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re: happy happy joy joy
thanks to nicholas for his well informed post...
and i should point out that i have never called Happy a "JPOP" label
(in the press release i say the label was formed as a response to my
listening to JPOP, not that it itself is a JPOP label)... because,
yes, JPOP is a widely used term, and at least for me, describes very
pop bands like Ayumi Hamasaki, Glay, Puffy, and other top-40 japanese
anyway.. a small note.. but, i just basically wanted to comment on
nicholas' informative post...
>As someone who, at least as Steve McClure puts it the book "Nippon
>Pop", when it comes to synth music "knows his subject frighteningly
>well", I just want to point out that J-POP is a term that commonly
>refers to just about all commercial music made for the Japanese market
>that you could possibly pin the word 'pop' onto, it almost just
>functions as a dividing line to separate made in Japan from music by
>made by foreigners and stuff that has nothing traditionally to do with
>pop like jazz, classical, etc.
>So just as you can say of the music of say the U.S. you get all the
>major label output together and if you can say that +98%? of all USA-Pop
>is crap if there was such a widely used blanket term like USA-Pop. Japan
>is kind of like that with it's major labels though until the last couple
>years independent labels were far smaller and more marginalized than
>quite a few other major markets. You have a similar
>situation too where majors will have concocted imprints, quasi indy
>labels and real labels with distribution deals under their wing. (I've
>found in the big cities obscure small label imported music tends to be
>easier to find retail than domestic labels). All this holds true pretty
>much everywhere, not just Japan, especially with many non-mainstream
>genres where most of the action is on the independent scene.
>I guess what complicates things a little is the mainstream J-pop is
>generally, at least to me, is intollerable in any kind of regular doses.
>The thing is very little of it gets out of Japan so I can see why it has
>a novelty to many, if it catches you then you get extra props for
>something that probably isn't getting out of Asia. Plus you hear
>something like it in most Anime. In general what gets out of Japan is
>predominantly the alternative to very fringe scenes. Plus to the average
>person reading the list, one probably has little fix on what mainstream
>really sounds like. Even Puffy Amiyumi is a vintage US-UK flavored twist
>that's not quite the norm.
>So if anyone actually cares, what do I think is going on here? It's what
>I've been unofficially calling post-Shibuya. You had Shibuya-kei which
>was coined around 1993 but dates back to the late 80s. Arrangement
>intensive eclectic pop refabricated from predominatly retro and select
>kitsch elements (think Pizzicato 5). IMHO the technical aspects make it
>a little tough to do in the bedroom, not that one can't. Anyway that
>sort of died out with parts absorbed into the mainstream and what's
>being called that by some now seems to be actually bossanova or
>jazz-electronica in origin. Then there is a genre Guitar-Pop which was
>very much a personal back to the basics kind of music countering the
>mainstream with its teams of producers, arrangers, session players, etc.
>Then there is Takemura's Childisc label and roughly similar works on
>many other small labels. More of them seem to be from Kansai than Tokyo.
>What I hear is a foundation of simple often pretty melodies with a do it
>yourself expreimental approach to actually producing it. That I guess is
>the underlying charm. You have music valued for being experimental all
>over the place but here you have an intentional or unintentional
>foundation that is likely far more maybe naieve than experimental, then
>the assembly and performance are experimental. Maybe reinvention is the
>operation as a whole? Though one wonders how much will be discovered
>after working within this process? Does it become a formula? Can you
>continually rediscover? Will the next thing be discovered or will the
>next thing be a reaction to too much of this? So intentional or not what
comes out appears to be a happy accident.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
12k | LINE | HAPPY
12k1025 | E/A/D/G/B/E | CD | JULY.03
LINE015 | MIKI YUI | SILENCE RESOUNDING | CD | JULY.03
12k1026/LINE016 | VARIOUS ARTISTS | TWO POINT TWO | 2XCD (12k)
TAYLOR DEUPREE, CHRISTOPHER WILLITS | CD (sub rosa/audiosphere)
HAP001 | PIANA | SNOW BIRD | CD | (HAPPY)
OCT 23 | DUBLIN, IRELAND | DUBLIN ELECTRONIC ARTS FESTIVAL