Global Music Column – January

Various Artists – Tokyo Glow

Japanese city pop is an enigmatic genre. Emerging in the late 1970s and peaking in popularity throughout the 80s, it was a soundtrack to the country’s economic boom and newly christened “leisure class”: a loosely defined grouping of Japanese-language music influenced by American styles such as yacht rock, R&B, funk and boogie.

Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the genre among western audiences spurred on by cratedigging and YouTube. It has spawned expertly curated compilations, such as Light in the Attic’s 2019 album Pacific Breeze and, from We Want Sounds, 2020’s Tokyo Dreaming. Japanese label Nippon Columbia’s archive-raiding Tokyo Glow is the latest, producing 18 tracks of city pop that exemplify the genre’s wide-ranging diversity.

Read the review in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 10/12/21]