Saturday, May 28, 2011

Musicians Still in Love With Japan

With all the rough news Japan has had over this year with all the bad economic news for the past twenty, musicians all around the world are still fascinated with the enigma that is Japan. Who wouldn't be? Japan is a bizarre and fascinating place and, as anyone who has ever been here can attest, it is cute and overwhelming both at the same time.  

I love Japan and do not want to live anywhere else at this time in my life.

There have been, over the years, many musicians who have fallen in love with Japan too. Some of the most famous are Deep Purple who wrote and performed, "My Woman in Tokyo;" Styx with "Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto" just to name a few (which I'd much rather forget!)


Actually, though, there is one unit who consistently makes cool music, often with a Japan theme and that is a duo from the UK called Hexstatic. 

From Wikipedia:

Hexstatic is a UK music duo, consisting of Stuart Warren Hill and Robin Brunson, that specializes in creating "quirky audio visual electro." Formed in 1997 after Hill and Brunson met while producing visuals at the Channel Five launch party, they decided to take over for the original members of the Ninja Tune multimedia collective Hex that had disbanded around the same time. They soon collaborated with Coldcut for the Natural Rhythms Trilogy, including the critically acclaimed A/V single Timber. Much of their music involves integrated visual experiences, and both of their main album releases have been CD and DVD combinations; the latest, Master-View, includes 3D "anaglyph" versions of some of their music videos and comes packaged with 3D glasses. Hexstatic has also been instrumental in designing VJ equipment, including the Pioneer DVJ-X1 professional DVD player. Other artists they have worked with include EBNJuice Aleem and David Byrne of Talking Heads

Hexstatic have been to Japan many times. I've interviewed them and they just love Japan and it shows in their videos. Here's a few for your weekend entertainment.

First let me show you the video that set them off. The description on Youtube reads:  "The classic piece that was the audiovisual epiphany for many. Still remains the standard to match for AV cutup. Ninjatune rool!"


For this next tune, Hexstatic took a Japanese pop song and remixed it heavily. This is way cool!




Thanks to Steve "Poots" Candidus

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A pity you haven't ever got into the British group Japan, who really loved Japan the country. Maybe they were too alternative for your American Rrrock tastes?

They even wanted to live here at one point. I mean, check the name of the group, JAPAN!

Founder and bassist extraordinaire Mick Karn married a Japanese, and even liked natto! (he was also a gourmet chef). Sadly he passed on January 4th due to cancer but I m glad he did not see the terrible events of March 11th and it's aftermath.

Having said that, Japan were not blind to the faults of Japan the country. They were not just touring pampered rock stars who only saw the happy high tech consumer facade shown to them.

Their first hit here in 1979 "Life in Tokyo" contains the chorus lyric

"Life can be cruel, Life in Tokyo"


"It seems so artificial, why should I care?"