoted by mostly ‘Japanese’ promoters means the foreign community has little knowledge of Raekwon’s invitation to perform in Japan.

While it would be nice to believe that music brings people together, attending events where it is rare to truly experience a ‘mixed crowd’ (by mixed I mean Japanese that rarely interact with the foreign community and foreigners that seldom venture outside their own comfort zone of English speakers) proves that ‘race relations’ in Japanese entertainment has a long way to go.

 

Versace for H&M : Osaka, JAPAN

H&M opened its second shop in Osaka, Japan on November 17th.  November 19th Versace began sales of its collaboration line for H&M in stores worldwide.  Metal studs which have dominated Fall 2011 are also prevalent in the Versace line, but their signature prints and bold pinks, blues and yellows are also prevalent.  Enjoy the lookbook below.

CIROC comes to Japan via @FutureSoundTV

For those of us in Japan with our eyes on the US party scene the one liquor that’s been hard to miss is definitely the ubiquitous CIROC produced Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs.  At present the liquor has no mass distribution deals with companies in Japan, nor is it readily available online, but a few Japanese clubs have been satisfying vodka lovers by importing the popular US liquor from overseas or purchasing via US military bases in Japan.

It looks like all this could be changing with Aoyama Velours in Tokyo recently hosting the first OFFICIAL Ciroc sponsored party in Japan.  Popular video magazine style blog FutureSound.TV which follows house, hip hop, cars and parties around the world including Japan was on-hand for event.

As a former ‘clear’ liquor drinker myself I can personally testify that Ciroc goes down as one of the smoother vodkas.  I hope that they’ll begin to import Red Berry soon!

@Raye6 @Alivegreenst @TreZureEmpire Perform in Shibuya GLAD

One year later and the NYC crew has returned to Tokyo, Japan.  Building upon their experiences as performers in the Japan Music Week and Yume Fest in 2010, Trezure, A-Live of Greenstreet and Raye 6 returned to an even busier line-up and day to day schedule this November.

With photo shoots, music video filming and licensing negotiations, on top of the day to day performances at locations around Tokyo, Japan these indie artists made the most of their talents and resources to maximize on the the results.

To start off the November festivities with a splash last week (November 10) Trezure performed with A-Live their hit ‘Shibuya nights’ on a Shibuya stage for the very first time at Club Glad.  Afterwards the always sensual and slightly unpredictable (in a good way) ‘woman with the hurricane vocals’ Raye 6 blew the audience away with her set, closing with the very provocative ‘Daddy’.

While encouraging to newcomers the Japanese music is especially critical on long-term success and support.  Artists, indie and major label, talented enough to navigate language barriers, cultural differences and long distance international travel must also be humble enough to learn respect in Japanese business culture.  However, while the Japanese music industry may be demanding on one’s ego and patience it also offers long-term returns on loyal relationships and a career long fan base that will stay retain interest even after the first 15 minutes or breaking news flash.

Artists such as Raye 6, A-live and Trezure appear to be accepting and embracing the Japanese culture and mindset with professionalism and optimism.  No doubt they will be invited back again in 2012 to perform.

You can follow each of these talented individuals on their twitters for more info.

@Raye6

@TrezureEmpire

@AliveGreenst

#np ‘Summer Symphony’ #jMusic reflecting the #jLife

Below is version 2 with the kickass hip hop group PSG

It suddenly got FREEZING cold in Tokyo and with my heater only slightly functioning I turned to some summer jams to warm me up (half of everything is mental right?)

I appreciate how beautiful composed the music is, and the featuring of PSG on the second version gracefully complements the subtleties of this chilled out tune.  However for me the best part of this PV (PV = promotional video, known as music video in American English) is the fact that I see familiar scenes of Japanese life in the videos.

For example, seeing clothing hanging haphazardly in version 2 might be a bachelor’s lifestyle of dealing with space constraints in a small Japanese apartment.  However, another possible could be that since we dry our clothes on the porch on sunny days most homes don’t have dryers.  Although when time passes quickly and laundry piles up we definitely find ourselves hanging articles of clothing indoors to dry as well.

At the end of version 2 we see members of PSG get together with the singer for the original version Keiichi Sokabe.  They meet in a typical Japanese izakaya (drinking place) for drinks at the end of a long musical collaboration.

It is always nice to see quality music paired with sensitive videos that capture the original culture and mood of the music.

Hello Kitty X Tokyo Forever 21

 

Hello Kitty… Shibuya… Forever 21… I can only imagine the madness.

Read more here.

The Japanese ANTI-Hangover Drink

In a country where your ability to drink is as important at the business card you carry, it is no wonder that a beverage company cooked up the anti-hangover beverage in its secret labs.

Tested and true, ask any partier what UKON no CHIKARA is for and they’ll tell you ‘to prevent hangovers’.  About the size of a double espresso shot, drink before starting your night of partying and it will save you the headache of a drunken next morning.

The next time you’re out partying in Japan make sure you’ve got that magical drink handy and make the most out of your nights AND days.

Photo courtesty of @DJMoBeatz twitter

@DJSarasa drops latest mixtape SEARCHLIGHT Vol.1

 

The always dope, and forever fresh DJ Sarasa dropped her latest mixtape on 11.11.2011

Starting off with a shout-out from the now deceased Roc Raida, hip hop artists from worldwide including Rob Swift, DP One and El da Sensei dropped shout-outs to  show the most popular female hip hop DJ in Japan respect and love.

Stand-out tracks include a DJ Sarasa “Searchlight” exclusive with Japanese artists Darthreider, Dag Force & Mio Soul and the inclusion of international hip hop group Triune Gods (志人from降神, Bleubird, Scott Da Ros) with their track Core released in 2011.
Available for sale here
<Tracklist>
01. Non Phixion — Black Helicopters (2000)
02. East Flatbush Project — Tried By 12 (1996)
03. El Da Sensei — Got Dat? (2000)
04. dj honda — Out For The Cash (1996)
05. The X-Ecutioners — Word Play (1997)
06. Visionaries — Audible Angels (1998)
07. Defari — Bionic (1997)
08. Planet Asia — Callin The Shots (1999)
09. Smut Peddlers — One By One (1998)
10. Shabaam Sahdeeq — Arabian Nights (1997)
11. Rawcotiks –Magic Chef (1997)
12. Saukrates – Father Time (1995)
13. Group Home – Stupid Muthafuckas (1999)
14. Darthreider, Dag Force & Mio Soul – DJ SARASA “Searchlight” exclusive (2011)
15. Medina Green — Fla La Lashe (1998)
16. Living Legends – Black Glass (2001)
17. Looptroop — Zombies (2000)
18. Artifacts — Wrong Side Of Da Tracks (1994)
19. The Arsonists — Halloween (1999)
20. Monsta Island Czars -F@#K Y’All N!@@#’s (2002)
21. Rob Swift — Dope on Plastic (1999)
22. A Tribe Called Quest — Sucka Nigga (1993)
23. Chillin’ Villain Empire – Rhymin’s All A Mind Game (2000)
24. Triune Gods (志人from降神, Bleubird, Scott Da Ros) — Core (2011)
25. Latyrx — Storm Warning (1999)
26. Five Deez — Plasma Avenue (Nujabes Remix) (2003)
27. Tetrad the Gang of Four — On the Avenue (2010)
28. Dilated Peoples — Eardrums Pop (2000)
29. The Roots — Section (1996)
30. Stanly Clarke — Concerto for Jazz/Rock Orchestra (Part IV) (1975)

 

Tuesday Night… Let’s go to Harlem in SHIBUYA

 

Almost everyone that has been to Japan has heard of the legendary Club Harlem.  Legendary for many reasons:  It’s one of the longest running ‘black music’ clubs in Japan; It has some funny rules about which foreigners and how many can enter their venue; and it is VERY picky about it’s promoters as not just anyone can throw a party there.

That said, it is a great spot to party at and for me in particular I love the upstairs BX Cafe.  The DJs here tend towards the old-school joints that has people dancing (and I mean actually dancing, not grinding) and vibing.  It’s less crowded than the main floor and for those with money to burn there’s a spacious VIP section with GIANT American style black leather couches to relax in.

I’m still at home on my bum leg, but I encourage anyone with time tonight to stop through.