Lamp “Soyokaze Apartment 201” interviews & liner notes (2003)

The birth of a legendary Japanese band. This is where it all began: Lamp’s first release, 2003’s Soyokaze Apartment 201. I have translated below two interviews pertaining to the album, as well as Someya Taiyo’s liner notes for all of the tracks.

The first interview was originally published on WebVANDA.

Original interview & text: Uchi Takahide (original interview)
English translation: Henkka
Lamp online: website, label, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

This group of three men and women known as Lamp debuted in April 2003. Whenever I listen to their young, lively sound, I’m always brought back to the season of the blazing sun…

In this interview, we talked to the band about their origins and about the making of this album.

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Lamp “Koibito e” interviews & liner notes (2004)

Less than a year after their debut, Soyokaze Apartment 201, Lamp came out with Koibito e, their amazing second album. Below you will find two interviews pertaining to the release along with Someya Taiyo’s track-by-track liner notes for all of the songs on it. Enjoy!

Original text & interview: OOPS!
English translation: Henkka
Lamp online: website, label, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

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Updating the Concept of “Pure Ubiquitous Pop”

These three youngsters by the names of Someya Taiyo (guitar), Nagai Yusuke (vocals, bass, etc), and Sakakibara Kaori (vocals, accordion, flute) formed Lamp in 2000. They debuted in 2003 with their album Soyokaze Apartment 201 that demonstrated how well they understand city pop, bossa nova, and AOR — all of the “pleasant sounds.”

Not only is their sophomore effort way up there in terms of its degree of perfection, the group have also demonstrated here their will and resolve to “update” pop music as a whole. Above all, they are capable of analyzing themselves very objectively. At the risk of exaggeration, the author of this article feels that this band is an answer to the so-called “sampling era” of the 90’s.

This is the pop music of a new era.

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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 online: website, label, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Instagram

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 online: website, label, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Instagram

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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