Not only CDs and merchandise, but also new groups and more knowledge on the Japanese music industry accompanied me in my travel back home from Japan in early January. Even though I’m far away from considering myself an expert about this huge and colorful industry, during my last trip in the Land of the Rising Sun I had the pleasure to get a wider look at this lively market and discover a couple of groups that definitely dominated my iTunes playlist during the first month of this year. Groups I’ve always heard of, but never listened to for whatever reason. Maybe I was too distracted by robots playing funky music or songs with titles written in caps lock. Go figure out.
The first group of this list is Sakanaction, which to me is the living proof of how the Japanese industry is so wonderfully various and way more open minded than any other market in the world, other than bigger. You won’t find any place in the world where a group combining alternative rock, pop rock, electronica, EDM, new wave, and god knows what other influence, reaches the first spot of the national music chart, with songs featuring philosophical lyrics and metaphoric concepts.
This wonderful band composed by extremely talented musicians and leaded by Ichirō Yamaguchi, frontman and main composer of the group, became one of my favorite japanese bands in a matter of days; It’s the winning demonstration of how different musical genres can perfectly combine together and create harmony and joy for your ears. It’s one hundred percent musical freedom, and what’s more beautiful in music than feeling free and being limitless? These guys are breaking boundaries, making all the close-minded stubborn hardcore supporters of genres out there cringe and hide in a corner.
I’ve literally devoured their last album and watched the live concert at Makuhari Messe for the Sakanaquarium 2013 nationwide tour, and I’ve been ultimately been blown away by these guys: Talent, charisma, professionality, and a great presence on stage made my vision of this show extremely pleasant. Even though Yamaguchi is the frontman, no one is less considered during live performances, and every member gives the same important contribute to the performance thanks to their versatileness in different situations, sometimes even using different instruments. Even during their electro interludes, where they use synthesizers and electronic equipment, each member has its own role to cover, wether is taking care of the bass, the drums, the melodies or the voice; Basically, you can see an EDM song being built step by step in each of its part and played live, something that I find extremely fascinating and amazing.
In conclusions, the thing that I love the most and that really makes the difference in this group is the open minded mentality each member has towards music. There is no limit, and “we must not be afraid to evolve with music”, citing Yamaguchi in an interview from last year.
This says it all. I love these guys.
♪ Sakanaction – Music