Who Doesn’t Like Feeling Cool?Posted: December 15, 2010
I have never been a connoisseur of Japanese pop music, popularly known as J-POP, but recently I was introduced to this group, Pizzicato Five, and the J-POP sub genre Shibuya-kei, named after the Shibuya district of Tokyo. I feel kind of lame that I haven’t discovered them or the genre earlier, because it is so good. Shibuya-kei, as a genre, is an excellent fusion of pop, dance/electro, and jazz genres, and is also influenced by 60’s french pop of the Serge Gainsbourg variety as well as lounge and bossa nova. A powerhouse combo of coolness with a dash of healthy hipsterdom. Pizzicato Five were an important band in developing the Shibuya-kei sound and popularity. Their music has a lot of pop energy, but this track, that I am featuring below, has a more chill, lounge sound that is much appreciated…especially on grayer days. The song has this constant groove with the funky, jazzy keys and low, sexy vocals that produces one chill sound that exudes coolness. It also inspires fantasies…dreams of 1960’s drizzly paris afternoons spent in cafes with lovers, and books, and drawing pens, and espresso to prepare you for Tokyo evenings in clubs with low lighting, cigarette smoke, bright colors, and beautiful people.
I like music and art and its time traveling effects. I also like artists that are influenced by multiple genres from multiple time periods and this is what I appreciate in the music of Pizzicato Five and their overall style. The two remaining members, Konishi Yasuharu and Miss Maki Nomiya, produce energetic, fun and cool music that is a mixture of past musical stylings from different decades, but also weaves their own flavor into it. This is also reflected in their style and use of a vintage aesthetic, while infused with their own contemporary Japanese flavor. I draw inspiration from their music and the trends that they are setting with their art. Check it out!