PIKA☆ is the master of noise. A drummer from Osaka, she has spent her entire life banging out rhythms in a kind of stream of conscious self-expression. I love how unpredictable the sound is. I also love how imaginative it is. You could call it alternative rock, maybe even math rock, although it doesn’t meander … Continue reading »PIKA☆


In the great melting pot of the Japanese underground there is a band called Toe.  It consists of four members: Yamazaki Hirokazu (gt), Yamane Satoshi (bs), Mino Takaaki(gt), Kashikura Takashi (dr).  Their sound has been described as math rock and post rock.  Their music is mostly instrumental and weaves complex dreamscapes into melodic odysseys of sound.  … Continue reading »Toe


Punk is another sound that dominates the Japanese underground music scene.  In every town in the country you can be sure to find at least one punk band.  In places like Tokyo and Osaka punk rockers proliferate like rabbit children.  With so many punk bands around it’s hard to get noticed.  However, THE ZUTAZUTAZ stick … Continue reading »THE ZUTAZUTAZ

The Bohemians

The Bohemians bring a wonderful charm to the world of guitar pop.  Their compositions are complex and full of textures.  Close your eyes and listen to the music.  You can hear the originality and playfulness of the band as they shift between soundscapes made of beautiful chords and eccentric accents. The androgynous look of the … Continue reading »The Bohemians

Hanato Chiruran

Japanese culture is quite prominent in this band. The lead singer, Yumiho, always wears a kimono in sleek Japanese traditional style. The wild cries of her vocals blend with almost samurai like band members. Kokeshi on guitar and Karuta on bass look almost anachronistic with their top knotted long hair and slender physiques. And then … Continue reading »Hanato Chiruran

Nao Yoshioka

This formidable vocalist is signed to Tokyo based label, Sweet Soul Records.  Without exaggeration I can say that she is one of the greatest singers in Japan today.  Just like the record label says the music that she creates is beautiful sweet soul.  As with any other scene in the world, the Japanese underground music … Continue reading »Nao Yoshioka


Shamanz was formed in 2011 by singer, songwriter, and guitarist TAMA TSUBOI.  His aim was to spread an acoustic based sound that could crossover genres and race. Their songs feature bilingual vocals. Each one is a fusion of Latin, reggae, pop, soul, Japanese music, world music etc. The current lineup consists of KAI PETITE (Hentai … Continue reading »Shamanz

King Gnu

King Gnu can be seen in and around  the Japanese jam session scene.  In particular, members of King Gnu were regulars at the jam session, Battle of Study, an event where musicians from all over the country would get together for a biweekly jam.  The session was started by Motoharu Fukuda, former saxophonists for the band … Continue reading »King Gnu