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■ Featuring "Essays," May 31 to June 29







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■ Now, we have got to go to 2015 pops, the main theme. Did you find any topics in 2015?

M: This year? No topics! LOL It is the first thing since I started my website in 2002. Mr.Children’s brand-new album, I mentioned about a few minutes ago, could be a topic. With USB memory sticks, they suggested us listening to pop music in high resolution.


■ How about High Res?

M: Speaking frankly, I don't appreciate that very much. I guess musicians are happy, because they can show us their original sound. My opinion says High Res is a gift for audio enthusiasts. I wish they released their 23 songs by 2 CDs. I don’t like Low Res, although.


■ What album is your No. 1 in 2015?

M: I have some. Let me see… “Vision” by Negoto, a Japanese female band, is it. Although their past works included some anxiety factor, “Vision” does not. Satisfactory, it is supposed to be a masterpiece which makes us look forward to their brilliant future. I wish it makes a bigger sale.


Negoto 3rd Album "Vision" -digest- edited by Mizuki Masuda


■ In the present scenes, it looks the young are mostly unsuccessful…

M: That is because most of Japanese young people are out of the habit to buy CDs. Over 30s are in, and just support the veteran bands like Mr.Children and Southern All Stars. Sadly, the songs of the young artists hardly spread publicly, even if their names did. Today, Japanese TV musical programs are only looking back. 10 years later, the present youngsters are never going to be invited by those. How much will they be popular with joining Kōhaku Uta Gassen, talking about Gesu no Kiwami Otome?


■ Music videos of Gesu no Kiwami Otome on YouTube, are played a lot…

M: TV is still more powerful than internet, because it can make people know and get interested in the unknown. In the web, we almost watch nothing but what we want to.


■ Totally, then, it seems like the young are given the cold shoulder.

M: Yes. Looking at the booklet, I think Ohara Sakurako is exceptional. The third album of Ieiri Leo is almost programmed by an arranger, though some songs need real drummers. She has grown up as a singer. I hope they spend money more for her recording. Before died Sakuma Masahide; a musical producer and arranger, he said it was getting more difficult to create good music because of a lack of the budget, than used to be. That is shown by the real situations around the young.


Leo Ieiri 3rd Album "20"

■ I know he said. Most the makers cannot afford to grow up the promising youngsters?

M: No idea about that! But I guess every field has such a problem that the veterans are reigning over a long time and the young don’t grow. In Japanese comedy world, still popular is the old personalities like Akashiya Sanma. Tunnels and Tamori. Watching TV, we have hardly seen the youngsters.


■ Surely, we don’t have any teenage stars in a Japanese comedy field…

M: Totally aging, it means. Also in Japanese pop music. Lately, people in 30s are regarded as youngsters, weirdly. That is a structural problem. Like “Vision” of Negoto, there are some high-quality works among the young’s. So it does not mean the youngsters are totally unsuccessful. Maybe the listeners are aged and hard to accept something new or young.


Interview & Text by Misaka Yohei

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