Category Archives: Uncategorized

Retro Japanese Electronica!

Are you a vinylphile into 1980s J-pop? The experimental and electronic side to Japanese music in the era that brought us city pop,  idols, and the solo production careers of the YMO guys?

This guest mix I did for Radio Valencia’s brilliant Ribbon Around a Bomb should then do it for you. For all fans of Ryuchi Sakomoto, Midori Takada, Visible Cloaks and the brilliant Listen to This! blog. It’s also essential listening for anyone into retro, female-fronted music of the avant garde, ambient & alternative variety.

Stream at:

D-Day – The Sweet Sultan (1986)
Akina Nakamori – 燠火 (1986)
Himegozen – Doll (1985)
Saeko Suzuki – Kaspar’s Statement (1985)
Tamao Koike – Automne Dans Un Miroir (1983)
Taeko Ohnuki – 祈り (1983)
Aragon – Polaris (1985)
Ichiko Hashimoto – Naja Naja (1984)
Portable Rock – Big Turtle (1990)
Dip in the Poll – View (1986)
Chakra – You Need Me (1981)
Syoko – Erewhon (1986)
Mariko Fuji – どんな春が (1982)
Sandii – Zoot Kook (1980)
Miharu Koshi – 薔薇の夜会~あるいは甘い蜜の戒め (1984)
Tolerance – Boku Wa Zurui Robot (Stolen From Kad) (1981)
Koharu Kisaragi – でぱーと (1986)
Buffalo Daughter – Baby Amoeba Goes South (1996)
Takako Minekawa – Flow in a Tide (1999)
Kahimi Karie – Paris, Texas (1997)
G-Schmitt – ES (1988)
D-Day – Dust (1986)
Ichiko Hashimoto – Pachamac (1984)
Aragon – Horridula (1985)
Tamao Ijima – Dusk ’til Dawn (1992)
Koharu Kisaragi – Neo Plant Posi (1986)
Akiko Yano – Rose Garden (1982)
Ichiko Hashimoto – Kitsune (1984)

Enjoy this 2 hour mix by Giacomo Lee, as broadcast March 25th 2017, and linked at my Playlists page on

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Alternative Soundtrack to Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie

Cyberpunk site Neon Dystopia have this week published my new article on the soundtracks for Ghost in the Shell: Arise and its spin-offs Alternative Architecture and The New Movie, with original music from Cornelius, aka コーネリアス.

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Hypnagogic beats from the 2010s

My new blog, The Upside Sound, as published on P S Y C H I C W A V E 精神的な波 via Medium, is a little something I wrote to cover various albums I’d yet to hear when writing the annual best of lists and various genre guides I do in my spare time.

It features these artists from the UK, US, Russia and beyond –

Burial – Rival Dealer

NV – Binasu

Clarence Clarity – The No Now

Sophie – Product

音 LIGHT システム- Setup City

音 LIGHT システム – Buy Milk

VAPERROR – Acid Arcadia

Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland – Black is Beautiful


Cyberpunk movies from the East

My new article for Neon Dystopia is one about cinema, taking a look at these cyberpunk films from Japan and Korea –

  • Save the Green Planet! aka 지구를 지켜라! (2003)
  • Super Virgin aka 숫호구 (2012)
  • The Adventures of Electric Rod Boy aka The Adventure Of Denchu-kozo/電柱小僧の冒険 (1987)
  • The Phantom of Regular Size aka Futsu Saizu no Kaijin/普通サイズの怪人 (1986)
  • Henge (Metamorphosis) aka へんげ (2011)
  • Shanghai Dragon by Shoji Kawamori from Genius Party anthology (2007)
  • Toujin Kit by Tatsuyuki Tanaka from Genius Party Beyond (2008)
  • A Forest within a Forest by AUJIK (2010)

Writing this piece, I was glad to discover the director of Super Virgin has since put out his second film, Super Origin (시발, 놈: 인류의 시작), a caveman story from 2016 which is basically the Korean version of American comedy Year One.


A Look at Cyberpunk J-Pop

Girl in the Shell – A Look at Japanese Cyberpop is my new article for Neon Dystopia, up today and featuring these amazing six tracks from both the Japanese mainstream and slipstream-

  • Tentenko – Kuruma /くるま by テンテンコ
  • BiS – STUPiG / STUPiG by 新生アイドル研究会

  • Syoko – Erewhon (from the Soil EP aka 未来の記憶)
  • Neo-Plant by Koharu Kisaragi + Ryuichi Sakamoto (如月小春 + 坂本龍一)
  • SFX + Alternative 3 by Haroumi Hosono  ( 細野晴臣 With Friends Of Earth)

Words on East Asian Electronica

Linked are my two articles on Entropy about electronic music from Japan and South Korea, including music from mus.hiba, Twomyung aka 투명 in hangul, Takako Minekawa (嶺川貴子 in Japanese), Ookoorookoo (우쿠루쿠), Oh Hee Jung ( 오희정), Nobukazu Takemura (竹村延和), haihm (하임) and Humming Urban Stereo (허밍 어반 스테레오).

Perfect for all fans of k-indie, j-electro and eastronica in general from the 2000s and 2010s, along with current alternative and dance from Seoul, Korea. Fans of j-pop, k-pop and the Tokyo shibuya-kei scene from the 90s ( 渋谷系) will all enjoy Humming Urban Stereo, who I’ve written about before on this Medium blog.

That link is a guide to their best tracks and singles to date, a best of list that includes Easy Come Easy Go, Banana Shake, Rollercoaster, You That Day (넌 그날), their production of Maem Maem (맴맴) by Bebop aka 비밥, Let’s Stay Together, Hawaiian Couple (YMCK remix by ワイエムシーケー), their I, Tears remix for Shina-E’ (시나에), Scully Doesn’t Know, and Abuse Girl. In the Entropy piece you can also hear XXXX from their mini-album of the same name.

Finally, a look at the bingsu pop genre of Korean indie that came from the Hongdae scene in Seoul this decade. These two articles come courtesy of YAM Magazine, and feature Blueberry Muffin Recipe (블루베리 머핀 레시피) by Rururu (루루루), Ice Cream (아이스크림) by Garina Project (가리나 프로젝트), Mango 망고 by CHEEZE (치즈), BORI (보리) with Hey! Rock Dee Jay, and Welcome To This Wonderful Mart (천리마마트에 오세요) by Myu Myu (뮤뮤). Bingsu pop is a new genre of music from East Asia, a kind of millennial indie pop that’ll no doubt take off in China at some point.

-Giacomo Lee, 2016

My Best of 2016 List for YAM

My albums of the year over at YAM Magazine, with words and music on and from the below list.

Kero Kero Bonito ケロケロボニト- Bonito Generation

M83 – Junk

Zomby- Ultra

James Blake — The Colour in Anything

AlunaGeorge – I Remember

Primal Scream — Chaosmosis

Neon Bunny 야광토끼 — Stay Gold

Junior Boys — Big Black Coat

Metronomy – Summer 08

El Guincho – HiperAsia

David Bowie – Blackstar

Blood Orange – Freetown Sound

Anohni – Hopelessness

Solange – A Seat at the Table

Oh Hee Jung 오희정 – Freckles

Dante Mars Ajeto! – Celebrating Digital Artifacts

Runner-up: Acid Arcadia by VAPERROR

– Giacomo Lee, 2016

Profile in November’s Groove Magazine

Hi, find a feature on my new novel Funereal in this month’s Groove Korea magazine entitled Darkness, Mannequins and Funereal.

Funereal is a darkly comic look at surgery, stardom and the search for happiness in modern South Korea. Imagine a surreal, dystopian take on ‘hallyu’ 한류, Seoul and so-called ‘cultural technology’ (문화콘텐츠기술). It’s a proper book i.e. not self-published, and you can find it in paperback and e-book on Signal 8 Press, East Asia’s leading English language indie press.

Funereal has been featured by Boing Boing, The Korea Herald and Critical K-Pop. It’s also the first ever English language novel about Koreans living in South Korea today. For fans of Murakami (but which one..?)

– Giacomo Lee, November 2015

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