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Listen Back 10-29-10

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What has the Japanator staff been listening to during our late-night slumber-party pillow-fights at Japanator World Headquarters this past week?

I have no idea because I'm never invited! Probably because I keep filling my pillows with rocks. I play to win.

Sexy party after the jump!

Zac Bentz

Avengers in Sci-Fi
Dynamo

I'm always excited to hear new music from Avengers in Sci-Fi. They always manage to bring the heat, with their super-fast feel-good space rock. While they certainly have their moment on Dynamo, it feels to me like a more restrained collection. And I guess that's OK, but I just don't really get into their more laid-back stuff. There doesn't seem to be as much to grab on to. But it's all really pretty and future-y sounding, and there's no harm in that.

Die Antwoord
$O$

NOTHING ABOUT THESE GUYS IS SAFE FOR WORK.

NOTHING ABOUT THESE GUYS IS SAFE FOR WORK.

I don't really know what to say about Die Antwoord. They're a slick electro rap/hip-hop trio (supposedly) from South Africa, but there's also the likelihood that it's all a sort of elaborate hoax. But really, none of that matters. What matters is that their music is the best thing to happen to the Earth in at least 20 years. I've been listening to a rip of their web tracks for many months, and their official album was just recently released after what seemed like years of waiting. $O$ is amazing. It's absolutely filthy, legitimately crazy, incomprehensible and beautiful.

Colette Bennett

I discovered Meja's Ghibli collection this last week, and it's been played constantly since. It's lovely and light, and any fan of the films is going to fall promptly in love with it.

I've also been listening to Ken Hirai's new single, Sing Forever. It's far from being my fave Ken Hirai song, but it's grown on me with repeated listens.

Mike LeChevallier

Crystal Castles [ft.  Robert Smith]
"Not in Love"


What do you get when you combine one of the better indie electronic acts of today with one of the most influential voices of the 80s and early 90s? You get one of the best songs of the year, that's what. First performed by Canadian new wavers Platinum Blonde circa 1983, the original cover cut of this song featured on 2010's Crystal Castles is quite the wonderful hypnotic blase of romantic sound. It's clearly missing something,though--a sort of everlasting vocal yearning that captures the underlying longing of the track. The Cure's Robert Smith seems to have been that secret supplementary ingredient. This new version of "Not in Love" makes me want to make out with a girl but also turn my back on her in the very same instant. I'm all for one-of-a-kind, impulsive feelings.

Tim Sheehy

Kotaro Oshio
Eternal Chain


Last year saw the release of Kotaro Oshio's latest album Eternal Chain. As one of Japan's foremost acoustic guitarists, Oshio's spent the last year touring and promoting the album, which represents the pinnacle of his work to date. He's not quite a household name, at least compared to the likes of Arashi or Ken Hirai, but one quick search on YouTube would bring up countless videos of people from around the world attempting to cover his work -- it's impressive to say the least. He doesn't have a new album lined up just yet, but the last few he's released have been pretty sweet. If you like what you hear, you might also want to consider his duets album, You & Me. It features several arrangements of his past work as well as some new material.

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