Lofi Japan spotlight #1
Lofi Japan is a selection available on Spotify and Apple Music, curated by me and hosted through Dashgo/Downtown music services. My goal with it is to connect Japanese beat makers to the rest of the world and to grow Japan's representation within the Lo-fi scene. Updates happen every other Thursday. Stream & follow the playlist here, or connect with our Japan team here. To catch up on how this all started, read the short news at the bottom of the page.
1. "Someone not like you" by Tamuraryo really reminds me of Re:plus piano style tracks. With a jazzy chord progression and simple but catchy groove, the song invites listeners to a calm stroll in the early afternoon.
2. "Slow Life" by TAKESY is an excellent high-energy Lo-fi track with bouncy rhythms, fun melodies, and will transport listeners to a vibrant and happy environment. A must-listen for days that need a little mood kick-starter.
3. "Dream Sugar" by vuefloor, edyswim has a lush, watery atmosphere and takes the listener on an energetic journey. The mixture between the Lo-fi percussion and the hi-fi guitars makes for a refreshing sound.
4. "Autumn Dance" by greenface feels like a tribute to Uyama Hiroto's styles- with the ethereal flutes, double bass rhythms, and fun piano melodies. Autumn Dance is the perfect track for downtempo, relaxed listening.
5. "Colours" by KOHEI YOSHII, Komachi features the signature sound of both these artists: heavy drums, huge atmospheres, and emotional, cinematic melodies. The drop around 1 minute is totally satisfying, great for a chill day listening experience.
6. "Arc" by nerd music club, 輪廻の蛇, has some raw & dusty summer type vibes. Occasional DJ scratching can be heard in the background as the song progresses. Overall, a whole vibe for the daytime.
7. "Tokyo Memories" by yoshio, Komachi, yoshinori takezawa was released by our label in May of last year, catapulted to success through official placements & support from Spotify. An all-around fantastic track for rainy or chill days.
8. "sunrise" by Sachiho is amazingly smooth. The track features a contagious rhythm in addition to synth, guitar, horn, and vocal elements to keep things interesting. Great for mid-day listening when you need to unwind.
9. "Raincoat" by Shingo Sekiguchi is an uplifting guitar-led instrumental featuring a top-tier composition. The use of synths alongside natural & organic percussion creates a dynamic, fun listening experience.
10. "ajisai" by Su-Zuum is a downtempo masterpiece, starting calm and reserved, yet evolving into a beautiful and up-beat soundscape with rhythmic elements everywhere. The bassline is especially cool to me.
It's been about eight months since I launched the Lofi Japan playlist & the Urban Japan collective, but a lot has happened since then.
At the start of this initiative, finding enough Japanese-made beats to feature in our list was challenging, which led to complications around the authenticity of the movement and the viability of the business side. The lack of representation of Japanese artists within the Lo-fi / Chill scene, despite its influence on the niche, was just depressing, so I made it my mission to partner with our distribution to reverse this and to help jumpstart a thriving online artist ecosystem, like what already exists in the Americas and Europe.
Japan's regional Lo-fi catalog has exploded in this half-year alone. Around August of 2022, to introduce more Japanese artists to our online beat ecosystem, I partnered with DMS to sign our first Japan-based label, "Japanolofi Records." And last month, we excitedly signed our second, "SETO CHORD MUSIC." Between these two labels is a brewing movement with distinct styles, philosophies, and passionate teams with huge ideas. None of this would be possible without key players such as Thirsty Girl, Yotsugi, TAKESY, KOHEI YOSHII, Ounak, Streethider, and more. As the Japanese catalog grows more abundant, the Lofi Japan playlist will become established as the "go-to" outlet to discover authentic Japanese Lofi & Chillhop music, in addition to being a powerful marketing engine for our label and those we support. And Japan is at the center of it all. That is our goal.
This year, we already have some big plans. Get ready for cross-label collaborations, CD / Cassette releases, unique brand partnerships, and perhaps even live, local events. I can't give details just yet, but mark your calendar for May, as it will be an important time for our movement. Thanks to everyone who has supported this initiative. We're just getting started.
Thanks for taking the time to check out my top 10 selections! Please subscribe at the bottom of the page to be notified when new issues are released!
You can find all featured music and more at our official playlists on Spotify.