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[COMMUNITY] Rise of Japan Cool (A.I., Cornelius, Giant Robot, etc.)

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  • madchinaman
    The rise of Japan cool Art, fashion, music, food. It s all here on the . . . CHARLIE AMTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-gd-
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 18, 2008
      The rise of Japan cool
      Art, fashion, music, food. It's all here on the . . .
      CHARLIE AMTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
      http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-gd-
      cover17jan17,0,545058.story?coll=la-headlines-calendar
      AI Website: http://www.universal-music.co.jp/ai/
      AI (English Translation): http://translate.google.com/translate?
      hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://www.universal-
      music.co.jp/ai/&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=7&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%
      3DUniversal%2BMusic%2BJapan,%2BAi%26start%3D10%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN
      AI Music Clips: http://www.rapflava.com/forums/r-and-b-r-and-b-
      influenced-music-from-japan-and-south-korea-download-and-discuss-
      119132.html
      AI Albums: http://www.cultureuniversal.com/jk/ai.htm
      Cornelius' MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/corneliusofficial
      Cornelius Website: http://cornelius-sound.com/
      Cornelius Website: http://corneliusjapan.com/


      -

      Keigo Oyamada -- better known to U.S. fans as Cornelius -- has been
      called "the Japanese Beck," but the multi-instrumentalist would
      rather be compared to a studio wizard like Daniel Lanois or Brian
      Wilson. "I like Beck, and we are similar in some ways," he says via e-
      mail from his Tokyo studio. "But I think we have our differences
      too."
      *
      AI is the "Queen of Hip Hop Soul" with global standard vocal skills
      and multi-cultural background. AI was born in LA 1981 in a Japanese /
      American / Italian family. Having spent her childhood in her father's
      hometown, Kagoshima Japan, AI moved to LA on her own to be trained as
      a professional performer. At the age of 17, AI performed as a dancer
      for Janet Jackson's promo video "GO DEEP", and signed with BMG to
      make her debut in Japan. Four years later, in 2003, AI signed with
      Def Jam Japan.
      *
      AI (http://www.cultureuniversal.com/jk/ai.htm)
      Label : Universal Music Japan
      Status : Major Label Artist
      Representing : Los Angeles
      Style : R&B / Club R&B / Soul
      Additional Info : Born in November 2nd of 1981 in Los Angeles, USA.
      AI's father is japanese and her mother is a half japanese half
      italian. Spent her elementary and junior high days in Kagoshima, Japan
      before entering a performance school in Los Angeles in 1996. In 1999
      AI entered a dance competition in American and won which earned her
      an appearance on Janet Jackson's video "Go Deep". Later on the same
      year AI signed a deal with BMG Japan for her debut album "My Name Is
      A.I."
      *
      In April 2006, Trey collaborated with bilingual Japanese R&B/Hip-Hop
      artist AI on her single Believe, with the track "Beautiful feat. Trey
      Songz". The duo even performed this track live at the MTV Awards in
      Japan, where AI won the award for 'Best R&B Music Video' for her
      ballad-single, "Story".[1] The song was later remixed and appeared on
      AI's album, What's goin' on A.I., released September 2006. Trey can
      also be heard on "Why You Wanna Remix" by T.I..
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trey_Songz
      *
      But SoCal's love of all things Japanese runs much deeper than that --
      in art, fashion, music and more. Think Takashi Murakami, whose MOCA
      exhibit broke opening week attendance records in October and is in
      full bloom through Feb. 11; Eric Nakamura, whose pop culture magazine
      Giant Robot spawned a retail empire; cutting-edge musician Cornelius,
      who has flown in from Tokyo to play Walt Disney Concert Hall tonight;
      and R&B superstar Ai, who is headlining the El Rey Theatre in her
      only U.S. show this year on Jan. 31.
      *
      Though there are more than 50,000 Japanese nationals in L.A. and
      Orange counties, according to that country's consulate, clearly such
      pop cultural offerings from across the Pacific are playing to a much
      larger audience.
      *
      A SAMPLER OF ALL THINGS JAPAN
      Beard Papa, 333 S. Alameda St., L.A., (213) 620-0710; beardpapa.com.
      The Osaka cream-puff chain's been dubbed the next Pinkberry, given
      the addictive nature of its pastries (and expansion). This Little
      Tokyo outpost opened last month.

      Bradelis New York, 1757 W. Carson St., F, Torrance, (310) 212-5235;
      bradelisny.com. Don't let the name fool you: This Japanese-owned bra
      line and shop has nothing to do with New York. Still, Bradelis brings
      in the believers with its custom-fit lingerie. One of only two U.S.
      locations.

      Dinner House M, 1263 W. Temple St., L.A., (213) 482-3828;
      dinnerhousem.com. M is actually more of a bar with an authentic Tokyo
      vibe; most patrons come for the stiff drinks and live jazz. A word of
      caution: There's a cover charge for sitting down (up to $10 per
      person).

      Famima!!, 8525 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 659-2684;
      famima-usa.com. An offshoot of Japan's Family Mart convenience
      stores, the chain launched its first U.S. store in WeHo nearly three
      years ago. Today, it has 13 U.S. locations, all in SoCal, with finds
      such as Ramune soft drinks and Monaka ice cream sandwiches.

      Gaja Moc, 2383 Lomita Blvd., No. 102, Lomita, (310) 534-0153;
      gajamoc.com. Okonomiyaki, the specialty here, is a make-it-yourself
      concoction with customized items like spam, cod roe, mochi, cheese,
      octopus, noodles and egg that starts off as a gooey mess on the grill
      and is eventually cooked to resemble a pancake topped with mayo and
      bonito flakes.

      Giant Robot, 2015 Sawtelle Blvd., West L.A., (310) 478-1819;
      giantrobot.com. Surrounded by streetwear shops like Blu 82, Eric
      Nakamura's store started a mini-revolution in 2002 and is going
      strong with T-shirts, prints and multiple locations.

      Japan L.A., 648 N. Fuller Ave., L.A., (323) 934-5201; japanla.com.
      Jamie Rivadeneira's shop is crammed with offbeat finds such as Tare
      Panda ("lazy panda") products, Gloomy Bear phone charms and Domokun
      bath sponges.

      Komatsu, 1644 W. Carson St., B, Torrance, (310) 787-0787. The chef
      behind the bar counter at this tempura restaurant gingerly cuts,
      batters and fries vegetables and seafood before carefully plating
      them on a paper-lined dish.

      Momo, 308 N. Stanley Ave., L.A., (323) 964-5240Ö. A boutique
      specializing in vintage and new designs from Japan.

      Musha, 1725 W. Carson St., B, Torrance, (310) 787-7344. Many items,
      including the beloved fried chicken, are fusion-inspired, but the
      dimly lighted dining room cultivates a bustling Tokyo bar vibe.
      (Also, 424 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica)

      Otafuku Noodle House, 16525 S. Western Ave., Gardena, (310) 532-9348.
      Subtler than ramen, the buckwheat noodles here are handmade and
      served hot in a bowl of bonito-based broth or cold with a dipping
      sauce.

      Phaze Bar, 20801 S. Western Ave., Torrance, (310) 328-5899. Hidden
      behind the Torrance Plaza Hotel, it brings in travelers and locals
      hoping to catch a baseball game. Later, a younger crowd moves in. No
      karaoke, just serious drinking of Kirin and mizuwari (whiskey and
      water).

      popKiller, 343 E. 2nd St., L.A., (213) 625-1372; popkiller.us. Ricky
      Takizawa's second store is already a near institution with its
      selection of hip T-shirts and accessories.

      Popmonster, 24416 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, (310) 325-8686. It
      carries fashion lines such as Toki Doki, toys, books and graphic
      novels.

      Santouka Ramen, Mitsuwa Market Place, 21515 Western Ave., Torrance,
      (310) 212-1101. For those in the cult of ramen, this is the holy
      grail, at least stateside. The Hokkaido-based chain sets up shop
      counter- style within Mitsuwa food courts. (Also 665 Paularino Ave.,
      Costa Mesa, and 3760 S. Centinela Ave., L.A.)

      Shabon, 7602 Beverly Blvd., L.A., (323) 692-0061. Rie Fujii's smart
      boutique has fresh finds, mostly vintage dresses and accessories, and
      attracts such shoppers as Nicole Richie and Winona Ryder.

      Shin-sen-gumi Yakitori Restaurant, 18617 S. Western, Gardena, (310)
      715-1588; more locations at shinsengumiusa.com. Pork belly,
      vegetables and all sorts of chicken parts on skewers are fired up on
      a charcoal grill at this tiny, lively joint. Next door is an unmarked
      storefront where chanko, a dense stew of vegetables, chicken and beef
      popular with sumo wrestlers, is served only by reservation.

      Shin Yakitori, 22807 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, (310) 378-1019;
      shinyakitoridining.com. This relative newcomer has reasonably priced
      yakitori. For the more adventurous, there's motsu nabe (intestine)
      hot pot with vegetables.

      -


      ADMIT IT: Ever since you saw "Lost in Translation," you've been dying
      to go to Tokyo, but the $1,100 plane ticket and $450-a-night rooms at
      the Park Hyatt give you pause. Might we suggest saving a bit of cash
      and heading to Torrance -- where you can find ramen and yakitori as
      good as anything you're likely to find in Shinjuku?

      Southern California is arguably the epicenter of Japanese cool in
      America, with three major hubs of restaurants, bars and shops in
      Torrance and Gardena, West L.A. and the Sawtelle corridor, and
      downtown's Little Tokyo. And just about everywhere you look, it seems
      another Famima!! or Beard Papa is springing up.

      Over the last year, there's also been an explosion of authentic
      Japanese restaurants, including Yuta in Studio City, Yamato in
      Westwood, Ayame in Irvine, a re-launched Gonpachi in Beverly Hills
      and a new Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori and Shabu Shabu Restaurant in
      Monterey Park. And in the coming weeks, there'll be several more high-
      profile, American-owned sushi spots: a just-opened Bond Street in
      Beverly Hills, a new Nobu in West Hollywood, an all-organic offering
      downtown called Shojin and Innovative Dining Group's anticipated
      kaiten (conveyor belt-style) place, Luckyfish in Beverly Hills.

      But SoCal's love of all things Japanese runs much deeper than that --
      in art, fashion, music and more. Think Takashi Murakami, whose MOCA
      exhibit broke opening week attendance records in October and is in
      full bloom through Feb. 11; Eric Nakamura, whose pop culture magazine
      Giant Robot spawned a retail empire; cutting-edge musician Cornelius,
      who has flown in from Tokyo to play Walt Disney Concert Hall tonight
      (see sidebar on the next page); and R&B superstar Ai, who is
      headlining the El Rey Theatre in her only U.S. show this year on Jan.
      31.

      Though there are more than 50,000 Japanese nationals in L.A. and
      Orange counties, according to that country's consulate, clearly such
      pop cultural offerings from across the Pacific are playing to a much
      larger audience.

      "There are more Japanophiles these days for sure," says Nakamura,
      whose magazine was just featured at the Japanese American National
      Museum in a retrospective. "It's amazing how young some start . . .
      and they've never even been there, but many have a great appreciation
      for the culture, even though their start was from reading manga or
      watching anime."

      Of course, savvy tweens aren't limited to checking out just
      Nakamura's Giant Robot and GR2 stores on Sawtelle Boulevard -- they
      have myriad options for buying Japanese-influenced clothes and more.
      Ricky Takizawa (our cover guy shown with Mina Taira, whose fashions
      can be found at Momo near the Grove) has done so well with his two T-
      shirt and accessory stores, popKiller on Sunset Boulevard and
      popKiller Second in Little Tokyo, that he is scouting locations for a
      third in either Pasadena or Echo Park.

      "Japanese [fashion designers] copy first, but after that, they make
      it better than the original," he says, explaining his growing
      business. Takizawa says he gets requests from stores in Chicago and
      New York frequently for his designs, but he wants to "keep it a
      little bit exclusive."

      In contrast, Northridge-born Stuart Levy has no problem selling his
      products to anyone who will buy them. The chief executive of
      Tokyopop, Levy has made millions licensing and creating anime and
      manga books and DVDs for America's new breed of comic hipsters.

      "I've been lucky and done very well," he says from the 20th floor of
      his Wilshire Boulevard office, where he employs a staff of more than
      80. (Tokyopop also has offices in Tokyo, London and Hamburg, Germany).

      The 40-year-old, who splits his time between L.A. and Japan,
      represents the ultimate Nippon-savvy Angeleno. Levy got into the
      culture the way many Americans do, via video games and food. By the
      time he went to law school, he did something about it.

      "I had the idea to start a manga company in the U.S., and I just went
      for it," he says.

      Now represented by William Morris, Levy's company is on the verge of
      a breakthrough with "a few films in development," thanks to
      Hollywood's hunger for story lines from Japan (witness "The
      Ring," "The Grudge" and the current "One Missed Call").

      In the meantime, Levy is cranking out manga titles like "Fruits
      Basket" that fly out of Barnes & Nobles stores nationwide -- and
      maybe sneaking in a nice lunch every now and then with his staff.

      So where does Levy head when he gets hungry? "Mishima is very solid,"
      he says of the restaurant on 3rd Street near the Beverly
      Center. "Another place I like is Ita-Cho on Beverly," an izakaya, or
      pub-style, place. But when Levy really misses his second home
      overseas, he heads to Gardena restaurants such as Otafuku to get his
      fix of real Tokyo-style ramen.

      "In general, ramen in L.A. is either a little bit watery or too soy-
      based," he says. "Secondly, the noodles tend to be too soft. The good
      thing about Otafuku is they have solid miso ramen. . . . The other
      thing is that the noodles are not too soggy."

      And though nothing will replicate the full sensorial onslaught of
      eating out in Tokyo -- "It's constant stimulation," Levy says --
      there are plenty of spots that come close. "You can find an authentic
      Japanese experience in Los Angeles," he says. "You just have to know
      where to look."


      ============


      Art-rock wizard Cornelius casts a powerful spell
      http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-gd-
      coverside17musicjan17,1,3309406.story?ctrack=2&cset=true


      Keigo Oyamada -- better known to U.S. fans as Cornelius -- has been
      called "the Japanese Beck," but the multi-instrumentalist would
      rather be compared to a studio wizard like Daniel Lanois or Brian
      Wilson. "I like Beck, and we are similar in some ways," he says via e-
      mail from his Tokyo studio. "But I think we have our differences
      too."

      Tonight, Angelenos will get a chance to decide for themselves whom
      Cornelius most resembles when he plays Disney Hall as part of the
      L.A. Phil's Concrete Frequency series in what should be one of the
      more talked-about gigs in art-rock circles. His sets feature dazzling
      computer-generated visuals and lighting in perfect sync with his
      band.

      Cornelius' most recent release -- "Sensuous" on L.A.-based Everloving
      Records, his new U.S. label -- is just that, with hypnotic, effects-
      laden tracks such as "Watadori." But the more interesting offerings
      are ambient jazz-like tunes such as "Toner," in which he uses an ink-
      jet printer as an instrument.

      The 38-year-old has a sizable following in the U.S., thanks to
      several late-'90s releases on Matador Records, including 1997's
      lauded "Fantasma." But he's especially looking forward to tonight,
      one of only five U.S. gigs for him this winter. "Reactions seem to
      come back quickly from American audiences compared to Japanese
      audiences," he says. 9 tonight, Disney Hall, downtown L.A. $28 to
      $37. www.laphil.com


      ==========


      J-Pop Diva A.I. to perform in Los Angeles on January 31st
      Universal Music Japan artist A.I. will be performing in Los Angeles
      at the El Rey Theatre on January 31st along with DJ Hirakatsu.
      http://www.nt2099.com/J-ENT/news/japanese-entertainment-news/us-j-pop-
      diva-ai-to-perform-in-los-angeles-on-january-31st/
      http://eventful.com/events/los-angeles/music-dont-stop-ai-live-in-la-
      /E0-001-008251015-9#box-details


      -

      Talent: Live on Stage: A.I.-Universal Music Japan/2 FaCE, Opening Act
      from LA's local Singers and Dancers. Info: DON'T STOP A.I. LIVE in
      LA!! "A.I." - Elements of SOUL, ...

      -


      "A.I." - Elements of SOUL, R&B, HIP-HOP, and DANCE combine and
      formulate the "QUEEN OF HIP-HOP SOUL" = AI. AI was born in LA on
      November 2, 1981 between Japanese Father and 1/2 Japanese, 1/2
      Italian-American mother. She moved to Kagoshima, Japan due to her
      father's business. Since then, she has been traveling back and forth
      between Japan and the United States.

      AI learned singing and dancing in LA on professional level, and she
      was featured on Janet Jackson's promotion video of "GO DEEP" as one
      of the back dancers. Returned to Japan in the year 2000, she made a
      major label debut as a singer. In 2003, AI transferred a label to
      DefJam Japan and released a single "LAST WORDS (SAISHU-SENKOKU)." A
      ballad single, "Story," was released in May 2005. The song ranked #8
      on a single sales chart, sold a total of 300 thousand copies, had 3.5
      million downloads, and became a song to represent 2005. An album
      released that same year, "MIC-A-HOLIC A.I." was ranked #4 on the
      first week and sold over 500 thousand copies. On the New Year's Eve
      of 2006, AI made an appearance on a prestigious national TV
      program, "56th Annual KO HAKU UTAGASSEN" on NHK.

      In 2007, a single "I'll Remember You / BRAND NEW DAY" was released in
      July. AI made appearances on stages of summer music festivals such as
      Rock In Japan Festival and Summer Sonic in August and September. Her
      latest single "ONE" released in November has been aired on a FUJI-TV
      drama series, "IRYU Team Medical Dragon 2," as its theme song.

      AI will be releasing her new album "DON'T STOP A.I." in December, and
      that will be a prologue to "DON'T STOP A.I. Japan Tour" starting
      February 2008 which includes 32 shows nationwide and caters to 100
      thousand audiences.

      Pursuing ORIGINALITY at all times, AI leads the generation without a
      stop. With supports from a wide range of audience, it is certain that
      AI will attract worldwide attention.

      **Get ready for her very first LA Live in concert opening up the tour
      2008! A.Ifs premium Los Angeles live-LA's own original story only at
      El Rey Theatre Los Angeles. Donft miss it!!!

      Official Web Site: http://www.universal-music.co.jp/ai/


      ===


      Cornelius rocks
      He makes music out of printers and kicks it with a theremin. JAIME
      HOLGUIN explores the allure of Japan's Keigo Oyamada.
      Jaime Holguin is an asap reporter in New York.
      http://asap.ap.org/stories/1452845.s


      It's said that love is the universal language, but sometimes so is a
      musical gadget.

      The sight of my Zoom 4-track recorder, which always leads people to
      ask, "Is that a taser gun?" excites Japanese musician Keigo Oyamada
      when I arrive for our interview at a New York City club prior to his
      performance.

      I don't speak Japanese and his English is limited, but that doesn't
      stop us from briefly geeking out over the virtues of fancy digital
      recorders. Oyamada, who's better known to his fans as Cornelius, says
      he has one at home, a more expensive Sony model that I've drooled
      over.

      GOING FOR THE OPTIMUM SETTINGS

      Later in his dressing room, he explains through his translator Ricky
      Domen how he uses it to make music.

      "I like to find and capture sounds that sound like music at certain
      moments," he says.

      Take an ink jet printer, for example, which he recorded, edited,
      looped and used as a foundation for a song on his latest
      album, "Sensuous." He's used chirping birds and running water in the
      past.

      For "Sensuous," Oyamada says he made it a point to record all of his
      found sounds at optimum settings. That's 24 bit, 96 kHz for all you
      techies out there. The result is a crisp, meticulously pristine
      production quality where every nuance of each layered sample can be
      distinctively heard.

      "Each sound is laid out in a constructive way, so that the more you
      listen to it the more complex it gets," says Oyamada.

      BANG YOUR HEAD...OR NOT

      At times his music entices you to dance, at others to bang your head
      in heavy metal fashion. There are flourishes of the Beach Boys, the
      Beatles, Pink Floyd and Joao Gilberto to name a few.

      It's an acquired taste, for sure. But like it or not, it's hard to
      deny that there's a freshness and uniqueness to the 38-year-old
      musician's eclectic repertoire. For now, his popularity in America
      remains limited, but like so many artists who are ahead of their
      time, Oyamada's talents will one day be revered by music historians.

      His musical career began in his teens, as a member of Lollipop Sonic.
      His next band, Flipper's Guitar, was a pop duo that paid homage
      to '80s British pop. In the early '90s he started his now-defunct
      record label Trattoria and shortly afterward embarked on his solo
      career, taking on the moniker Cornelius -- an homage to Roddy
      McDowall's character in "Planet of the Apes."

      "Fantasma" was his first record released in the United States in
      1998, two years after Beck's "Odelay." Like "Odelay," it was full of
      cutups and collages. "Fantasma" covered a lot musical terrain:
      cartoon music, video game blips,'60s psychedelia, noise rock and
      classical. Sudden and surprising musical twists and turns were to be
      found everywhere.

      On "Sensuous" and its precursor, "Point," the shifts are much more
      subtle and the music a lot more linear. It's a reflection of
      the, "personal influences from the environment around me," he says.

      WORKING 9-TO-5

      Oyamada lives in a "very residential area" of Setagaya, the largest
      ward in Tokyo, with his son and wife. It's a 15-minute drive to his
      recording studio in the trendy neighborhood of Nakameguro. He tries
      to stick to a Monday through Friday, 9-to-5 work schedule, preferring
      to treat the music making process as an office job.

      He has several ways of recording. Sometimes he's able to recreate a
      particular sound in his head with a guitar or another instrument.
      Once recorded, it's downloaded into one of many software programs and
      edited. If he finds himself short of ideas, he simply fires up a
      synthesizer or a piece of audio software and starts tweaking knobs
      and faders until he finds a suitable beat, drone or hum. And if
      that's not cutting it, he'll perhaps turn to a theremin for some
      inspiration.

      THEREMIN? I DON'T EVEN KNOW HIM

      On stage in New York City last week, the theremin (which was invented
      in the early 1900s by a Russian technician and is played by moving
      the hands around two metal antennae controlling the pitch and volume)
      was a central part of his show. At one point, he brought an audience
      member up on stage and held his hands to the instrument, guiding him
      through a solo. The crowd ate it up.

      Visuals also played a prominent role in his show, from a shot of
      young kid with multiple ears floating around his head or quick
      successions of animation reminiscent of a skit from the 1970s
      educational program "The Electric Company." For one song he played a
      box to control the Claymation-like figures that appeared on a large
      screen behind the stage. As the band played faster, Oyamada sped up
      their movement. Later in the show, he let audience members give it a
      try.

      Oyamada thrives on interactivity and is able to appreciate the fact
      that technology is such that people are able to take an artist's work
      and reinterpret it and share it with the whole world.

      LOVES TO BE MASHED UP

      During our interview, Oyamada, whose remixing talents are in high
      demand by everyone from Beck to Blur and the Avalanches, lights up
      when describing a YouTube.com posting that mashed up one of his
      videos with a Flaming Lips song.

      "Music is fun to listen to, but there's also other ways to enjoy
      music these days -- and it keeps broadening," he says.

      He likens the dissemination of music to the germination process.

      "By listening to and watching other people's work, I'm then able to
      spread more seeds," he says. "And if people listen and enjoy my music
      then, hopefully, they'll go on to spread more."




      ==============


      A.I.
      http://universal-music.co.jp/ai/inebio.html


      GENUINE SINGING SKILLS derived from Gospel Choir.
      PERFECT BILINGUAL ABILITY from being born in LA.
      STREET CONVERSANT: Rap skill in English.
      DANCE TECHNIQUE: Studied at an art school in LA.
      Elements of SOUL, R&B, HIP-HOP, and DANCE combine and formulate
      the "QUEEN OF HIP-HOP SOUL" = AI.

      AI was born in LA on November 2, 1981 between Japanese Father and 1/2
      Japanese, 1/2 Italian-American mother. She moved to Kagoshima, Japan
      due to her father's business. Since then, she has been travelling
      back and forth between Japan and the United States.

      AI learned singing and dancing in LA on professional level, and she
      was featured on Janet Jackson's promotion video of "GO DEEP" as one
      of the back dancers. Returned to Japan in the year 2000, she made a
      major label debut as a singer. In 2003, AI transferred a label to
      DefJam Japan and released a single "LAST WORDS (SAISHU-SENKOKU)."

      A ballad single, "Story," was released in May 2005. The song ranked
      #8 on a single sales chart, sold total of 300 thousand copies, had
      3.5 million downloads, and became a song to represent 2005. An album
      released that same year, "MIC-A-HOLIC A.I." was ranked #4 on the
      first week and sold over 500 thousand copies. On the New Year's Eve
      of 2006, AI made an appearance on a prestigious national TV
      program, "56th Annual KO HAKU UTAGASSEN" on NHK.

      In September 2006, AI released a single, "I Wanna Know," and an
      album, "What's goin' on A.I." The album was ranked #2 on a CD sales
      charts and was ranked TOP 5 for three consecutive weeks. "What's
      goin' on A.I. Japan Tour" followed the release brought 50 thousand
      audiences among 12 shows in 11 major cities of Japan. All tickets of
      her first auditorium tour including Nippon Budokan were sold out on
      the day of the ticket release.

      Her first live recording CD, "LIVE A.I." was released on March 2007
      consisting excerpts of the final show of "What's goin' on A.I. Japan
      Tour" at Nippon Budokan. The tour acclaimed "WORLD STANDARD" for its
      musicians, dancers, guest artist, and staging was packaged in its
      entirety on DVD release, "NIPPON BUDOKAN A.I." The DVD release
      includes documentary of AI rehearsing choreography at dance studios
      in LA as well as exclusive interviews of creators took parts of
      making the tour happen.

      In 2007, a single "I'll Remember You / BRAND NEW DAY" was released in
      July. AI made appearances on stages of summer music festivals such as
      Rock In Japan Festival and Summer Sonic in August and September. Her
      latest single "ONE" released in November has been aired on a FUJI-TV
      drama series, "IRYU ? Team Medical Dragon 2," as its theme song.

      AI will be releasing her new album "DON'T STOP A.I." in December, and
      that will be a prologue to "DON'T STOP A.I. Japan Tour" starting
      February 2008 which includes 32 shows nationwide and caters to 100
      thousand audiences.

      Pursuing ORIGINALITY at all times, AI leads the generation without a
      stop. With supports from a wide range of audience, it is certain that
      AI will attract worldwide attention.


      *1981.11.2 Born in LA
      *1999 Made an appearance on Janet Jackson's promotional video for
      "GO DEEP" as one of the dancers.

      *2000 Major label debut from BMG

      *2003 Transferred label to DefJam Japan
      Released album "ORIGINAL A.I." as the first female artist on the
      label.

      *2004 Album "2004 A.I." ranked #3 on album charts and received
      Gold Disc.

      *2005.5 Single "Story" ranked #8 on the first week on
      charts, sold 300 thousand copies, and totaled 3.5 million
      downloads.

      *2005.7 Album "MIC-A-HOLIC A.I." ranked #4 on charts.
      Sold 500 thousand copies.

      *2005.12 Made an appearance on NHK "KOHAKU UTAGASSEN"

      *2006.4 Single "Believe" ranked #2 on single charts.
      200 thousand copies sold and 1.2 million downloads.

      *2006.5 Promotion video of "Story" was nominated a BEST R&B VIDEO
      on MTV JAPAN ? VIDEO MUSIC AWARD JAPAN 2006

      *2006.9 Single "I Wanna Know" released
      Album "What's goin' on A.I." released
      The album was ranked #2 on the first week of the charts.

      *2007.3 Live audio recording CD "LIVE A.I." and live video recording
      DVD "NIPPON BUDOKAN A.I." released. Both consisting the
      final show of "What's goin' on A.I. Japan Tour"

      *2007.5 Promotion video of "Believe" was nominated a BEST R&B
      VIDEO on MTV JAPAN ? VIDEO MUSIC AWARD JAPAN 2007

      *2007.7 Single "I'll Remember You / BRAND NEW DAY" released

      *2007.11 Single "ONE" released

      *2007.12 Album "DON'T STOP A.I." release

      *2008.2 - "DON'T STOP A.I. Japan Tour"
      32 shows / total 100 thousand audience expected


      ============


      R&B divas giving J-Pop some attitude
      Robert Poole and Dan Grunebaum
      http://www.japantoday.com/jp/newsmaker/316
      http://metropolis.co.jp/tokyo/625/music_beat.asp


      TOKYO — Back in 2002, one of the biggest J-pop singers embarked on an
      ambitious solo project, riding a surging wave of interest in R&B.
      Namie Amuro was taking a risk few well-molded "idoru" would dare, and
      though seen as a little eccentric at the time, the resulting
      album, "Suitechic," now seems like a smart business move.

      With the likes of New York-born Hikaru Utada and Misia as role
      models, an abundance of mostly female singers indebted to American
      R&B have charged up the charts, many of whom also have significant
      backgrounds in the States. From Crystal Kay to Bennie K, AI to
      Double, and new acts Soulhead and Yoshika, R&B divas are giving J-Pop
      some attitude.

      Also raised in New York, the Heartsdales sisters, Jewels and Rum,
      spent more time in the U.S. than most. With their funky fourth
      album, "Ultra Foxy," just out, the duo have experience adjusting
      their music for a Japanese market that was unfamiliar to the sounds
      of Salt 'n' Pepa, Tone Loc and Run DMC they'd grown up listening to.

      During their first ever English-language interview, the girls are
      quick to open up. "During our time (in the U.S.), people would bring
      their stereos out after school and play around, rapping on the
      streets in the New York suburb of Yonkers. When we came back in our
      teens, we had culture shock for like a year," recalls Jewels, the
      older of the two. "We didn't even know how to speak the language!"

      Rum took a chance and sent a demo to the audition segment of TV Tokyo
      morning show "Asayan's Hip-Hop Revolution's," and by the time the
      sisters were recording their first albums, they noticed that to
      succeed in R&B, they'd have to do things differently. "We were
      writing in English, but the record companies said we had to do it in
      Japanese, otherwise people can't sing it in karaoke. So the rap part
      can be half-English, half-Japanese, but the hook has to be a catchy
      melody for the Japanese to sing."

      Aggressive sexual and violent content was out

      The topics, too, had to change: Aggressive sexual and violent content
      just wasn't going to resonate with a Japanese audience. "Being a
      female rapper, with the image that Japanese people have of them, no
      one would listen to you," observes Jewels. "So our clothing and our
      look cannot be too aggressive, we have to take the edge off."

      Wasn't this a sell-out? No, she says. "Everyone's thirsty and we want
      to give them water, but in Japan you have to freeze it a little and
      make it into ice. It was really hard to balance what we wanna do and
      also be able to have the Japanese people understand it."

      Like Heartsdales, both Bennie K and the Japan-born, African-American-
      Korean Crystal Kay had several albums under their belts before they
      found mass success in 2005. In 2006 they are joined by newcomers like
      Yoshika, whose smooth January debut is perhaps the closest to U.S.-
      style R&B.

      Yoshika spent time in Canada before going it alone at 16 at a high
      school in Modesto, California. She says that experience really opened
      her eyes. "I got to see all kinds of people ... I had a chance to
      hear Common, India Arie, Jill Scott. I was listening to the radio
      every day, and in the States the music just goes on, no talking. I
      loved it, so I went CD shopping. I was like, 'I should get it' even
      because of the jacket!"

      Returning to Japan at 18, Yoshika not only noticed that all her
      friends now considered her American, but discovered that, musically,
      she had something different to offer.

      Singing primarily in English, Yoshika got her break when a song she
      recorded for a commercial was picked up for release. The success of
      that song, "Jolie," kick-started her career, and she was soon working
      with Japanese R&B heavyweights m-Flo. "Japanese is really hard to
      sing in R&B — I feel that with R&B in the U.S., people are really
      feeling it with their body and soul."

      Lyrically, too, Yoshika's international background was having an
      effect on her message. "I felt sad about the world. A lot of people
      don't wanna talk about it — they want to do love songs. But when I
      wrote about big issues in Japanese, it looked so heavy, the words
      were so big and I didn't mean it that way. English is so smooth and
      so natural, so I can express more hope."

      Japanese R&B has easygoing air

      Japanese R&B may suffer from a lack of feeling that the pop sheen and
      the absence of an upbringing "in the 'hood" take away, but in the
      songs of artists like Yoshika, it gains a light, easygoing air — a
      sense that they're just having fun rather than trying to prove
      themselves with the diva attitudes common in the U.S.

      Despite Japanese R&B artists' divergent backgrounds, there's a sense
      of community among them. "We didn't expect so many artists to come
      out four, five years ago," Jewels confesses. "We worked with AI and
      Double back on our first two albums, but I think the real influence
      was m-Flo — half-Japanese, half-English, a mixture of cultures. And
      it was selling in Japan."

      Indeed, it seems that the duo of Taku and Verbal that make up m-Flo
      have worked with almost everyone in the current scene, including
      Amuro on her groundbreaking "Suitechic." The imprimatur of m-Flo has
      become a mark of quality in Japanese R&B, much like that of The
      Neptunes in the U.S.

      "For me, the second boom starts with m-Flo," says Double, a leader of
      the Japanese R&B scene at a time when none of the artists had an
      American background. Sitting proudly in the luxury offices of her
      label ForLife Entertainment, she points out, "There was Silva, Sugar
      Soul and Misia ... almost all are gone. It came back but now it's
      changed because this second boom is international."

      Now a solo act after the sudden death of her sister, Double contends
      that those first artists were actively sought by a record industry
      that was trying to push R&B at that time, but that this second bigger
      boom is a natural trend. "Record companies think it's a movement, but
      most of the artists never think that way."

      Double, who cut her teeth playing at the U.S. Yokota Air Base, wasn't
      impressed by her first exposure to R&B. "I couldn't understand it,
      but after I saw the video of Mary J Blige, it changed. The visuals
      were amazing and I was mesmerized."

      R&B soon became her forte. "I could sing it better than other music,
      and it represented me better than any other style." But without the
      American background of her successors, the struggle of matching
      Japanese language to a very foreign style proved a challenge. "R&B is
      originally in English, so it's easier in English, but I wanted to try
      to develop a way to express R&B in Japanese that would be really
      good."

      For her part, Yoshika prefers the U.S. style. "I want them to hear me
      and think, 'English is so nice.' I think it's the rhythm with the
      words. Some people tell me I should do more Japanese because people
      won't understand, but I don't care. I want both, I want people to
      listen to the English songs more, especially those who don' listen to
      foreign music."

      Most R&B vocalists with int'l experience are women

      The globalization of Japanese R&B was perhaps inevitable. "t would
      have happened anyway. It's natural the way people move around the
      world that some should have that exposure or background," says Steve
      McClure, the bureau chief of Billboard Asia and co-founder of Nippop
      (www.nippop.com). "It's part of a broader trend of Japanese artists
      to be more gutsy, and it's not exclusive to R&B."

      Yet while the likes of Sheena Ringo, UA or Kumi Koda are risky in
      their respective genres, it's the R&B scene that has the most
      vocalists with international experience. And almost all of them are
      women.

      Maybe that's only natural. Over the last decade, Japanese women have
      had more freedom than ever before — perhaps more so than men — and
      have taken advantage of it by traveling and living abroad. Many have
      returned with something enthralling for Japanese listeners: new
      sounds and ideas that they'd internalized but which remain exotic for
      a Japanese audience used to formulaic pop. The women of Japanese R&B
      have something to say and are happy to say it. And in a style of
      music where the phrase "keep it real" is a mantra, audiences are
      responding to them as authentic.

      From the seductive and increasingly provocative Double to the
      philosophical Yoshika to the street-talk of Heartsdales, these girls
      are wearing their hearts on their sleeves like never before. Is it
      only a matter of time before the men follow suit? "I think people
      will get bored with the female artists, and then they will focus on
      men," says Double.

      Indeed, trends change fast in Japan, where idols come and go in a
      matter of weeks. But the shelf life of acts has lengthened since
      the '80s, and today's top stars have no trouble maintaining careers
      well beyond their mid-20s, while R&B debutants like Yoshika are
      already past their teens. "Record companies realize people want
      something other than a bunch of girls dancing around in bunny suits,"
      says McClure.

      Yet, sighs Jewels philosophically, "What's in now won't be next year.
      It's a small country, so if you are hot you are on every channel,
      every program — people get tired." Adds McClure, "To every Morning
      Musume, there is an equal and opposite reaction, it's cyclical," a
      reference to Japan's most notorious producer-fabricated all-girl pop
      group.

      The current internationalization of R&B is also part of a wider trend
      within Japanese music, and the record industry is now getting behind
      it with auditions targeting returnees and "hafu."

      "They're all looking for people who are influenced by different music
      and speak both languages," Jewels points out. "A lot of artists, even
      if they can't speak English, try to sing in English. Soul'd Out have
      never lived in the States, but half of their songs are written in
      English and they sing in English because it's so cool."

      McClure sees a broader move away from cliched J-Pop. "I hear more
      female Japanese singers singing like they are emoting. I think it's
      healthy. It's nice to hear female vocalists who aren't afraid to belt
      it out, get a bit funkier — and that's not constrained to R&B."

      At a time when acts like Puffy are icons for the North American pre-
      teen set and Gwen Stefani is dancing around with her Harajuku Girls,
      can any of these acts break through in the home of R&B? Jewels can
      only lament the failure of those who have tried to crack the U.S.
      market. "I think you have to understand the culture, be able to speak
      the language, not just what's in the song, but understand it."

      For Double and others, though, success here is more than enough. "I
      don't want to try to appeal over there. I made it here by myself. I
      just want them to know that."


      ======================


      Cornelius (musician)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelius_(musician)


      Cornelius in 2007
      Background information
      Birth name Keigo Oyamada (小山田圭吾)
      Born January 27, 1969 (1969-01-27) (age 38)
      Origin Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
      Genre(s) Shibuya-kei / Indietronica / Alt. rock / Art rock /
      Experimental music
      Occupation(s) Musician, Producer, Vocalist
      Instrument(s) Guitar, Vocals
      Label(s) Trattoria Records, Warner Music Group, Matador Records
      Associated acts Flipper's Guitar / Takako Minekawa
      Website http://cornelius-sound.com


      Cornelius, moers festival 2007Cornelius (born Keigo Oyamada (小山田圭
      吾) January 27, 1969 in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese
      recording artist and producer.

      He was ranked at number 43 in a list of Japan's top 100 musicians by
      HMV.[1]

      Oyamada's first claim to fame was as a member of the pop duo
      Flipper's Guitar, one of the key groups of the Tokyo Shibuya-kei
      scene. Following the disbandment of Flipper's Guitar in 1991, Oyamada
      donned the "Cornelius" moniker and embarked on a successful solo
      career.

      American music journalists often describe Cornelius's musical style
      as being similar to Beck's, whom he acknowledges as an influence
      along with The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Jesus and Mary Chain,
      Primal Scream and the Brazilian band Kassin + 2, among others.

      The music of Cornelius could be described as experimental and
      exploratory, and often incorporates dissonant elements alongside more
      familiar harmonically "pleasing" sounds. This tension, plus his
      practice of bringing in sounds and samples from mass culture, pure
      electronic tones, and sounds from nature (such as on his Point
      album), lead him to being sometimes categorized as an "acquired
      taste."

      He chose his pseudonym in tribute to the character of the same name
      from the movie Planet of the Apes. He commissioned a song, about
      himself, on Momus' 1999 album Stars Forever.

      Oyamada married fellow musician and collaborator Takako Minekawa in
      2000 and they have one child, Milo, named after the son of Cornelius
      in Planet of the Apes. He is a second cousin of Joi Ito.

      His song Wataridori 2 is available for download via the Creative
      Commons CD

      As of September 2006, he is no longer signed to Matador Records.[1]

      In 2006 and 2007 respectively, the song "The Microdisneycal World
      Tour" from the "Fantasma" album, was used for Nick Parks' "Creature
      Comforts" and Sky television's "See, Surf, Speak" advertisements in
      the UK.


      ================


      AI
      http://wiki.theppn.org/AI


      Profile
      Stage Name: AI
      Real Name: Uemura Carina Ai (植村 カリーナ 愛)
      Birthday: November 2, 1981

      Information
      AI is the "Queen of Hip Hop Soul" with global standard vocal skills
      and multi-cultural background. AI was born in LA 1981 in a Japanese /
      American / Italian family. Having spent her childhood in her father's
      hometown, Kagoshima Japan, AI moved to LA on her own to be trained as
      a professional performer. At the age of 17, AI performed as a dancer
      for Janet Jackson's promo video "GO DEEP", and signed with BMG to
      make her debut in Japan. Four years later, in 2003, AI signed with
      Def Jam Japan.

      AI performed at Makuhari Messe on July 7th, 2007, for one of Japan's
      two Live Earth concerts.

      Discography
      Albums
      [2001.11.02] my name is AI #86
      [2003.07.23] ORIGINAL A.I. #15
      [2004.05.27] 2004 A.I. #3
      [2004.09.08] FLASHBACK TO A.I. #53
      [2004.10.20] FEAT. A.I. #32
      [2005.07.06] MIC-A-HOLIC A.I. #4
      [2006.09.27] What's Goin' on A.I. #2
      [2007.03.07] LIVE A.I. #14
      [2007.12.05] DON'T STOP A.I. #4
      [edit] Singles
      [2000.11.22] Cry, just Cry
      [2001.05.23] U Can Do
      [2001.09.05] Shining Star #98
      [2003.01.28] Saishuu Senkoku (最終宣告) #27
      [2003.06.25] Thank U #37
      [2003.10.15] My friend / Senjou no Merry Christmas (戦場のメリークリス
      マス) #35
      [2004.03.03] After The Rain #32
      [2004.04.16] E.O. #23
      [2004.08.04] WATCH OUT! feat. AFRA+TUCKER #62
      [2005.02.09] 365 feat. DELI #20
      [2005.04.20] Crayon Beats #40
      [2005.05.18] Story #8
      [2006.04.19] Believe #5
      [2006.08.30] I Wanna Know #9
      [2007.07.18] I'll Remember You / BRAND NEW DAY #13
      [2007.11.07] One #18
      [2008.??.??] Untitled

      DVD/VHS
      [2005.02.07] MACHIGAINAI
      [2001.01.18] MIC-A-HOLIC A.I. JAPAN TOUR '05
      [2007.03.28] Nippon Budokan A.I.


      ============


      Cornelius
      by Bill Haw
      http://nippop.com/artist/artist_id-3/artist_name-cornelius/
      Music Selections: http://www.podcastdirectory.com/podcasts/1150


      One of the few Japanese artists to make a significant impact
      overseas, Keigo Oyamada (a.k.a. Cornelius) has played a leading role
      in the development of Japanese music, art, and fashion since the
      early 1990s.

      Oyamada started his professional music career in the late 1980s when
      he was still in high school as guitarist for the short lived Lollypop
      Sonic, which also featured Kenji Ozawa (nephew of conductor Seiji
      Ozawa). The band soon changed its name to Flipper's Guitar.
      Comprising Oyamada, Ozawa, Shusaku Yoshida, Yasunobu Arakawa, and
      Yukiko Inoue, the band would release three stellar pop albums that
      would set the tone for Japanese music and pop culture before breaking
      up in 1991.

      Regarded as progenitors of the Shibuya-kei music style and scene,
      Flipper's Guitar hijacked elements of swinging 60s London, Brian
      Wilson, French movies, psychedelia, and myriad other sources,
      refracting them back as something wholly original and fresh.

      After the band's sudden breakup in 1991, Oyamada went on hiatus as a
      musician, founding the hip Trattoria label and producing songs for
      Hideki Kaji's band The Bridge, Pizzicato Five, and Kahimi Karie.

      In 1993 Oyamada emerged as a solo artist with the mini album Holidays
      in the Sun, recording and performing under the moniker Cornelius, a
      tribute to Roddy McDowall's ape scientist from the classic Planet Of
      The Apes movie. His first two long players, First Question Award
      (1994) and 69/96 (1995) sold fairly well. However if was his third
      full-length Fantasma, released in September, 1997, that provided a
      real breakthrough; a wonderfully splattered hodgepodge of styles that
      expanded on Flipper's spirited explorations and miraculously melded
      into one of the most original, cohesive, and culturally significant
      records of the year.

      With the massive success of Fantasma in Japan, Oyamada scored a deal
      with prestigious indie stalwart Matador in the United States,
      releasing the album there to warm reviews. Cornelius backed away from
      the manic style of Fantasma on the October, 2001 full-length Point -
      a more spare, thoughtful work that showcased Oyamada's often
      overlooked guitar chops.

      Point was released in the United States early the following year,
      again on Matador, and while it did not make the same splash as
      Fantasma, sold respectably.

      Live performances are an extension of Cornelius recordings,
      incorporating trippy lightshows, karate apes, and other elements that
      both complement and are complemented by his music.

      In addition to his own music, Oyamada's list of collaborators reads
      like a who's who of modern music, including Beck, Blur, and The
      Avalanches. He is also involved in the design and marketing of
      cutting-edge merchandise, including a limited edition cardboard
      turntable, unique watches, action figures, and headphones that
      accompanied the first pressing of Fantasma in Japan.

      Through his partnership with A Bathing Ape and its founder Nigo, a
      gigantic cult figure in his own right, Oyamada has worked on numerous
      cool products including t-shirts shrink-wrapped in the form of spray
      cans and Beastie Boys figures


      =================


      Point (Cornelius)
      http://www.matadorrecords.com/cornelius/biography.html


      And now for something completely different...

      Point is the long-awaited (it's true) new release from Japan's most
      innovative and respected musician, Cornelius a.k.a. Keigo Oyamada. It
      is a heartbreaking work of staggering genius which forges a very
      different path from his 1998 US debut `Fantasma.' Where `Fantasma'
      was an exaggerated media collage which deconstructed the history of
      pop and reassembled it into a breathtaking tangle of sound, `Point'
      is altogether more atmospheric, involving mood-driven soundscapes.
      Rather than cramming all his influences onto one record, `Point'
      shows Keigo taking a more organic, personal approach to his art; he
      tells us he approached Fantasma like a 5th grader—all cut & paste—but
      approached this one like a grandpa, where everything has to have
      meaning and relate to each other. Cornelius takes his inspiration
      from the world around him (not always musical), creating a dizzying
      environmental sound. The same musical influences are still there, but
      toned down and mutated into a more cohesive and mature album.

      `Point' was a year in the making, recorded solely in a small private
      studio above the Cornelius office. As well as providing all of the
      music, Keigo also self-produced the record, joined only in the studio
      by sound engineer Mishima, who also helped with the programming.
      There are some spectacular songs such as the danceable "Drop," the
      retro-Hawaiian "Brazil" (by Barosso) and the pseudo-metal of "I Hate
      Hate." This is Japanese pop at its most eclectic, invigorating, and
      sexy.

      Cornelius, while being hailed as a genius and as the future of rock
      and roll by many, is also just as interested in design, fashion,
      video, conceptual and pop art, and live extravaganzas (there will be
      no less than five music videos for Point). His performances
      incorporate a multimedia blowout complete with 3-D lights, video and
      kitsch gimmicks like karate spacemen and fantasy apes. He contributed
      an art DVD piece from `Point' to The Barbican's JAM exhibition
      earlier this year which was part of London's Tokyo Life festival. He
      is involved with every aspect of his own record designs as well as
      the abundance of other merchandise on offer (mainly in Japan) such as
      the limited edition DIY cardboard turntable, watches, and even a pair
      of headphones which was included in with the original Japanese
      release of Fantasma.

      It has been four years since the release of Fantasma, and during this
      time he has toured the world extensively and collaborated with many
      different artists on remixes etc. such as Blur, Beck, Sting, K.D.
      Lang and most recently two Australian bands The Avalanches and
      Gerling. Cornelius will be bringing his delirious live show to North
      America this spring.

      "Brilliant—Cornelius's innovations will definitely excite futuristic
      B-boys and rockers alike." —Vibe
      "Sounds like a record store's entire contents pushed through a meat
      grinder." —Spin
      "A Phil Spector for the post-rave generation."
      —London Telegraph
      "Unwittingly, Cornelius presents a challenge to American music
      criticism, which often sacrifices pop's pleasure, its international
      language of imagination and inspiration, on the altar of portent." —
      Village Voice


      =========


      FM: Fantasma
      reMixes & CM: Cornelius reMixes
      http://www.matadorrecords.com/cornelius/biography.html


      Keigo Oyamada, a.k.a. Cornelius, has had quite a year in the States.
      His first US perfomance at South by Southwest early last year
      successfully jammed his arena-sized rock show into the 500-person
      Electric Lounge. Folks stumbled away ecstatically afterward, blown
      away by the multi-media collision deftly spanning the history of rock
      and pop as heard through the ears of one of its most devoted fans. It
      neatly set the stage for the arrival of his American debut, Fantasma,
      which received an avalanche of accolades and impressive sales in the
      year since its release. His two brief sold-out tours in the US helped
      establish the new Japanese rock as a commercial force Stateside,
      while offering visceral proof of the genius that has made Cornelius a
      multiplatinum superstar in his homeland.

      If the remix album is the '90s equivalent to the the powerhouse live
      albums of the '70s, then Cornelius has upped the ante on the concept
      and delivered his Intensities in Ten Cities. Over the past year,
      Cornelius has been doing a series of remixes for friends and mutual
      admirers alike. All he asked for in return is for them to do the same
      with material from Fantasma.

      Now, he is releasing the two separate sets of remixes as a pair of
      full-length albums. FM (Fantasma Mix) draws together the mixes done
      by other artists from his US debut. CM (Cornelius Mix) is a
      collection of the remixes done by Cornelius. Both releases are of
      obvious appeal to fans of Cornelius as well as the various
      participating artists.


      ===========


      Fantasma
      http://www.matadorrecords.com/cornelius/biography.html


      Fantasma is the most surprising album we've heard in years. A tribute
      to stadium stardom by a Japanese pop idol, it unselfconsciously melds
      beats, guitar heaviness and orchestrated arrangements into an
      unbelievably catchy, joyous rollercoaster ride through rock music
      history.

      For 27-year-old CORNELIUS (Keigo Oyamada), this history moves
      smoothly from 1960s songwriting outfits like the Beach Boys and the
      Music Machine through the Clash and Wings to late '80s British
      outfits like My Bloody Valentine and Primal Scream. As if that's not
      enough, Oyamada sees no disparity in incorporating the hard excesses
      of late-'80s Japanese hip-hop and a plethora of spoken-word and
      soundtrack samples into this guitar-and-melody-based sound. This
      isn't contrast for the sake of contrast: in CORNELIUS's hands, all
      this music flows seamlessly together into a new kind of rock, a new
      kind of pop. He plays every instrument on the album. He doesn't see
      the genre boundaries that restrict most performers in pop, classic
      rock or electronica alike; and after hearing this album, neither will
      you.

      Fantasma is CORNELIUS's third album. Released in Japan last fall, it
      has sold close to half a million copies in his home country, making
      it a multi-platinum record. Originating in the same Shibuya-kei
      bubblegum pop scene that spawned Pizzicato Five, CORNELIUS has now
      moved well beyond his origins--although he has managed to take his
      young fans with him

      CORNELIUS's musical growth has been paralleled by the explosion of
      his own Trattoria label, whose roster well illustrates the breadth of
      his vision: the chanteuse Kahimi Karie, Eye Yamataka's seminal noise
      band Hanatarash, the sunny pop of Bridge and the scuzzy blues of
      Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her. In addition, he has released
      such overseas acts as the Apples In Stereo, Papas Fritas, even
      the "Planet Of The Apes" soundtracks and the Bill Wyman back catalog.

      CORNELIUS (named after the simian hero of "Planet of the Apes")
      recently completed a sold-out tour culminating with a riotous
      performance at Tokyo's prestigious Budokan stadium. His amazing
      design concepts married album artwork with crazy tour production--a
      multimedia blowout complete with 3-D lights and video, karate apemen
      and a $50 concert program that featured two different kinds of 3-D
      glasses, Vasarely-style psychedelic acetate layouts and different
      colored buttons that play fizzy electronic sounds right out of the
      book. A local radio station broadcast an extra rhythm track
      simultaneously with the concert, so attendees were encouraged to
      bring their Walkmans and tune into 88.1 FM while watching the show.
      The average age of the fans? 17 or so.


      =====


      Keigo Oyamada
      http://www.discogs.com/artist/Keigo+Oyamada


      Real Name: Keigo Oyamada
      Profile: Born: Jan 27, 1969 in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
      Aliases: Ape, The (3), Cornelius
      In Groups: Flipper's Guitar
      Name Variations: All | Keigo Oyamada | Keigo Oymada

      Remixes:
      The Cycle Hits-Remix Best Collection (CD) Konya Wa Boogie Back (...
      Ki/oon Records 1995
      Re-Grip (2xLP) Cycling Round (Keigo O... Sublime Records (3) 1996
      Re-Grip (CD) Cycling Round (Keigo O... Sublime Records (3) 1996
      Re-Grip (CD) Cycling Round (Keigo O... Sublime Records (3) 1996
      Yuri (Original Soundtrack) (CD) I Dance Alone (Mantepi... Victor
      Entertainment Japan 1996
      Ape Shall Never Kill Ape (CD, Maxi) Ape Shall Never Kill A... Toy's
      Factory 1998
      Ape Shall Never Kill Ape (12") Ape Shall Never Kill A... Toy's
      Factory 1998
      Girls At Our Tratt's Best! (CD) Galaxy Express 69 Mix ... Trattoria,
      Polystar 1998
      Lollo Rosso (CD, Album) Homespin Rerun (Cornel... V2 Records, Inc.
      1998
      Trilogy Box Set (3x12", Ltd + Box) Ape Shall Never Kill A... Toy's
      Factory 1998
      Production:
      Girly (CD, Maxi) Candyman Crue-L Records 1994
      Good Morning World (CD, Mini) A Fantastic Moment Polystar, Trattoria
      1995
      Leur L'Existence (CD, Maxi + CD, Mini) Polystar, Trattoria 1995
      My First Karie (CD, Maxi) Trattoria, Polystar 1995
      Le Roi Soleil (CD) Trattoria, Polystar 1996
      Dreamism! (CD, Maxi) Trattoria 1998
      Kahimi Karie (CD) Minty Fresh 1998
      The Best Of Trattoria Years Plus More (CD) Trattoria, Trattoria
      Family Club, Polystar 1998
      Giapponese A Roma (CD, Maxi) Mike Alway's Diary Siesta 1999
      The Best Of Trattoria Years Plus VCD (2xCD, Maxi + VCD) R.PM
      Records 1999
      Spaced - Soundtrack To The TV Series (CD) Count Five Or Six Channel
      Four Music 2001
      Gainsbourg Made In Japan (CD) En Melody New Mantra 2002
      Send Your Love (CD, Maxi) Moon Over Bourbon Stre... A&M Records,
      Universal Music (Japan) 2003
      Montage (CD) Victor Entertainment Japan 2004
      Beep It (12") Crue-L Records 2006
      Bossa Nova 2001 (CD, Album) columbia*readymade 2006
      Music (CD, Maxi) Warner Music (Japan) 2006
      Sensuous (CD) Warner Music (Japan) 2007
      Sensuous (12", Album) Warner Music (Japan) 2007
      Sensuous (CD, Album, Enh) Everloving, Inc. 2007
      Co-production:
      Bossa Nova 2001 (CD) Nippon Columbia 1993
      Fun9 (CD) Emperor Norton 1999
      DJ Mixes:
      Chasm (CD) World Citizen - I Won'... Warner Music (Japan) 2004
      Appears On:
      Leur L'Existence (CD, Maxi + CD, Mini) Prologue - Majime Ni A...
      Polystar, Trattoria 1995
      Que Sera, Sera (Things Go From Bad To Worse) (CD) Love Child, Happy
      Para... Rail Recordings 1995
      Romantique 96 (CD) The Awakening Nippon Columbia 1995
      Sushi 3003 - A Spectacular Collection Of Japanese Clubpop (CD)
      Cannabis Bungalow 1996
      La Boum ~My Boom Is Me~ (CD, Mini) La Boum ~My Boom Is Me...
      Polystar, Trattoria 1997
      Mini Skirt (CD) La Boum ~My Boom Is Me~ Polystar, Trattoria 1997
      Fantasma (CD, Album) Matador 1998
      Hot! (CD) Free Fall Select Magazine 1998
      10th Anniversary Box Set (22xCD, Maxi + Box, Ltd) Tender (Cornelius
      Remi... Food 1999
      No Distance Left To Run (Cass, Single) Tender (Cornelius Remi...
      Food 1999
      No Distance Left To Run (CD, Maxi) Tender (Cornelius Remi...
      Parlophone 1999
      Tsunami (Cornelius And Stereolab Mixes) (12", Single, Promo) Tsunami
      (Cornelius Remix) Epic 1999
      Ape Sounds (CD, Album) Monster Mo Wax 2000
      Ape Sounds (CD, Ltd, Fig) Monster Mo Wax 2000
      Ape Sounds (CD, Album) Monster Modular Recordings 2000
      Wild Sketch Show (DVD) Daisyworld Discs 2003
      Chasm (CD) Undercooled, World Cit... Warner Music (Japan) 2004
      Live In Barcelona - Tokyo (2xDVD) Warner Music (Japan) 2006
      Music (CD, Maxi) Warner Music (Japan) 2006
      Nunki (CD, Album) I'm In The Rain, 歩��... Victor Entertainment
      Japan 2006
      Causes 1 (CD, Ltd) Wataridori 2 (Exclusiv... Waxploitation 2007
      Gum / Cue (7", Single) Gum Korova, Korova 2007
      Mini Skirt - Deluxe Edition (CD, Album, RM + DVD-V, NTSC) La Boum ~My
      Boom Is Me~ Polystar 2007
      Unofficial Releases:
      Ape Shall Never Kill Ape (12") Ape Shall Never Kill A... Mo Wax
      (White), UNKLE (White) 2005


      =====================


      Universal Music Japan
      http://wiki.theppn.org/Universal_Music_Japan


      UMusic JapanUniversal Music or UMusic Japan is one of the major
      record labels in Japan. Its is also the Japanese Unit of
      international Label Universal Records.

      Artists
      12012 (2007-)
      AI
      amber (2000-)
      ANZA (2006-)
      Denda Mao
      ET-KING
      Fukuyama Masaharu (2000-)
      GReeeeN
      Juemilia
      Kahala Tomomi (2004-)
      Ketchup mania
      Lena Park
      LUNA SEA
      Matsuda Seiko (1996-2002)
      Matsu Takako
      MEG (2007-)
      mihimaru GT
      Miyavi
      Mizrock (2007-)
      Moriyama Naotaro
      Nakabayashi May
      Nakamori Akina
      Natori Kaori
      Onitsuka Chihiro (2004-)
      Pierrot
      Plastic Tree
      Re*GirL
      Shibasaki Kou
      Shiratori Emiko
      Spitz
      The FLARE
      TOKIO (2001-)
      Uehara Hiromi
      WaT
      Yuhara Yuki
      Zwei (2006-)


      ===========


      AT UNIVERSAL MUSIC JAPAN
      KAZU KOIKE ELEVATED TO PRESIDENT/COO
      Chairman/CEO Ishizaka promotes Universal Sigma executive
      http://new.umusic.com/News.aspx?NewsId=444


      TOKYO, October 31, 2006 - At Universal Music Japan, Kazu Koike has
      been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer, with effect
      from January 1, 2007. The promotion was announced today by Keiichi
      Ishizaka, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music
      Japan, to whom he reports. For the past two years, Koike has been
      Managing Director of the company's Universal Sigma label, while also
      overseeing international repertoire.

      The appointment completes the strategic reorganisation of Universal
      Music Japan, initiated by Ishizaka earlier this year to strengthen
      and broaden its business and, in particular, its successful domestic-
      repertoire divisions. The company was the industry leader for the
      first nine months of 2006 with a 14.6% market share, according to
      data from the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), and
      held a 17.3% share for the month of September.

      Koike's promotion reflects an accomplished track record. He joined
      Universal Music's Polydor label in 1977, advancing in 2000 to head
      its international division, responsible for the marketing of such
      Universal Music Group superstars as U2, Eminem, Sting, Mariah Carey,
      Bon Jovi, Shania Twain, t.A.T.u. and Gwen Stefani.

      In 2001, Koike was tapped by Ishizaka to launch Def Jam Japan as a
      hip hop-oriented, cutting-edge label for domestic repertoire. It has
      since grown into Universal Sigma Records, achieving major success
      with artists such as AI and WaT, while revitalising the careers of
      such established acts as Hideaki Tokunaga and Chara.

      As President/COO of Universal Music Japan, Koike will be responsible
      for three key domestic labels Nayutawave, Universal Sigma and Far
      Eastern Tribe (FET) and will oversee the International, Classics &
      Jazz, and Universal Strategic Marketing divisions. Reporting to him
      will be Managing Directors Susumu Machida (Nayutawave), Naoshi
      Fujikura (Sigma), Atsushi Suzuki (FET), Kimi Kato (International),
      Hiroshi Aono (Classics & Jazz), and Yasuo Chikatsu (USM).

      Universal J, under Managing Director Atsushi Kitamura, reports to
      Keiichi Ishizaka, as does the newly formed UMA artist management
      division under Managing Director Yasunori Heguri. Nobuko Suzuki,
      Chief Financial Officer, and Takashi Kimoto, Managing Director, Sales
      & Marketing, continue to report to Ishizaka.

      Keiichi Ishizaka commented,Kazu Koike is the best of a new generation
      of music industry talent, with broad experience in both international
      and domestic repertoire. His thinking is bold and fresh, and I am
      confident that he will steer Universal Music Japan to even greater
      success in the future.

      Signalling the growth of Universal Music Japan, Keiichi Ishizaka
      advanced from President to Chairman/CEO in September, when he also
      signed a new, long-term contract with the company. Its current
      strength is largely due to top-selling 2006 releases by Spitz, Dreams
      Come True, Hideaki Tokunaga, TOKIO and AI, and to new-artist
      breakthroughs, including WaT and mihimaru GT.

      In addition, artists from the worldwide Universal Music Group roster
      are currently enjoying significant success in Japan, including
      Fergie, Ne-Yo and Rihanna. Fergie's will.i.am/Interscope album, The
      Dutchess, is one of the year's biggest hits, with sales of more than
      200,000 copies since its release in September.
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