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Ano(t)raks Release New Compilation Featuring Post Modern Team, The Paellas, Foodie And Many More

Relatively new indie label Ano(t)racks don’t have many releases – they released Osaka group The Paella’s last EP, and dropped an indie-pop compilation titled Soon V.A. last week. Yet the latter upload is one of the best starting points for those looking to get into the current crop of indie-pop bands that have sprung up this year. Soon is an excellent compliment to the Moscow-Club-curated C86 comp from earlier in the year – whereas Moscow Club’s tape featured a lot of bands relying heavily on synths, Ano(t)racks’ latest features very few electronics (BOYISH’s song “Couldn’t Remember” features some keyboard, while a few songs use drum machines). This side of the Japanese indie-pop scene sound more observant towards the bands that inspired them, English groups that usually just featured guitar, drums and vocals. A lot of Ano(t)rack’s contributors get by with just those sounds – Osaka’s Post Modern Team deliver a simple but catchy bit of pop with “In The City,” while groups like The Paellas and Twangy Twangy continue to play to their strengths (the prior still sound like they are playing in an abandoned lounge on “Not So Sweet,” while the later just love jangling off).

Ano(t)racks also highlights some groups featuring women in prominent roles. Kyoto’s Homecomings provide one of the compilations best moments with the all-together-now singing of “You Never Kiss,” a song with sweet sounding vocals but some sharp guitar playing underneath them. Old Lacy Bed get whistle happy on “Coastlands” while Osaka’s Foodie closes out the album with a lovely bit of tight grooving. Get the tape here, or listen below.

Make Believe Mix June 2012

This might be the most Kansai-centric edition of the Make Believe Mix, a nice sampler of sounds from all around Japan just in time for the summer. It starts with Tokyo’s LLLL before shifting to Osaka’s Post Modern Team. From there, we stick around in the city to listen to the recently formed Foodie and Les Glass Glace. Our stay in the region ends with Stuck In Summer’s “You,” and then it is a short train ride to Nagoya to check in on House Of Tapes. Last, we jet all the way to the western edge of the country, to check out Fukuoka’s Breezesquad and his remix of a Little Boots song.

Below is a list of artists and songs appearing in this month’s mix, in chronological order. Click the links to read more about them and find out how to buy/get their music. All artists featured gave me permission to include their music in this mix.

LLLL “Spider Web” – From the “Spider Web/Drafting Still” digital single. Get it here.

Post Modern Team “Heartbreak” – Online release. Get it here.

Foodie “Red Flash” – Online release. Listen here.

Les Glass Glace “Sumorsaete Daydream” – Online release. Listen here.

Stuck In Summer “You” – From the Stuck In Summer EP. Get it here.

House Of Tapes “Another Space” – Online release. Listen here.

Breezesquad “Shake” (Remix of a Little Boots’ track) – Online release. Get here.

Good Taste: Foodie

Here’s something that hasn’t happened in a while – a band from Osaka sticking out because they don’t sound all that much like everything around them. The recently formed Foodie are not dabbling in the future-obsessed beats coming out of INNIT, nor are they making straight/electro-tinged indie-pop (despite being friends with Post Modern Team and Soleil Soleil). This group, instead, make fidgety rock music indebted to both the pop chops of Chatmonchy, sometimes graced with electronic touches but never defined by them, and always locked in. If you need a contemporary comparison, it would probably be like a nicer (in terms of willingness to shake your hand, rather than quality) version of The Creams. They’ve only existed for a brief time, but they’ve posted three tracks to SoundCloud, which you can hear now. The early highlight is “Red Flash,” a bit of guitar pop that refuses to sit still, twisting and turning with the help of some digital popcorn into the chorus without giving up any of its catchy appeal. “Night Comes” sounds more adventurous, party-time percussion helping to create a funky lock-step rhythm, this vibe accentuated by the guitar playing and other knick-knacks popping in. Though it isn’t all a conga line – later on, the band repeats the line “night will not end,” in a way that’s a little unsettling despite probably being about the sonic party we’ve been at for the past few minutes. Listen to “Red Flash” and “Night Comes” below.