A focus on the big J-pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…
Former Dempagumi.inc member Moga Mogami went on Japanese variety show Yume Nara Samenaide this past Tuesday and came out as being bisexual. The program focuses on love and features women talking about the topic. Moga Mogami discussed being attracted to women at a young age, while also revealing she had a semi-relationship with another, unnamed, Japanese female performer. That detail became the focus of a lot of media attention, but Mogami’s decision to go on the show and tell her story is significant on its own, as it is a major moment, of a well-known musical artist in Japan discussing her sexuality.
MIYAVI And Daichi Miura
High-energy guitarist MIYAVI has collaborated with a lot of artists over the years, but his team-up with Daichi Miura stands as his poppiest-on-paper number yet. Of course, when you let MIYAVI do his thing, the end result is always going to sound frantic, even if you stick a versatile performer over it. “Dancing With My Fingers” - I think there is maybe some innuendo here? - features a particularly sharp guitar texture from MIYAVI, complete with a few shrapnel-like bursts of feedback bringing to mind Zazen Boys. Over all of that, Miura sings, moving from an agile vocal delivery to a shout. Those looking for a Friday boost, click the play button below.
Tastes always vary, but I’m generally in favour of established bands and artists mucking their sound up as much as they can. So I’m on board with Passepied’s latest song “(dis)communication,” a fizzling electro-rock number highlighted by Natsuki Ogoda’s vocals run through a thick layer of Auto-tune. It makes everything jump out even more, and fits with the songs jittery, near-malfunctioning structure. Check it out below.
THE RAMPAGE from EXILE TRIBE
It feels like EXILE-related outfits have been dropping new clips, whether videos, live performances or assorted other footage, frequently lately. But this, from THE RAMPAGE from EXILE TRIBE, feels more significant than most of what pops up on YouTube. “100degrees” moves at a slightly slower tempo than previous releases from the sub-unit, and features an all-together-now chorus backed up by some aggressive “heys.” But don’t worry, they get a rap in there too:
As predictable a week as you can get on the charts, at least when only counting physical copies sold. Long-running outfit DREAMS COME TRUE do what they always do when they release an album, which is go to number-one on the chart, while the single side was dominated by Nogizaka46.
Video of the Week
A late contender, but one that absolutely swipes it from any other clip this week. Piko Taro paired up with Yoshiki from X JAPAN, to deliver as haunting a rendition of “PPAP” as is possible. It’s from a while back, but it’s finally online to enjoy.
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