Daniel Ostrander takes a look at Nagoya music makers on SoundCloud
You kids today have it easy (I’ve literally waited my whole life to say that).
Why when I was a young music nerd, I had to stay up late listening to the local college radio stations with my trusty AM/FM cassette recorder, hoping they would play my favorite songs so I could add them to my mixtape. Yessir, bootlegs back in 80s consisted of cassettes, VHS recordings of music videos (back when MTV still showed them) and, sometimes, a pocket recording of a live show, provided the bouncer didn’t find and beat your ass. Those were the days; the shitty, lo-fi days. And we loved them, dammit!
But with the advent of digital music and file-sharing making it hard for the record companies to continue their decades of pocket-raping musicians, it’s become quite clear that to stay up with what is really “hip”, you had to get with the times. Which, for me, first meant joining MySpace and YouTube, then Facebook, not to mention the countless music blogs and e-mags that I frequently read. As if that wasn’t enough, now there’s SoundCloud, a growing community of the most independent of indie musicians out there.
Hearing that a number of the local talent pool were creating accounts and posting new songs, mixes and rare live recordings, how could even an old dog of a music nerd like me stay away. And once I waded through all the bedroom DJs and crappy cover versions of crappy songs, I came across some Nagoya-based goodness. They all deserve more listeners, so let’s put those ears to work, shall we?
Taro Alexander and Danny Sonoir have been making music together for several years and in several forms. From their early roots in the D.C. area, to their dance music project Solskye, which evolved into the Art of War. Now they perform as Alexander Sonoir, showcasing their best production so far.
I was bummed when I discovered that this talented DJ doesn’t have any of his original funky house tracks on his page. Having heard some previews of his long-awaited CD, I can say this guy is going far. In the meantime, his mix of “Real House Music” will keep you satisfied
John Janzen has been on hiatus from live performances for a bit, but he’s still writing intimate ballads like his latest single “Black Water” which he wrote after spending time volunteering up north helping the victims of the Tohoku tsunami.
The monthly FREEEK event is less a party than a cult, with the DJ at the preacher and house music as the sermon.
Ghost of Matsubara
Listeners of the NAGOYA BUZZ podcast might’ve caught a special acoustic performance by this much-loved rock group. As great as that was, they sound even better plugged-in and loud as %$#!
The Michael Wade Band
I’ve met very few artists as dedicated as Mr. Wade. His country rock songs would be right at home in a smoky bar in Nashville, Tennessee, and one day I hope he makes it there.
Fans of the now-gone Fever party might remember this electronic trio. As I have not heard anything from them in nearly a year, I am afraid I will have to sate my need for glitch-tech on their page.
Regulars at Club Mago are probably already familiar with this local legend’s progressive house parties. But give a listen to his SMASH EP, and you’ll understand just how good progressive can be.
Paulo’s mixes, full of only the hottest of dance tracks, make it quite evident why he’s the go-to guy for big room dance parties in Nagoya.
As much as I’ve ranted about Mizo-san, and the smooth tracks he makes under the name PRIMALIZE, you might under appreciate his efforts here. However, his tech house mixes are really better enjoyed in person.
Mr. Barnes’ tracks take shape from layer upon layer of delicious beats and samples, all smooshed together like a delicious Dagwood for your ears.
Taking inspiration from the popular Girl Talk, DJ scrying does crowd-pleasing mashups of rock and rap hits. Relatively new to the scene, I expect 2012 to be a big year for him.
From his page, it’s evident that Thomas is one of the most prolific producers working in Nagoya, churning out original techno and house tracks on a fairly regular basis. Make sure his They Came From The Stars EP is first on your playlist.
This Club iD regular is known for his crowd-pleasing house mixes. He’s also known for having the most SoundCloud accounts of anyone in Nagoya (nine, at last count). I’m not sure if this stems from having a knack for forgetting his password or a humongous ego. However, if you want to hear the BEST of Toida, I recommend his live mix collection at the Neurotrancer page.
White White Sisters
It’s a shame that this skyrocketing electro-rock duo hasn’t had time to post any songs for a while. Of course, you could check them out at whitewhitesisters.com, or just catch them live at Club Upset on the 13th this month.
Fans of the hardest working rapper in Nagoya will be happy to know that his SoundCloud page has songs to listen to other than the ubiquitous hit “In and Out”… but that one is there, too.