Lamp – Sachiko

さち子 (Sachiko)

The horizon and the sweet ocean breeze at summer’s end
Blowing through the girl’s hair she’d only just cut short

Melancholy carried by a freight train running across the seashore
Tears and the prologue to a kiss hidden inside a seashell
A summer bluer than the sea…

Memories flowing from the car stereo
The sound of the waves and your singing

The vast loneliness of a late-summer beach at dusk
Chasing after the shadow of her straw hat blown away by the wind

Running across the beach with her toenails painted red
Creating ripples in the water
The epilogue to a fairytale about a mermaid she’d nearly forgotten
A summer deeper than the sea…

Ah, resounding from the far corners of my memory
The sound of the waves and your singing

I always knew it would one day end like this
Our brief time together
Like a drop of foam fading into the bottom of the ocean

Even if you were a fish I would still find you
Endlessly I keep calling out your name
Where are you singing now?

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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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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