Gosh D already ! ! ! This week we have a great selection of tracks from some very different genres all played by bands beginning with D ! ! ! We think it is fun week so why not take few minutes to drop by and check out some tracks ! ! !
And do not forget to check out Mr P’s Japanese word of the week ! ! !
Welcome to D world, some different sounds this week, several genres hardly touched upon in our posts in the past. We hope you like them.
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She Says – D is for Dragon Ash
Gosh where to begin talking about Dragon Ash ? ? ? They are one of the most influential groups in Japan and have been for decades ! ! ! In their career so far they have been , a punk band, a hip hop and rap group and somewhere in the middle they even released a Latin album ! ! !
They formed in 1996 when Kenji Furuya and Makoto Sakurai met in middle school and they started making music together for fun. As young teenagers ( you leave middle school at 15 in Japan ) they made a strange choice and linked up with a professional bassist called Ikuzo Baba who was thirty at the time. Baba acted as a mentor to the talented teenagers and they made their debut in 1997 in the next two years they had success as a punk band.
In 1999 they made a change of direction and a DJ joined the group. Tetsuya Sato who is also known as DJ Bots introduced the rap elements to their sound and their innovate sound and production techniques was revolutionary in Japan at that time and they went on to have a series of big hits including the single Grateful Days which was the first Hip Hop number one single in the Japanese charts.
However, Dragon Ash is more than just a Hip Hop band ! ! ! They use influences from many sources including Reggae and Latin music and the melody and rhythm of their work is always important as are the lyrics which are not the usual rubbish Hip Hop lyrics from many artists.
They have made ten fantastic albums, sadly in 2012 Baba the bass player and founder member of the band died from a heart attack, but last year the band released the wonderful album “The Faces” as a memorial to their friend and mentor.
Their influence is even wider than just their work as Dragon Ash. The members are all involved in side projects as producers, writers and members of other groups.
I really had a hard time thinking about my favourite Dragon Ash track and really could not decide, so I decided to leave you with Life Goes on from 2002 which somehow seems to be appropriate just now. The video shows the translation of the lyrics in yellow and English parts in blue.
I hope you like it ! ! !
Dragon Ash – Life Goes On
Tuneful Hip-Hop I can cope with, this toddles along quite nicely. One tip don’t sing “No body can stop my flow” and have the camera focus on what looks like a bathroom door ! Not bad , oi’ll give if three.
He Says – D is for DiSCLAPTiES
Noisy and dumb ( no, not me !), the way Oi music should be. There’s no pretence here, the band do what they do for a bit then stop. Punks were always proud to be idiots, it’s an aspirational thing.
DiSCLAPTiES – We Are Fucking Idiot
The Disclapties only made one single and one album but in their short time together they certainly made a big impression. There are a lot of Oi bands in Japan, but few were as good as the Disclapties. They formed in 1999 and disbanded in 2001. They achieved a certain amount of fame for their live performances and over the years the band has occasionally reformed for specific events and festivals which is always something the fans look forward to. I like Oi and so of course love this track ! ! !
She Says – D is for Doping Panda
Doping Panda originally formed as a four piece band in 1999 but in 2001 they became a three piece band and released their first album. Around this time there was a big influence from British indie bands but Doping Panda were one of the few bands to embrace the British influence but turn it into something unique and Japanese.
In 2005 they joined Sony Music’s “indie” Label Gr8 records and started to really achieve commercial and critical success. One of the features of Doping Panda is that they were always considered very accomplished musicians and their tracks often display a high level of musicianship but without being flashy.
They disbanded in 20011 but the leader of the band, Yutaka Furukawa, has developed a really great solo career.
This is one of my favorites of theirs. I hope you like it ! ! !
Doping Panda – The Fire
He Says :
I was going to be rude about this one but it actually grew on me after a bit.It’s not really my cup of tea, too “90s” but it’s probably fine for the younger listener.
He Says ~ D is for Dizzy Joghurt
A band I totally love. Mainly for the name, what a concept ! A Yoghurt that’s “dizzy”. I can see why they called themselves “Anorak”, a genre that has it’s origins in British Indie ( it’s music for and by the weedy kids). I love this song so much, I think of it every time I eat a yoghurt and feel slightly dizzy.
Dizzy Joghurt – Dizzy Joghurt Theme
I do not know very much about Dizzy Joghurt except that they formed in 1996 and were active until 1999 during this time they released two albums, a single and a mini album. They were the leading band of a sub genre called “Anorak” before Momoko Yoshino who formed the bands Tiger Shovel Nose and Tirolean Tape took the lead in the genre after Dizzy Joghurt disbanded. Actually, it is such a sub genre I can only find one other band ( Razor Katz ) that claims to play in the genre ! ! ! Hitomi and Kanako lead Dizzy Joghurt with Jean Grease on drums and they were really a great outfit and a lot of fun ! ! ! I really enjoyed this track ! ! !
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Learn Japanese the Fun and Easy Way with P sensei’s word of the week ! ! !
P Sensei Says:
Word of the day is……Daikon ! The iconic giant radish of Japan. Served with practically everything, diced into interesting shapes and waved around suggestively by foreigners I am sure. Remember this word when you are in Japan and in need of a large radish.
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We hope you enjoyed the post ! ! ! I think there was a nice variety of tracks and some interesting groups this week. We had a lot of fun making it ! ! ! Next week we are going to look at E ! ! !
That’s D , then. Hope you enjoyed the tracks. It was actually quite a hard letter to do, there don’t seem to be many Japanese “D” bands. We found some good ones though, eh ?