5 Japanese Electronic Music Artists For Your Playlist

5 Japanese Electronic Music Artists For Your Playlist

From techno to house, dubstep to hip-hop, here are five Japanese electronic music artists to dance with.

Despite Japan's reputation as a high-tech wonderland, the number of musicians producing electronic music is surprisingly low. Of course, there are tech-inspired pop bands like Capsule and Perfume, and many bands incorporate EDM (electronic dance music) elements into their compositions. However, compared to Europe, Great Britain or the USA, where genres such as techno, house and trap are well represented, Japan is relatively calm.

However, this can be seen as a blessing in disguise. While foreign artists can't help but be influenced by their electronic music counterparts, Japanese artists tend to tend to their own work, creating unique music that transcends genres. It makes it more private.

Here are five Japanese artists to add to your streaming music playlist. No matter what genre you choose, you're sure to find something here to binge.

1. Ken Ishii

Techno started in America and became popular in Europe. One artist who has been sidelined throughout this period is Ken Ishii, a Sapporo-born producer and DJ who has been active since the early 1990s. The result is always yours. Ishi's tracks, whether they're from the 90s or this year, always sound like him: razor-sharp TR-909 drums, unique melodies, and futuristic sound design.

Their extensive catalog can be intimidating if you're a beginner. So the best place to start is Jelly Tones , which became a huge hit in 1995. Released by Belgian label R&S, it includes the classic "Rise". Watch animator Koji Morimoto's video, which combines Akira -style dystopian surrealism with Ishii beats.

2. Al Najbi

Peter the Rock. Timpani J. Dale. They are all giants of hip-hop production whose sampled beats have changed the way we think about music. However, besides these artists, another Japanese hip-hop producer deserves a mention: Jun Seba, better known as Nougaps.

By combining jazz samples with smooth beats, create songs that instantly evoke moods and vibes. For this reason, it has been called the godfather of lo-fi, the internet genre that is the soundtrack to many late studio sessions. Check out "Luv(sic)" or "Shiki no Uta" from the Samurai Champloo soundtrack , for example.

Sadly, Najab died in a traffic accident in 2010, dramatically ending his career. But his musical influence lives on.

3. Traditional Gothic

Go to a nightclub in Tokyo and you'll probably hear something quite commercial, like an open house or electronic music. One person who has taken it upon himself to ensure that these aren't the only options is Goth-Trad. There have been plenty of Back To Chill parties since the 2000s, giving way to bass-heavy types to get some air.

He's also an artist. Although he's best known for his dubstep persona, don't expect Goth-Trad to sound like Skrillex in Japan. Its products are much darker and more versatile than Sony's. His breaks, his distorted and industrial beats, his roaring bass and his penchant for experimentation bring him closer to post-rave artists like Blawan or The Bug, with whom he shares a love of reggae.

Their hit album Mad Raver's Dance Floor is the best place to start, but keep an eye out for later albums like New Epoch and Psionics , which are both loud and rhythmic.

4. Sochi Terada

Soichi Terada is no different in that Goth-Trad composes the music for the long dark nights of the soul. The cutest guy in dance music and always with a big smile, he creates a beautiful deep house that you can't help but feel.

Originally inspired by the music he heard in New York clubs in the 1980s, Terada has since plowed particularly fertile ground for classic deep house. Powerful basslines and flowing beats set the stage for smooth synth chords and just enough beats to rock the dance floor. Old-school fans know his music, even if they've never heard of it.

Overseas fans may want to check out his foil work, such as the classic video game soundtrack Ape Escape or his Omodaka project, which combines 8-bit sounds with Japanese folk music.

5. Create

What's in Sapporo? The northern city is not only home to Ken Ishii (see above), but also Qrion (pronounced "Korean" but meaning "maple leaf" in Russian), a young dance music producer who is making waves around the world . . Forbes Japan even included him in their 30 under 30 list in 2020.

While most Japanese teenagers spend their free time shopping or going to clubs, Qrion spends his free time in front of the computer recording songs. His breakthrough came with "iPhone Bubbling," a catchy tune that expertly recreates the iPhone's distinctive message alert tone. Now working in the tech house/melodic art genre (think slower techno beats with more emphasis on melody), her releases have seen her go from strength to strength, most recently a major collaboration with the veteran of the music industry. .

Since then, Qrion has moved from Sapporo to the more cosmopolitan city of San Francisco, but the style he has developed in his bedroom continues to showcase his creativity. To watch, in fact.

Who are your favorite Japanese musicians and DJs? Tell us about it in the comments.

Alternative songs to take a break from what you're currently listening to (maybe this helps) / playlist

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