Bandcamp Friday is still going strong, it is March and thus it is time again 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. Since August of last year, the suggestions were done in specific articles and we will continue with that for the coming months! Be sure to check out the articles published in August, September, October and November and December of last year and February 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 4th of March. Time to focus on five suggestions with short introductions, so you can directly dive into the music.
Is an introduction still needed? The second album by melodic metal and electronicore solo project Esprit D’Air, led by multi-instrumentalist Kai, has been recently released, titled OCEANS, followed up by a release party in London and this summer a UK tour will take place. The release of OCEANS was made possible through a successful crowdfunding campaign where fans of Esprit D’Air was given a chance to support the independent music project. For this Bandcamp Friday, Esprit D’Air decided to give 100% of all digital downloads and 50% of all physical sales to Razom for Ukraine.
Formed in the winter of 2020 and dubbed as Tokyo Samurai Doom, while they are fairly new to the scene, this doom metal band already has made quite a name and not just in Japan. HEBI KATANA’s first album was released in and outside Japan (on various labels in Italy, Argentina and Poland) and recently they have released their second album, titled Impermanence-無常. This album was produced by Eternal Elysium’s Yukito Okazaki.
PUBLICS. got formed in Kyoto in 2015 under the guiding principle of electronic body punk. The Kyoto-based duo released two albums on cassette tape in 2016 and 2018. In 2020, they started a series of remixes from the second album in collaboration with international artists, such as Autumns and Kris Baha. This was followed up by a digital release of the third album, illusion zone. Even though this was not released on cassette, the self-remixes of this album created by frontman FUMIKI are currently available digitally and on cassette tape.
It was 2016 when the shoegaze band Rural District from a corner in Oita Prefecture got formed. Currently a trio, the band has released several singles, EPs, a drone collection and even joined a compilation album of Brazilian-based The Blog That Celebrates Itself Records. After releasing a single, titled Ocean in February, a remix of that song got released in time for Bandcamp Friday. While normally their music is dreamy (with a cup of drone), the remix consists of 8-bit and other electronic elements.
The UK-based Setsuzoku Records began as a subdivision of Orion Live in 2020, after several successful tours and a metal festival with Japanese artists. The label has been releasing a couple of European versions of albums of those artists they have been working together with, such as the latest release by dance & vocal unit Colorpointe and Storm of Emotion by metal vocalist IBUKI. The Bandcamp page has been brought to life for the fans residing in the European Union, where VAT is charged at checkout and exists alongside the regular webshop.
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?