Kawakami Kohei, Swimming In Non-troversy

Well, what a few days on ANBAD. If I have learnt anything – and this in itself is a rarity – it’s this: do not write long, gossipy posts when tired, ill and frustrated with the new music industry.

I may have that tattooed on the inside of my eyelids, so I don’t forget it. The post which caused all the bother will be re-written to remove any traces of unfairness to hard-working but average new bands (which means about 50% of the post will be nixed) and be re-published in a much more balanced form.

In the meantime, let’s get back to the business of digging up nice new bands that are underrepresented elsewhere, eh?

Japan has proven a monstrously fertile hunting ground for great new music recently. I’m not sure exactly what is in the Japanese psyche that encourages music makers there to make such wildly outré, creative and bizarre electronic music; maybe it’s the same thing that causes people who visit Japan to say how different the place is, without ever putting their finger on exactly what it is.

Kawakami Kohei is a fine example of what I’m trying and failing to put into words: a collection of endlessly satisfying noises, which also happen to hang together well as a song.


Stew, ironically named, is so insanely crunchy that I don’t know whether to listen to it or eat it as a breakfast cereal. Clusters of noises probably shouldn’t work so well together; yet the song hangs itself off its own bizarre shape, re-forming as an angular, pointy, soft, jagged expression of noise time and time again.

And there’s nothing controversial about that. Feels good, man.

MORE: soundcloud.com/kawakami

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