Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sgt. Mudy

sgt. is an experimental post-rock group from Tokyo. They incorporate a wide variety of genres into their music to give them a distinct sound. What really sets them apart from other groups is their use of violin in a pretty nontraditional manner, I would say, creating uplifting compositions comparable to acts like toe and Anoice.

mudy on the 昨晩 is another experimental post-rock / math rock group that is rather hard to categorize because of the massive variety of genres they incorporate in their songs. This is one of their more straight-forward songs, and that's why I like it. Most of their songs have so much going on, and so many guitar effects being jammed together, that it can be overwhelming. The same goes for sgt., but both bands are nevertheless enjoyable to listen to.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Special Pianos

→Pia-no-jaC← is one of the most interesting musical duos I've ever encountered. The first thing you'll notice about these two is the odd instrument that musician Hiro is playing. It's called a cajón, a Peruvian box shaped percussion instrument. The name Pia-no-jaC is actually a combination of the only two instruments they use, Pia-no, and no-jaC (cajón backwards). The piano play is very swift and jazzy, and makes for very energetic music when accompanied with the crisp and minimal sound of the cajón.

Special Others is a jam rock / jazz band from Yokohama, Japan. They blend improvised jazz and post-rock influences to create a modern style of jazz that is popular with younger club scene fans. Their use of vocals is very minimal, so Special Others is mostly an instrumental band. Really fun band to watch and listen to, which is exemplified in this PV.

Almost 100 followers!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Clean Of Core

Clean Of Core is an instrumental rock band from Chiba, Japan. 436 listeners on, that's damn low.

Short post.
Still feel like butt.
Take it easy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Illuminate My Heart, My Darling!


The Samuel Jackson Five is a progressive Norwegian band with the cheesiest / funniest name in post-rock. Their brand of slightly jazz and slightly folk influenced music, and their use of a wide variety of instruments and sounds, is really fun to listen to. Each song on Easily Misunderstood gives the listener something different to sink into. From guitar driven rhythms to full string ensembles, slow and easy songs to jumpy and energetic songs, and all while maintaining a high level of musicianship and a sound that is uniquely SJ5.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sleepy In Australia

I've been rather inactive here due to stomach problems and general sickness. Not sick enough to stay off the computer, of course, but enough to drain any motivation to post out of me. It caused me to miss a few of my extremely hard-to-miss once a week classes, which really upset me for some reason. I usually have no qualms or regrets about missing school, but this time around it did a good job heightening my feeling like a worthless piece of shit attitude, which ultimately led to depression. Let's just say that my ability to take it easy has been severely hampered over the past week.

Trying to write something meaningful when I'm like this is stressful. I can hardly string together coherent sentences in my head, let alone in this little post box. I'll reread everything twenty times before trying to write something else, and very few lines survive the backspace button. It takes hours to write what ends up being read in twenty seconds, and it's frustrating. The worst part is that all this amounts to is a really long excuse, which is something I try my best not to give. However, I think writing things out like this can be beneficial and help me get the thoughts straight in my head, so just write this little bit of rambling off as filler.

It's not all bad news. For one, I'm feeling better, and I also found out about a nice post-rock band that I hope you'll enjoy. They're called Sleepmakeswaves and they're from Australia (hence the post title). I hope my cryptographic blog titles aren't misleading at all...

I'm going to try and start sharing download links to this stuff too.
Download | 320k

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fuckin' Zombies

"Producing work that is epic in concept, sound, and artistic approach, Steve Moore and A.E. Paterra, the masterminds and multi-instrumentalists behind Zombi, have re-imagined the architecture of progressive rock and dynamic instrumentals -carving a niche in underground music distinctly their own." -
In other words, Zombi has taken an extremely creative and awesome approach to Zombie Movie music. These guys are one of a kind. Actually, two of a kind. Bassist Steve Moore somehow handles the bass and synths at the same time.

The Fucking Champs are some sort of rad video game sounding math metal trio that just simply kick ass. They change time signatures like it's nobody's business, abuse those guitar harmonies, and always leave me headbanging. Perfect battle music for shitty MMO grindan', and they're the 2nd most played artist in my library because of it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lonely Robot

Chiaroscuro is a post-rock band from Indiana that I know nothing about, other than the fact that they toured with This Will Destroy You.

cssc is a one man show brought to you by Erik Rodriguez of Chesapeake, Virginia. Armed with only a laptop and a MIDI controller, he creates some great electronic post-rock. He has a bandcamp page, where you can listen to two of his albums for free.

Get your listen on!

8 Strings Wot Wot

Two of my favorite guitarists showcasing their 8-string talent.

The always fashionable Tosin Abasi of Animals As Leaders playing his song Song of Solomon. My face just melted.

Chris Letchford of Scale The Summit (do I love these guys or what?) playing the song Glacial Planet from their second album Carving Desert Canyons. I hope to some day be as good as either of these guys at guitar.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Slowly Destroy You

Today I'm highlighting two very slow and lovely post-rock bands, Slow Six and This Will Destroy You.

"Call them post rock, call them chamber music, call them experimental neo-classical. No matter what you choose, understand that broad genre descriptors do little to describe the striking compositions of Brooklyn collective Slow Six." --
When talking about post-rock bands in general, this is how I feel. The "genre" encompasses so many different musical styles and ideas that I often have a hard time placing bands in it. It would be much more descriptive and easier to understand if every thing were labeled "instrumental insert genre here", because as it stands, we're using the post-rock genre for something it wasn't intended for. The post- tag just symbolizes a movement of music in history. From my point of view, it means just using traditional rock instruments for non-rock purposes. Using guitars to create senses of timbre and texture, rather than just riffs and power chords.

Does this mean that bands like Slow Six and Balmorhea aren't post-rock because of their use of non-rock instruments? Are they contemporary classical or ~ambient progressive experimental avant garde~. Or are they -- who gives a shit --? I think the latter is the one that I'm going to go with. I usually just go with whatever labels other people have chosen, just for the sake of convenience and ease of discovery. However you want to interpret the virtual genre naming war that we're going through, don't let it degrade any enjoyment from bands like Slow Six.

And this is This Will Destroy You, and it did. They did... This song did. Anyways, TWDY is crafted with haunting ambiance, and sadly no one on youtube knows how to upload a song with proper quality. There are seriously 5 different versions of this song with their own user-interpreted video on youtube, and they all have awful sound quality. Do you wanna know what the best one is? An AMV for the animated movie Origin: Spirits of the Past. It's actually not a bad AMV (or movie), surprisingly, but the song is truncated to hell, so it's not really worth posting. This song is from their 2006 EP, Young Mountain.

Clever sign-off comment.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crappy Cover

In the previous post, I mentioned that I might try to record a cover of that Scale The Summit song. I did the best I could with my headset microphone and 15 watt amp, I think. Rolled my face around in the effects window in Audacity, and tried to get as little fan noise in there as possible, but neither was accomplished very well. I screw up a lot, but this isn't really meant to be super professional or anything, just practicing like normal and recording it.

Nothing fantastic, but at least this post has Nono in it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Metal

Gonna take a break from the Japanese post-rock only theme I have going here and talk about some metal \m/.

I apologize for the abysmal audio quality of this video, it hardly does the song justice. Scale The Summit is a progressive instrumental metal band with an average age of 22. This extremely young band got their start at the Los Angeles Musical Institute, where guitarists Chris Letchford and Travis LeVrier set out to form a band. Letchford plays a custom made 8-string guitar, while LeVrier plays a 7-string, and these guys are mavericks of their instruments.

I've been learning this particular song on guitar now for a few months. It's a real joy to play, especially the tapping riff at the end. Maybe I'll post a cover recording some day (if I can ever make good quality recordings).

Shelter Red is an Oregon born instrumental progressive metal group consisting of just 2 dudes. You'll notice that there isn't a guitarist in the video, because they don't have one. All of the guitar parts were pre-recorded by drummer Stephan Hawkes. I can't help but headbang to this song, the riff at 1:04 just kills it.

I'm rewatching Kamichu!. So good.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sunlit Dinner

Sunlight Ascending
is a young that band formed in Detroit, Michigan, USA around the beginning of 2007. Their music is a mix of Post-rock, Shoegaze and dreamlike soundscapes. Very ambient and mellow stuff.

Dinner is a little known Japanese post-rock band. This album, and... hearing things, is really neat to listen to due to how creative these guys are with their songwriting. The drum beat in this song, for example, really caught my attention. Bits of jazz and funk can be heard in their music, and the whole album flows really well. Their music is really hard to find, and I even had to upload this song myself so that they could be heard. If you're interested at all, you can get a few albums from here and here.

So few listeners!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Toggle On Some Toddle

Everything Hisako Tabuchi touches becomes diamonds.

toddle is the missing link between Number Girl and Bloodthirsty Butchers. Hisako Tabuchi was the driving force behind both bands. She started playing guitar at 13 and stuck with it, joining Number Girl at 19 and later Bloodthirsty Butchers. However, after Number Girl broke up in 2002, she teamed up with guitarist/vocalist Ai Kobayashi and bassist Noritoshi Ezaki to form toddle. Taking over vocals for the first time in toddle, Tabuchi shows a never-before-seen side of herself; apparently she had been karaoke buddies with Kobayashi before forming the band. They didn't release an album until 2005, however, because in 2003 Tabuchi joined Bloodthirsty Butchers.

toddle brings everything I like about her other bands together into one, and tops it off with her amazing voice. Many comparisons can be drawn between toddle and MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS, not only because of the mature female vocals, but the distinct bass and guitar driven shoegaze sound that they both possess. toddle songs have a brilliant relaxing quality to them, and I think this video captures that nostalgic feeling perfectly. This song is from their Dawn Praise the World album.

Why don't we take it easy a lot, forever?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Back To The Post-


Ovum. It's Japanese post-rock. It rules.

Russian Circles is one of the most unique post-rock groups out there. Everything they make is so heavy and haunting that I'm tempted to call it post-metal half of the time. I listened to their discography on repeat while reading the manga BLAME, it was incredible.

Rad to the max.

Don't Bump Into Wimps

Two very similar bands on this easy Saturday morning, RADWIMPS, and BUMP OF CHICKEN.

I only just recently started listening to RADWIMPS, but the second I heard Noda Youjirou's vocals, I was reminded of BUMP OF CHICKEN and Suneohair and instantly loved it. You'll notice that guitarist Akira Kuwahara is dressed like, and playing the signature guitar of his idol Angus Young of AC/DC. They have a plethora of cool music videos too.

And of course, there's BUMP OF CHICKEN. Hailing from Sakura, Chiba, Japan, they formed in 1994 and have been making beautiful music ever since. The write some of the most emotionally engaging lyrics of any band I've ever heard. If you haven't heard the song [k] and don't mind tearing up right now, go ahead and give that a listen. I didn't want to use it as the video in this post because it is so damn sad. BOC actually started their musical career playing covers of The Beatles songs. They have a song on their 2004 album Flaming Vein called Arue, which is dedicated to the band's waifu, Rei Ayanami.

Cool facts, yo!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bees and Cows

Husking Bee is a fun punk band. Singer Kazuya Hirabayashi provided the singing voice for the Koyuki Tanaka in BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad. Husking Bee is funny to listen to sometimes because they use a lot of engrish.

Cowpers is another Japanese punk band that is largely overshadowed by Number Girl, Bloodthirsty Butchers, Eastern Youth, and the like. I really like Cowpers though, something about their messy distortion and catchy riffs just pleases my ears.

A glossy orange button for when the morning's siren no longer sounds.

Two Great Music Videos

a flood of circle is a pretty cool j-rock band. They actually don't have too many songs that stick out to me, except for this one. This song is incredibly badass and hilarious, just because of the video.

Supercar is a electronic / alternative band that was around from 1995 - 2005. It wasn't until the latter half of their career that they started experimenting with a more electronic-heavy sound, with their album Futurama. I prefer their music before that album, but it's all good. Supercar is best known for the song Storywriter that they did for the Eureka 7 soundtrack. This PV is so cheesy, and yet so awesome, just like the a flood of circle one.
Caution: There is like 2.5 seconds of NSFW toward the end of this video (3:44-3:47).

Here's the song Storywriter if you need a blast from the past.

Mmm, delicious.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sequencing Static

Sequence Pulse is another great experimental post-rock band from Japan. They like to use electronic drums and other synthesized sounds on top of their tracks, which gives their songs a very mysterious sound.

Sequence Pulse is very similar to this English post-rock group, 65daysofstatic. More sampled drum kits and electronic sounds. This track is off their first album, called The Fall Of Math.

I also fixed my dumb comic. Now with less sleep deprivation and mental handicap~

Running out of words to say ;_;

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gaijin Comics

Back by popular demand!

ヽ(`⌒´メ)ノ Blogger wants to resize my image, so click this. ^

There's Jazz In My Soil.

It grows PIMPIN' plants.

The pimp just sits there and smokes his cigar like a BOSS while his jazzy minions jam out. Soil & "Pimp" Sessions is an energetic Japanese club jazz band, and they're going places. The frantic 6-piece was born out of the Japanese club scene, and became the first unsigned band to perform at the Fuji Rock Festival. I don't know if anyone watched Michiko to Hatchin besides me, but S&PS did the opening theme for that show. Everyone thought it was going to be the next Cowboy Bebop, probably because the opening was bebop jazz. Most everyone was disappointed with the show, but I liked it a lot.

Nobue knows all about pimpin'.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Obligatory Mono Post

What is there to say about Mono? They're the pinnacle of Japanese post-rock as far as I'm concerned. They were one of the first post-rock band that I ever listened to, and it was so radically different from everything I had listened to before that I was simply blown away. Mono is one of those bands that really speaks through their music, and pours every ounce of their emotion into it. Mono are known for their long, quiet, minimalistic songs that can sometimes ramp up into a beautiful echoing wall of sound. One of the most relaxing bands ever.

Balmorhea is an experimental post-rock band from Austin, Texas. Like Mono, they have songs that are very minimal in nature. However, what Balmorhea is known for is their use of more classical instruments, most notably the violin, cello, and upright bass. Pianist Rob Lowe also incorporates a banjo and melodica into a few songs. Balmorhea released their 4th full-length album, Constellations, in February of this year, and began touring Europe with none other than Mono this fall.

How sublime~

Monday, October 4, 2010

Early Morning Ramble

I've barely moved a muscle in the last 6 hours other than my well-trained index finger. I've been sniping blocks of coal, iron, gold, and diamond in that order with my .50cal diamond encrusted mining apparatus. Yeah, I've been playing minecraft, and I'm literally in pain from it, so I figured I'd take a break and write something stupid.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Reflective Euphoria

Another set of Japanese post-rock bands.

Get the album Fluidity for free at Euphoria's official website!

I don't know too much about Euphoria, but I do know that they make beautiful music. Most of their songs are very quiet and peaceful, but with their third album Silence In Everywhere, and their newest album Fluidity they've tweaked their sound a bit. They're starting to go in a more guitar driven, swifter paced blend of math rock and post-rock, and I couldn't be happier about it. The band was formed in 2001 when the three of them were in their third year of high school, but they've all been close friends since elementary school. It must be nice having two best bros to make amazing music with. Euphoria is mostly instrumental, but guitarist/programmer Hiro Morikawa does pull the mic up and sing in a few songs. If you like this song at all, and want to see them recording it in the studio, check out this video. They run through a few different songs, and it's really neat to watch.


One of my favorite discoveries recently was this band, Mirror. This video is really QUALITY too, but they don't have much for songs up on youtube. They don't have a lot of views either, and neither does Euphoria, which I think is a crime. Anyways, Mirror reminds me a lot of toe with their clean, dueling guitar work and acute drumming. Their sound is a bit more rock n' roll at times though, in my opinion. They also play with a few time signature changes in some songs, which gives them an interesting sound. Their first album, On, Then, In, is chock-full of cool guitar riff after cool guitar riff... from both guitarists. It's like they have 20 songs worth of material snipped together perfectly into 10 songs.

Oh, now I'm hungry for more~

Make Friends With These Enemies

I mentioned before that the bands Mouse On The Keys and toe are on a small label (called Machu Picchu). Well, the only other band on that label is Enemies. The extremely cool part about it is that these guys are originally from Ireland. When their first EP, called Alpha Waves, made its way to Japan, the indie label quickly picked it up. The band flew over to Japan to support the release of the record, and played four sold out shows in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. The great thing about being an instrumental group is that there is no language barrier to overcome with your fanbase; you can speak to a much larger group of people.

Enemies combines the poly-rhythmic tapping / time signature swapping madness of math rock, with the soothing sounds of instrumental post-rock. They've mastered the art of what I like to call "interesting repetition". Enemies have songs to relax to, song to dance to, and songs to lazily shuffle around your small room to (my favorite). And they're not afraid to stomp on that distortion pedal and give us something heavy to listen to either! They're an extremely versatile band, as far as I'm concerned.

First of all, what an amazing band name. God Is An Astronaut? How can you not love it? Anyways, GIAA are the absolute kings of ambiance, the post-rock gurus, the space-rock generals, the insert genre I just made up guardians! The reason I'm posting GIAA is because of a tiny connection they have to Enemies; they're Irish as well. No cool story about Japan jump-starting their career, they're just Irish. GIAA crafts these incredible ambient walls of sound that are accompanied by swift and technical drumming. Their songs can literally give you goosebumps, and I speak from experience.

Maybe god is a Buster Machine. That'd be cooler.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fermenting School Food... Masses Of It.

Rock n' Roll and pretty dresses.


I didn't think this was possible, but MOTFD just keeps getting better and better as time goes on. I fell in love with their first self titled CD, then in more love with World Is Yours. And now, they've done it again with their August release, ゼロコンマ、色とりどりの世界. MOTFD is a 3-piece shoegaze/post-rock/indie group hailing from Kobe, Japan. Everything about these guys (or girls I should say) is just great. The lovely vocals, the bass-driven energy, the super creative song writing, awesome use of effects pedals, the MASSIVE sound they have for being such a small group, everything. Yup, there isn't one thing I dislike about MOTFD. They used to be an all-girl group before former drummer Reiko Gotoh left the band, and they have yet to list any new drummer as an official member. According to the band, the name Mass Of The Fermenting Dregs doesn't have any particular meaning, they just thought it sounded cool. I agree.

You may recognize the next band, School Food Punishment, from the song "Futuristic Imagination" that they did for the ending theme of the 2009 anime Eden of the East. Not a band that many would consider looking into past that one song, but it's definitely worth it. Something about guitarist and lead singer Yumi Uchimura's vocals really connects with me. To me, the maturity in her voice counter-balances the electronic poppy-ness of their songs. Their drummer, Osamu Hidai, is surprisingly excellent as well, not to mention the fiend on the keys, Masayuki Hasuo. They have some really cool jazzy songs throughout the Amp-Reflection album, and those two on drums and keys can really sell it. All in all a very neat band with a great sound!

Ride those good vibes!

1st, 2nd, 3nd.

Ok, just one more before I enter the sleepy netherworld.

This guy must have a japanese instrumental post-rock fetish or something...

Maybe so! But, that doesn't retract any awesomeness from 3nd. Quite similar to te, but different in ways that definitely make them stand out as a band. 3nd just has a plethora of cool ass riffs that never seem to stop, and that I never seem to get tired of. The first song, Walts For Lilly, is by far my favorite song of theirs, but I've also included the song SSK, since they've done a pretty sweet PV for it (and because of DAT FLYING V).

I swear I'll try and mix up the content here soon, so it's not just the same type of music over and over!

Take it easy neat NEETs~

Friday, October 1, 2010

We Could Write A Book With Our Song Titles


That's right, té! Excuse me while I get my fists out of the air. Té could literally power cities with that kind of energy. Except the power would constantly go back out when they go all ambient and stuff, but then the power would shortly be back on again! They're known for their simple, easy to understand song names like this one called "言葉を用いて奏でる者は才能に在らず、ただの記憶に『過』ぎぬ". Yeah, no problem. They're said to put on some of the most thrilling live performances of any post-rock band, but I'll probably never know! The coolest thing about té is that their drummer uses a tiny 4 or 5 piece drum kit. He's not encased in symbols or 20 different toms, so you get the full view of his violent-yet-calculated flailing.

You can't talk about post-rock bands with ridiculously long song names without at least mentioning Red Sparowes. They're not Japanese, so you'll have to deal with that. The full title of this song is "The Great Leap Forward Poured Down Upon Us One Day Like a Mighty Storm, Suddenly and Furiously Blinding Our Senses". TL;DR. Red Sparowes is quite fantastic music, though. They're known for their use of a pedal steel guitar, an instrument most commonly used in country. It's kind of odd I suppose, but it ends up sounding really neat.

On a side note, I've decided to start taking walks with my dog every morning, just so I have some form of exercise. I'm not exactly "in shape", and neither is my dog, surprisingly, so we took it slow today. All in all it was a pleasant walk, and now my legs ache.

Pump up the volume!