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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Uwanosora ’67 “Portrait in Rock’n’Roll” interview (2015)

Portrait in Rock’n’Roll, the debut album by Uwanosora “side project” Uwanosora ’67, was released on June 10th, 2015. This interview with its members Hirohide Kadoya and Megumi Iemoto was published on their website some days later. The album is unfortunately not as of writing available for digital purchase, but this shop appears to stock the album and will ship overseas (and here’s their English-language shopping guide). Please enjoy the interview.

Original interview & text: Takahide Uchi (parts one & two)
English translation: Henkka
Uwanosora ’67 on the web: website, Twitter: Kadoya & Iemoto

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— To start off, I’d like to ask you about your initial motives in regards to Uwanosora ’67 and your first release, Portrait in Rock’n’Roll. Why did you decide to release this album with just you and Iemoto, and why not under the name of Uwanosora?

Hirohide Kadoya: The initial motive was simple: we wanted to release an album with a 60’s approach. The fact that it ended up being just me and Iemoto was because me and Oketa had such different ideas about what we wanted to do with that concept. Sure, we could’ve just compromised and met halfway, but when we listened to what each of us had, there was just such a difference in the material that we found them incompatible with each other. That’s not to say that made things between us weird or anything — the both of us agreed that we wanted to try both those approaches and so we thought it’d be a fun idea if we’d both write our individual sets of songs for Iemoto to sing. And that’s how this came about. My batch of songs was completed first, so they’re also the ones getting released first. Uwanosora the group has always been us three, so it was our intention from the beginning to release this album under a different name. Well, all we did was add some numbers at the end though. (strained laugh)

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Uwanosora “Uwanosora” interview (2014)

Uwanosora is a great, new Japanese band who released their self-titled debut album last year. The following is to my knowledge the only published interview they’ve done so far and it’s an interesting, very in-depth read. Two members of Uwanosora are releasing a new album next month under the name of Uwanosora ’67 which you would also do well to check out.

I definitely recommend giving a listen to this band especially if you’re a fan of, say, Lamp.

Original interview, text: FUKUROKO-JI (parts one, two, three & four)
English translation: Henkka
Uwanosora on the web: website, iTunes, Twitter: Kadoya, Oketa & Iemoto

Note: You can buy Uwanosora from iTunes or CDJapan (physical CD, PayPal accepted).

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(L-to-R) Hirohide Kadoya (guitar, songwriting), Megumi Iemoto (vocals) & Tomomichi Oketa (guitar, songwriting)

As a resident of Kansai, the first time I heard the term “city pop” was around the time I moved from my hometown of Nara to start university in Osaka. I think the reason I didn’t really get what the term meant was because, for me, “city” had always meant “Tokyo.” Sure, I’d always lived right next to Osaka, but to me Osaka was a place that never had the image of an urban, polished city — I’d always just thought of it as this area that had been forcibly made to flourish. But these feelings of mine towards Osaka were also what made me so interested in the “city,” and once I’d gotten to know the streets of Osaka a little bit, I started imagining just what Tokyo must be like in comparison. This was also when I first became interested in the musical genre of city pop, but deep down inside, I was cynically thinking to myself how “this city pop stuff is surely something only people living in the suburbs of Tokyo are able to truly understand.

This blog, FUKUROKO-JI, is a place where I’ll be interviewing people I’m personally interested in. My honorable first guests and fellow Kansaians, Uwanosora, are a three-piece band consisting of Hirohide Kadoya (guitar, songwriting), Megumi Iemoto (vocals) and Tomomichi Oketa (guitar, songwriting). Formed in November of 2012, they produced an eight-song demo tape (unreleased) after just two months of being a band, and this July they released their first full-length album, Uwanosora, through Happiness Records.

I first heard of this band through the Nara record store Django, whose owner, Mr. Matsuta, I spotted praising Uwanosora on Twitter. I immediately bought it, and upon listening to it I was overwhelmed by the level of songwriting and arrangements that were way beyond the level of your average debut indie album. I desperately wanted to ask them about their approaches to songwriting and about the songs included on the album, and so with nothing to lose, I approached them about doing an interview. And, admittedly, at the back of my mind I did have an ulterior motive of wanting to know more about these people who — despite not living in Tokyo — had managed to release an album full of city pop.

Interview & text: FUKUROKO-JI

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