• Ian Martin 
  • By this author: 3 Latest posted: 2014.08.08
Music columnist for the Japan Times and the owner of Tokyo-based indie music label Call And Response Records. He has been organizing music events in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan since 2004. Reach him on Twitter as @ianfmartin.
AKB48: The Return of Idol Music and the Rise of the Superfan2014.08.08

Idol pop phenomenon AKB48 hit the news in two very different ways over the past few months. The first was a vicious and unexpected attack on group members Kawaei Rina and Iriyama Anna at a May 25 meet-and-greet event in Iwate Prefecture by a man wielding a 50-centimeter saw. The second was the altogether more choreographed and celebratory spectacle of the group’s annual “election,” which determine…
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Japan’s Music Industry: Back on Its Downward Track2014.04.04

In February 2013, the international recording industry body IFPI released its annual Digital Music Report. The statistics in this report sent a buzz around the music world: bucking a global trend of gradual decline, the Japanese music business had actually posted growth figures for 2012. Not only that, the growth had been largely driven by that supposedly doomed format, the CD. What was the secret…
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Fuji Rock: A World of Music On Display2013.08.15

A divide runs through the music business in Japan. It’s most obviously apparent in record stores where locally produced “J-Pop” and overseas music are strictly separated, often to the point of being placed on different floors, but it also exists in the live music arena, where overseas touring bands rarely get the chance to interact with the local music scene and the fan bases of domestic and forei…
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