BLOG | Independent artists and Marketing bots

Sup guys, It’s Alex! Despite not writing as much as I wanted, this week I had the time to analyze some interesting music and facts from the Land of the Rising Sun: I discovered a new group, reviewed an artist that I love, and shown my ultimate disappointment for an act I used to love years ago. But most of all, I got my hands on a nice overload of albums and totally freaked the f**k out. Japanese CDs (and VHS singles, because why not) are all I need to be happy. I’m like this.

The first article of the past week is about a very interesting collaboration between Nagoya-based Indie pop outfit CRUNCH and american producer Alex Ruby, a soothing number called Murasaki that greatly meets the influences of both artists with the right balance. I never properly listened to CRUNCH before, and looking back at some of their past releases (the blue blue blue EP in particular) I can say these three girls have been one of the most pleasant musical discoveries of this period for me. Alex Ruby too has some nice tunes going on on his Soundcloud, so be sure to read my impressions and listen here.

Moving along, I finally found some time to properly dedicate myself to Tentenko’s album Tabekko Land, that I reviewed earlier this week. I grew to love this girl and her music more and more lately… way too much: Crazy, various, with that bit of old-fashioned vibe, this album is one of my most favorite releases from the ex-BiS member, and a great one to start with before adventuring in her noise-oriented records. By the way, I think I wanna date her, but I guess it’d end up with me getting my ass beat, which is cool anyway. I’ll be sure to attend one of her live sets when I’ll finally go back to Japan, even though I’m still not sure when.

One thing that I’m definitely sure of, though, is that I’m gonna avoid Kyary Pamyu Pamyu for the rest of my life. I can’t stand this girl anymore. Heck, no one does probably. After the millionth trash release tied to a random Izakaya bar in the Golden Gai district, I ultimately got tired of her, and wrote what I’ve been thinking for quite a while: Kyary needs to go home. Retire, disappear. Unless she gets her ass back on track with a different producer, but it’s something that I can’t possibly expect anymore. Read my rant here. If I sound angry, it’s because this girl dropped my favorite album of 2013, by the way.

I got some reviews planned for the next days: The first one will be for Dempagumi.inc’s upcoming album GOGO! DEMPA out on Wednesday, a record that I’m really looking forward to despite not knowing what to exactly expect. There will be two more reviews as well, of completely different artists, but I’m not gonna tell you any detail for now. What I can say though, is that I have a huge ass article on the way, about the evolution of a music scene that I particularly love, that I hope you will enjoy.

That’s it for this week’s recap guys! Let me know what you think about these topics down here in the comment if you want. I’ll be playing Xenoblade Chronicles X in the meanwhile.

Have a nice week guys! Stay tuned 🙂

– Alex

Indie-pop band CRUNCH and producer Alex Ruby team up in “Murasaki”

 

I usually ignore emails and tweets from people that want me to publish news about their musical projects. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being harsh or snobbish here. I do it because ninety percent of the groups contacting me are not japanese, which is kinda curious considering how my blog covers only music coming from the land of the rising sun. The rest is people who pretends I copy/paste their emails into my blog to promote their mainstream groups, something that a worrying amount of websites out there do.

When I received a promotional email yesterday, I was expecting another Swedish or Italian punk rock group promoting their new demo. I was instead contacted to take a listen to an interesting collaboration between Nagoya-based Indie-pop outfit CRUNCH and american trackmaker Alex Ruby.

I had already heard of CRUNCH before, but never really had the chance to analyze their music properly, so I was glad to finally get into the works of the all-female trio hailing from Nagoya. The melancholic Indie-pop sonorities proposed by the group, enriched by mellow and addictive melodies, create immersive soundscapes and make them stand out despite the adoption of a commonly used formula in the genre, an interesting approach particularly enjoyable in the recently released blue blue blue EP. The group also provided upbeat numbers in the past, like Simple Mind, a fresh Indie-pop rock tune that doesn’t sacrifice the reflective mood that identifies the project. Definitely a band I feel like suggesting to fans of thoughtful yet enjoyable Indie-pop/rock.

At this point, I was curious to see how american producer/rapper Alex Ruby merged his influences with the sound of CRUNCH, and I was pleasantly surprised by this collaborative track titled Murasaki: With deep beats and delicate melodies composing a soothing instrumental, this atmospheric piece follows a linear structure that nicely fit the voice of Noriyo Hotta, and the concept of the trio as well. It’s a short and refreshing listen that’s perfect if you’re in the right mood for soothing vibes, and also a valid introduction to the sounds offered by both artists.

I’m glad to see japanese acts collaborating with overseas producers, especially when there’s knowledge and care from both parts, and this collaboration is a good example of that. You can listen to Murasaki above, and start your week with a nice and relaxing tune.

CRUNCH Bandcamp
Alex Ruby Soundcloud

– Alex