Today is Bandcamp Friday and it is not an April Fools joke. 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. 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, February and March of this year.
Bandcamp Friday is a way you can support artists that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Time to focus on five suggestions with short introductions, so you can directly dive into the music.
Last month, the deathrock/theatrical gothic punk band †13th Moon† came up with a surprise by releasing a digital EP titled Blood or Love. It was the first release in 7 years and is filled with songs that had been created earlier in their career but had never been recorded until the summer of 2020. During the previous Bandcamp Friday, the proceeds went to the Embassy of Ukraine.
Behind indie music project Michiganized is Yumi Aoi, a bass player, who decided to start a solo project in 2014, although under a different moniker. After a hiatus, she returned as Michiganized and started releasing new music. Today, she released a digital EP, titled Clearance, with three tracks and the proceeds will be donated to Ukraine. Michiganized’s music is inspired by new wave, shoegaze, electronica and 90’s pop music. Soon Michiganized will perform with April in 85 and that will be streamed live.
PSYDOLL got formed in the summer of 1997 and consists of vocalist Nekoi en guitarist Ucchi. Nekoi is active in the manga industry and the duo shares their love for Japanese animation and sci-fi films. This made the inspiration for their sound from the start of the band. In 2019, the DIY cyberpunk band was touring the United Kingdom. Hopefully they will be able to return soon to Europe for a new tour.
If you enjoy shoegaze music, then COLLAPSE might be up in your alley. They have been reaching more and more music fans outside Japan, but until now it seems that they have not released a full album, yet. Active since 2013, with bass player and vocalist KOHEI as the core member and currently a four-piece, they currently focus on live performances.
Call And Response Records
Tokyo-based record label and event organiser Call And Response offers a big and intriguing collection of indie, post-punk, new wave and underground music from Japan since 2005 and is run by Ian Martin, who also wrote the book Quit Your Band. The most recent release by the label is the second album from jailbird Y, a roaring band from Hiroshima, that represents the strange, fractured feeling of life in 2022.
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?