In August we talked about the return of Bandcamp Friday, we are now in December and that means the last edition of 2021 will take place. It is time to highlight a couple of Japanese artists and labels in an article. In the past, there were suggestions done in a sort of a shortlist or series of tweets. But it has been time to put it all into an article to spread the word some more. Be sure to check out the articles published in August, September, October and November of this year.
Bandcamp Friday is a way you can support artists that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The upcoming edition of Bandcamp Friday is planned for the 3rd of December and it is unknown if Bandcamp will continue with this project in the new year. Time to focus on five suggestions with short introductions, so you can directly dive into the music.
Mariko Nii, who had been active as a guitarist and vocalist of the three-piece female rock band HOMM∃, started her solo music career in 2020 after HOMM∃ stopped its activities. Mariko Nii’s first album, The Parallax View, has been recently released through her own label Amp-mutation in collaboration with TRASH-UP!! Records. For this album, she has worked together with many musicians, such as Makoto Kawamoto, Kei Hiyamuta (ex-paradise) and Tomoya Ino (NEHANN). The band is trying to take a new approach by using instruments and elements other than the so-called rock band sound.
Let’s go back to the roots of Daimon Orchestra, which is Daimon, a three-piece band based in Utsonomiya. This band was formed in 2002, four years later they decided to make it into something bigger with more band members, this became Daimon Orchestra. They describe themselves as a super indie music group. Now with six members, it is centred around Satoshi Okazima. The group advocates the consideration of the three major elements of music, approaching all genres but also assuming that it is interesting.
Looking for something to unwind to? Tokyo-based musician Rhucle has quite a few releases to his name and regularly delivers new music filled with experimental, electronic and ambient drone soundscapes. The project started in 2013 and Rhucle uses all kinds of sounds he comes across in his journey to create new music. The latest release can not be found on Rhucle’s Bandcamp, but on the record label Dewtone Recordings.
君滲む青 (Kimi Nijimu Ao) was SonoSheet’s most recent (and first) mini-album and it is filled with sentimental real-life love stories, sweet and sour melodies and a pop-punk sound. The Utsunomiya-based band SonoSheet belongs to THISTIME Records sub-label HUNGRY OVER RECORDS as the only band. Kazuyuki Kuroda (CALENDARS) and Chisa (Lucie,Too) were the guest musicians on this release.
Guruguru Brain is an independent music label focusing on how they describe it as feeling good music across Asia. Founded by Kikagaku Moyo members Go and Tomo in 2014 and currently based in Amsterdam, the list of releases has become long, from Dhidalah, to TENGGER, from Sundays & Cybele to the latest release by Satomimagae, hailing from Tokyo’s acid-folk scene. Enough to discover if this is your thing.
It is good to know that on Bandcamp Fridays, an average of 93% of your money reaches the artist or label (after payment processor fees). On other days, an average of 82% reaches the artist or label. Who are you going to support on the upcoming Bandcamp Friday?