Monday Music: Upbeat Japanese electronic artists

You’re missing out if your music library has no Japanese artists

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“Monday Music” in orange block text on a yellow rectangular background with rounded corners and an orange border.
Monday Music: your weekly themed playlist. Image courtesy of The Peak.

By: Olivia Visser, Opinions Editor

Whether you’re studying or riding the SkyTrain, upbeat electronic music is an unbeatable way to pass the time in peace. Japan is home to a wide array of influential ambient and electronic artists who paved the way for the modern electronic scene. All these artists produce different styles of music, but they’re united by their meditative melodies that invite listeners to pay close attention to the smaller details. 

“GREEN” by Hiroshi Yoshimura

Hiroshi Yoshimura is an iconic Japanese electronic artist who pioneered the Japanese genre of kankyou ongaku — roughly translating to “environmental music.” Yoshimura’s songs feature melodic ambient tunes alongside nature sounds like bubbling creeks and birds. His 1986 album, GREEN, is internationally appreciated for its unique approach to ambient music. The title track invokes an indescribable sensation of serenity that truly takes talent to create.

“Yellow Magic (Tong Poo)” by Yellow Magic Orchestra 

Yellow Magic Orchestra is world renowned for their impact on early video game soundtracks and the broader electronic music scene. Their self-titled album features creative upbeat melodies and funky rhythms that shift constantly, and uses the Roland MC-8 microcomposer. I bet you won’t be able to get this song out of your head!

“White Wall” by Sakoshi & Makoto

Sakoshi & Makoto is a modern band that creates mellow yet vibrant ambient music. “White Wall” is from their LP, CZ-5000 Sounds & Sequences. Reminiscent of artists like Brian Eno, this track is a progressive blend of airy synths amongst an energetic ambient soundscape. I look forward to seeing what Sakosho & Makoto will put out in the future. 

“lust” by Rei Harakami 

Rei Harakami made significant contributions to Japan’s electronic scene in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Harakami made a name for himself with his abstract approaches to electronic music that emphasize complexity and tone. His songs blend inquisitive, alternating drums alongside moody synth lines. You’ll definitely be hitting the replay button on this one!