Earlier this month, it was reported that there were no Australian artists in the local top 20 singles chart. In the same week, 70 percent of the US Billboard Chart was populated by American artists.
Now, compare that to Japan, the second biggest music market in the world, where 98 percent of all singles, and 76 percent of all albums, are sold are by Japanese artists. In an environment where physical sales are dwindling, Japan still has more record stores than any other country in the world, three times as many as the US.
Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all about J-Pop, you only need to look listen to those in easy reach to understand there’s something special going on. We’re lucky that Cornelius, Shonen Knife and DJ Krush all managed to extend their reach across the waters, along with their predecessors like Acid Mothers Temple, Boredoms and Yellow Magic Orchestra.
This week’s Fat Planet on Double J is a Japanese Special, celebrating a few of those vanguards, but also shines the light on a new breed of Japanese artists that are worthy of our attention, including Zombie Chang (pictured). Hit the Double J website for more background along with videos from Noiseconcrete vs 3CHI5 and Ogre You Asshole.