So you know the drill with this series. Like last time, I listened to a lot of albums this last month, and I’m gonna recommend the ones I like the most. I listened to way less this time. maybe like 20 or 30. I might still have a problem. Out of the loop? Check out my last article and get caught up!
Dots – 『 』(9 half-width spaces)
So I like Shoegaze. I like J-pop. This is a combination of both. So of course, I’m gonna love this album. The whole thing is very cryptic, with no wiki articles and a lack of information about the group at all, all the way to this album, which has no actual name, and the name of the band, which is actually stylized as ・・・・・・・・・, thus the name “Dots” or “Dotstoyo”. The instrumentation, as usual for a J-Pop album, is excellent, and it feels very modern. I could easily see this being some “Hyper-pop” release that would have come out a month ago. The group has disbanded, sadly, but the tunes live on.
Dr Who Dat? – Beat Journey
So I’ve been working on this while also graduating from college and doing job apps. Yeah, life sucks. That means I’ve been putting on a lot of instrumental stuff to focus, and this is an album that I had always been aware of because one specific song, Braziliant Thought, is always in one of my playlists. But the whole album, as it turns out, is great. Very very solid instrumental hip hop, if that’s your thing. Beats 24/7 Lofi Radio Beats To Study/Chill/Sleep/Game any day.
Treasure EP Fin – Ateez
Yeah, this was gonna be coming. This is the first actual album from the group, and just like their previous EP’s, it’s very good. I said everything I could say about the group in my last piece, but I have to say, the first track of the album, the End Of The Beginning, is a very good hype track that gets you pumped up for the rest of the album. Clocking in at just over half an hour, this is a short album, but I’m not Robert Christgau here. It’s good!
Surfin’ gba! – Louie Zong
I love surf rock. It’s also now the summer, which is the perfect time for surf rock. It’s a perfect match. This is a very short album – really more of an EP – of surf rock covers of pokemon music. It’s great, and it’s hard to pick a fav track (it’s lavender town tho). It’s only 11 minutes, so give it a listen right now. Short but sweet. Just like this review. Listen to it here
Ging Nang Boyz – Young Alive In Love
Ging Nang Boyz is a japanese punk-esque outfit that has been around for a while. They’re one of those bands you see when someone finishes FLCL and wants some music with the same vibe, cause, well, they fit the bill (Ging Nang Boyz is much more punkish and noisy than the alt sensibilities of The Pillows tho). I had never actually listened to an album by them until now tho, and god, I should have done that 10 years ago! It’s an excellent album. I can’t speak for the lyricism, because I don’t speak Japanese and I can’t find lyrics for this album anywhere, but the instrumentation and singing is great, bombarding you with pure sound, shouting, and feedback. As any good punk album should do, imo. Plus, it has album art from Hisashi Eguchi, probably one of the best artists in Japan, having done character design for Perfect Blue, Roujin Z, and the upcoming anime Sonny Boy, as well as creating Stop!! Hibari Kun!, a shonen manga from the 80s with a trans protagonist. Btw, Ging Nang Boyz is doing some of the music for that upcoming Sonny Boy anime. I love when artists I like team up.
The Beginning of the End – Dreamcatcher
So, you know Babymetal? The Metal J-pop idol group? Dreamcatcher is kinda like that, but more poppy. I listened to this last month actually, but I ran out of space to talk about it, so here it is. They have a Korean album as well, but I prefer this one, which is a mix of translations of their previous Korean songs from their EP’s and some originals. It’s all very good, and feels more metally than their later Korean debut album. I like metal, so I like this more than the other. Both are very good, of course, but this one just ranks higher for me. It’s good! If you like Babymetal, you’ll def like this.
DJ Cam Quartet – Diggin’
This is an album of instrumental covers of classic 90’s hip-hop tracks, so you know it’s right up my alley. I found this through a fake Adult Swim bump, in fact, so you know it’s my kind of thing. There isn’t much else to say really. The cover of “Mystic Brew” by Ronnie Foster (the sample for Electric Relaxation) on this record is great. It’s like I’m kicking back on a chill Saturday afternoon and waiting for the sun to come out just a bit more so I can grill. That kind of vibe. …Alright, that isn’t me, but it’s something.
Daisuke Inoue – Daisuke and Daisuke II
Ok, so first off: you might look up “Daisuke Inoue” and get the inventor of the karaoke machine. That is not the Daisuke Inoue that I’m talking about here. This one was born as Tadao Inoue and then later changed to have his stage name be Daisuke. As you can imagine, getting information on him is hard. Anyway, among other things, several tracks of his appeared in the third Mobile Suit Gundam movie: Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters In Space, which I recently watched for the first time. What a great movie. Part of what makes those movies so good are his tracks, Beginning and Encounters, off of Daisuke II. So I decided to listen to his Daisuke albums, and found that they are actually great from end to end. Daisuke especially is perfect, being that kind of retro-y 60’s sound that was so good in the 80s. Think like Billy Joel in the 80s. Daisuke got his start in the 60s, performing with early rock groups that later became what’s referred to as “Group Sounds” – one of the forerunners of J-Pop as we know it today. You would expect with all that retro-ism and his history that these albums would be a bit behind the times, but instead, it all feels incredibly modern. Good pop never ages. Give these records a listen. You might find a new fav.
And that’s about it for this month! Lot of Japanese stuff this time. Idk why. Till next time.
Thank you for reading down to the bottom of the article. If you want something else to read, we just put out this great review of Resident Evil 8 that I have to recommend you check out. On pain of death. But seriously it’s a good article. And uh, that’s it. I’d say “That’s about it” but I just said that already so uh. yeah.