5 Japanese Electronic Music Artists For Your Playlist

5 Japanese Electronic Music Artists For Your Playlist

From techno to house and dubstep to hip-hop, here are five Japanese electro artists you should watch.

Although Japan is known as a high-tech wonderland, the number of musicians making electronic music is quite small. Of course, there are techno-influenced pop bands like Capsule and Parfum, and many bands incorporate elements of EDM (electronic dance music) into their compositions. However, compared to Europe, Britain or the US, where genres such as techno, house and trap are well represented, Japan is relatively stable.

However, this can be seen as a blessing. While foreign artists can't help but be influenced by their electronic music counterparts, Japanese artists tend to create music that is unique and specific to their genre. And that makes it even more special.

Here are five Japanese artists to add to your streaming playlist. Regardless of your genre of choice, you're sure to find something worth checking out here.

1. Know the job

Techno was born in America and became popular in Europe. An ever-rising artist is Ken Ishii, a Sapporo-born producer and DJ active since the early 90s. Although Ishii has always been influenced by foreign techno - the rhythms of Detroit techno and the soulful sound designs of European bangers - the result is always his own. Whether it's from the '90s or this year, Ishii's chops always sound like him: crunchy TR-909 drums, funky melodies and futuristic sound design.

If you are new, the large catalog can be intimidating. So the best place to start is Jelly Tones , the most amazing album of 1995. It was released on the Belgian tastemaker R&S label and features the classic Rise. Watch the video by anime director Koji Morimoto , which mixes Akira's dystopian surrealism with Ishii's rhythms.

2. Fresh berries

Peter Rock. Timbaland J Dilla All these hip-hop production giants are changing the way we think about beats music by sample. In the same breath as these artists, another Japanese hip-hop producer deserves a mention: Jun Seba, better known as Nujabes.

Mixing jazz samples with subtle rhythms, he creates tracks that instantly evoke emotion and vitality. As a result, he is considered the father of lo-fi, the Internet-based soundtrack that serves as the soundtrack to many a late-night study session. Examples are "Luv(sic)" or "Shiki no Uta" from the " Samurai Champloo " soundtrack.

Sadly, Nujabes died in a car accident in 2010, ending his growing career. But his musical influence remains.

3. Gothic trad

Go out to a club night in Tokyo and you're likely to hear something fair like Open House or rising EDM. Got-Trad is the only option determined to make sure that's not the case. Since the 2000s, he has been doing Back To Chill evenings, giving space to the bass-heavy genre.

He is also an artist. Although known for Dubstep, don't expect Goth-Trad to be the Japanese type of Skrillex. Its output was darker and more varied than Sony's. Breaks, distortions, industrial beats, pounding bass and a passion for experimentation led him to post-art artists such as Blawan and The Bug, both of whom shared a love of reggae.

His breakthrough album Mad Raver's Dance Floor is the best place to start, but don't sleep on newer albums like New Age and Pysnics , which are equal parts noise and rhythm.

4. Soichi Terada

Where Got-Trad makes soulful and dark music, Soichi Terada is the opposite. The best guy in dance music and always with a bright smile, he makes a comfortable deep house that you can't help but.

First inspired by the music he heard in New York clubs in the 1980s, Terada has since cultivated the most prolific field of classic deep house. Subtle bass lines and smooth rhythms lay the foundation for smooth synth chords and enough melodies to keep dance floors moving. For old-school fans, the music sounds familiar, even if you've never heard it before.

Fans away from home may want to check out his chiptune works, such as the soundtrack to the classic video game Escape , or his Omodaka project, which fuses 8-bit audio with Japanese folk music.

5. Grions

What's wrong with Sapporo? Not only is the northern city home to Ken Ishii (see above), but Grion (pronounced "Korea" in Russian, not Maple Leaf) is a dance music producer making headlines around the world. Forbes Japan included him in their 2020 30 Under 30 list.

While most Japanese teenagers spend their free time shopping or partying, Grion spends her time composing songs in front of the computer. His breakthrough came with "iPhone Bubbling," a catchy tune that repeats smart iPhone texting sounds. Now working in the tech house/melodic techno genre - think slower tempo than techno, more focus on melodies - his releases have gotten stronger, most recently thanks to a big collaboration with dance music veteran Sasha.

Since then, Grion has moved from Sapporo to cosmopolitan San Francisco, but the style he developed in his bedroom at home still informs his products. Of course he sees.

Who are your favorite Japanese electronic musicians and DJs? Let us know in the comments.

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