Archive for February, 2008

Far France – Addict

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

9mm Parabellum Bullet, Ogre You Asshole, Nhhmbase, Toddle – Japan’s indie rock resurgence continues with the likes of Far France, a quartet of twenty year olds from Tokyo who possess a level of talent far beyond their age.

I was one of those people that broke down upon hearing the news of Number Girl disbanding. And despite some of the great bands that have arisen out of Number Girl’s ashes – Zazen Boys, Vola and The Oriental Machine, Toddle, Sloth Love Chunks – there exists a void that has yet to be filled.

Enter Far France.

Well not quite. But Mukai and company did seem to have a left an impressionable mark on these talented young musicians.

The Japanese rock music cognoscenti have yet to take notice of Far France, which is expected, their debut mini album was only released last week. Don’t be surprised though when you see Far France on a bunch of “best of 2008” lists.

Takagi Masakatsu

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

  Takagi Masakatsu, kennedy center, washington dc, japan! culture + hyperculture festival, electronic, indie, multimedia artist, moving paintings, motion, music

We’re big fans of multimedia artist Takagi Masakatsu here at Red Ruin. He recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the Japan! Culture + Hyperculture festival. For those of us who couldn’t make it, the entire performance can be seen online here.

And for those of you in D.C. *wink* I sure hope you went out to see this.

Grammatics – Shadow Committee

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

  grammatics, shadow committee, indiepop, indie music, rock, underground, united kingdom, leeds uk music, mp3 review

Artist: Grammatics
Song: Shadow Committee
From album: Shadow Committee 7″
Genre: Indie Dramapop
[Buy Mp3s][Myspace]

I heard about the band Grammatics from a music recommendation thread on some Japanese site; and this song sort of makes me wonder why I hadn’t heard of them elsewhere first, and how long they will remain unsigned.

This group from Leeds, UK make songs with music more like plot lines than tunes, and both of the specimens on this 2-song album have more than enough creativity and polish to stand out in a crowd.

Balloon Ride

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

  canadian indie music, rock, underground

This aptly titled song is a wondrous power ballad by Toronto based rock band, Ivory Tree Observatory. Such is the song’s power to capture the mind, I find myself overwhelmed with the sense of flight within the first few notes. As these delightful melodies continue, I imagine myself gazing downwards at vast majestic landscapes, where miniature people are waving at me. One of them is pointing and frantically jumping up and down. It appears to be some kind of warning.

Sure enough, the song takes a violent shift in mood and a torrent of chaos interrupts my flight. As the guitars thrash their way through a metal riff, I am now whirling around in a thunderstorm, desperately clinging onto my hot air balloon. Lucky for me, the unexpected storm is very brief, the sky clears, the guitars calm down and the song returns to its whimsical melodies. I loosen my grip, turn off the burner, and peer over the wicker basket. The miniature people have grown in size. A few of them begin to chase me as I begin to make my final descent. At that moment, the vocalist finishes the final note of the chorus and the song’s satisfying conclusion carries me to a safe landing.

Balloon Ride is one of the five songs from the band’s free demo which can be downloaded via their Myspace. Ivory Tree Observatory can be seen playing at Clinton’s Tavern (Toronto) this Thursday Feb. 7, 2008.