Japanese Modern Music

tokyo nightHow often does Asian pop music come to mind? From what I can tell, most fans around the planet identify with modern, contemporary, pop and rock from the Western world. “Most” is subjective though, since I say that based on what I surround myself with. Biased? Must be. As it goes, I’m setting off to learn more about J-pop. I leave for Tokyo in a week. I have friends just outside the city on a little farm where I will stay while I crawl the Tokyo music scene. For those of you who would like to learn along with me, I’ll let you know what I find out…

I’m one of those who likes to start from the beginning. Not to get drenched in boring detail, I’ll cut to the chase. Today’s sounds coming out of modern Japanese music leaves the listener with no doubt that its roots are found in their tradition and culture. The contemporary expressive style is undeniably happening in Japan, but it took a while for the music’s true nature to make the merger.

Japan offers a world sound that continues morphing monthly, and has brought Japan into the eye of a very hip audience. A common denominator with the human race is music, and like the rest of the world, musicians were influenced by the Beatles and the American bands of the 60’s like the Beach Boys. New Wave weaved its way in, along with Latin & a splash of Salsa. On the Asian front, Japanese music dominates in rock, pop, hip-hop and jazz. Imagine 3D-scanning early music in Japan, and then print that out to overlay what’s going on now – it’s a wild ride.

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