Minuano “Chou ni Naru Yume wo Mita” interviews (2019)

Minuano is the solo project of Ogata Takero, who you may know as a frequent collaborator of Lamp. On their Facebook page, they are musically described as Brazilian Popular Music, city pop, soft rock, and crossover. Minuano’s third album — their best one to date, if I may say so — was released in August 2019. Like the first two albums, it features Lamp’s Sakakibara Kaori on vocals.

Below, you will find two translations related to Chou ni Naru Yume wo Mita (English title: Butterfly Dream). First, here is an interview with Mr. Ogata originally posted on WebVANDA.

Original interview & text: Uchi Takahide (Japanese text)
English translation: Henkka
Minuano/Ogata Takero on the web: Facebook, Twitter, blog, YouTube, SoundCloud

You can buy Minuano’s music, both physically and digitally, on Bandcamp.

Nine years after their second album, 2010’s Aru Haru no Koibito, Minuano — solo unit of percussionist Ogata Takero — is releasing its third album, Chou ni Naru Yume wo Mita, on August 11th.

Their first album, Love Logic (2009), as well as Aru Haru no Koibito were both works incorporating the essence of 70s/80’s Brazilian music and jazz, and yet sublimating it into pop. But on this release, Ogata’s personality and imagination have reached new heights as the album goes on to achieve a kind of conceptual whole. Featuring vocalist Sakakibara Kaori of Lamp — who released their eighth album, Kanojo no Tokei, last year — ardent fans have surely been waiting impatiently for this album.

Their approach towards creating pop music that has echoes of Brazilian music and is yet simultaneously genre-less is something that bears similarities to GUIRO, whose latest release, A MEZZANINE, received a nationwide release last month. The incorporation of so many different musical elements ensures that the listener never gets bored of them. Now, nine years after their previous release, I present to you an interview with Mr. Ogata.

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Lamp “Komorebidoori ni te” interview & liner notes (2005)

According to Lamp, their third release, Komorebidoori ni te, was one of the toughest recordings of their career. Thankfully, their hard work paid off: I think it’s fair to call Komorebidoori ni te an absolute classic album that has stood the test of time. This interview from 2005 was published in the free magazine “bounce,” later re-posted on Tower Records Online in slightly edited form.

Original interview & text: bounce.com (parts one & two)
English translation: Henkka
Lamp on the web: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Botanical House

You can buy Lamp’s music directly from the band, both physically and digitally, on Bandcamp.

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Lamp — a three-piece band that debuted in April of ’03 with their mini-album, Soyokaze Apartment 201. Their third album, Komorebidoori ni te, clearly showcases the members’ stubbornness in their attitude towards music — it’s a work of zero compromise. The harmonies of their male-female twin vocals, already highly praised since their debut, have been refined even further, and the gradation between their rhythms and their carefully selected tones has become even more vivid and colorful than in the past. We’re glad to present to you an interview from behind the scenes of this new-generation, pop music masterpiece.

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Lamp “Kanojo no Tokei” interviews (2018)

Lamp released their most recent album Kanojo no Tokei in May 2018. Translated below are two interviews they did in promotion of this fantastic album. The first one is from OTOTOY. Enjoy!

Original interview & text: Yuya Watanabe (parts one & two)
English translation: Henkka
Lamp on the web: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Botanical House

You can buy Lamp’s music directly from the band, both physically and digitally, on Bandcamp.

Lamp — a band characteristic of their feel-good sound that is both complex yet refined, seamlessly weaving together various styles of music. Their music is always fresh, yet containing elements of their musical roots. We arranged this interview to talk to the members about this release consisting of eight songs to which the members have given their all. Kanojo no Tokei, their 9th album in total, follows nearly four years after their previous release, Yume, and is the band’s first release on their own label, Botanical House.

In the first half of the interview, we talked to the band about Botanical House and about AOR and Brazilian music — the foundations of Lamp’s musicality. Since their formation in 2000, Lamp has always placed the utmost importance in pushing themselves to make the kinds of works that they’ve wanted to make, and as a result the band has now reached a point where they will soon be performing an instantly sold out show in Ebisu LIQUIDROOM. In this interview, we managed to catch a glimpse at the sense of aesthetics shared by all three members.

The band also talks in the interview about how they’ve been finding it more and more difficult to produce new albums with each passing year — apparently they finally completed Kanojo no Tokei only after various ups and downs along the way. However, when you actually listen to the material they’ve delivered, the refined production as well as the songs with their mellow sounds that serve as vivid reminders of the 80’s immediately dispel any doubts one might’ve had. In the second half of the interview, the band reveals that what first pointed them in the direction of this exceedingly amazing new album was “Sachiko,” the last track on their previous release.

Interview & text: Yuya Watanabe

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Lamp “Zankou” interview & liner notes (2007)

Zankou, Lamp’s collection of new material and previously unreleased songs was released in March 2007. This interview regarding the album was posted in 2007 on a site called mf247 that no longer seems to exist. I’ve also included translations of liner notes of three of the six songs on the album; these were written by Taiyo Someya between 2004 and 2007. Enjoy!

Original text: Masaru Yokota
English translation: Henkka
Lamp on the web: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Botanical House

You can buy Lamp’s music directly from the band, both physically and digitally, on Bandcamp.

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If I was to summarize them very briefly: they’re a hidden gem of pop music. Give them a listen and you, too, will quickly hear that they’re truly deserving of the title. City pop, soft rock, MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira, a genre of Brazilian music that came after bossa nova), soul, AOR, bossa nova, etc… You can find components of many musical genres in Lamp’s material. Now, nearly two years since their last release, they’re breaking their radio silence to release their first collection of unreleased material, Zankou, while they’re busy working simultaneously on their fourth and fifth albums. With a focus on this collection that gives us a glimpse into their future with its newly-written songs, this interview zooms in both on Lamp’s past as well as what they wish to achieve going forward.

Interview & text: Masaru Yokota

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Shin Rizumu “NEW RHYTHM” interview (2015)

Shin Rizumu is another great new artist who I hope will find lots of success in his musical career. Here’s an interview regarding his debut album NEW RHYTHM that came out in May. I hope this translation can be of some small help in finding him some English-speaking fans, too.

Original interview & text: Hotaru Kato (original interview)
Photography: Junko Yoda
English translation: Henkka
Shin Rizumu on the web: website, Twitter, SoundCloud, iTunes

Note: You can buy NEW RHYTHM physically from CDJapan or digitally from iTunes.

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A third-year high school student born in 1997 and living in Kobe. A singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who not only writes, composes and arranges his songs, but also does all the vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, synths, trombone, and programming by himself. In his first year of high school, he began uploading music on SoundCloud that he’d written since he was in junior high school. These tracks started spreading on the internet, and sharp-eared listeners and musicians alike were quick to note that another musical genius had appeared. In January 2015, he released his first independent analog recording.

New wave, indie rock, roots rock, soul, funk, R&B, pop, and more — his music and sound which have the essence of all these genres know no boundaries. It’s music that has a freedom and sensibility that could’ve only been achieved by someone in his teens, and yet, the level of polish and perfection is something you’d never expect to hear from someone his age. This new-generation pop maestro is quickly starting to gain more and more prominence.

Text: Hotaru Kato & photography: Junko Yoda

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