Japanese Girls and Synthesizers: Shibuya-Kei Sounds

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Japanese Girls and Synthesizers: Shibuya-Kei Sounds

Shibuya-Kei is a subgenre of Japanese pop that originated in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. If you were a music nerd in the ‘90s, you probably remember Cibo Matto, Cornelius or Buffalo Daughter. The base of the music was 80s synthpop, but there was also a coat of shimmering guitars stubbled with quirky electronic flourishes and occasional forays into jazz or lounge. It was self-consciously cheeky music that occasionally teetered towards kitsch, and was viewed, by Western hipsters, with a tinge of exoticism. Birgitta has some wonderful playlist on her Spotify channel, and this one does a great job at capturing the genre’s oddness, thought it’s curious that she didn’t include Pizzicato Five.

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