1000 Tiny Magnets Show #230: July 19, 2019: Shibuya-kei & Its Origins Special
Shibuya-kei(Japanese: 渋谷系, lit. “Shibuya style”) is a microgenre of pop music or a general aesthetic that flourished in the mid to late 1990s. Emerging as Japanese retail music from the Shibuya district of Tokyo, artists purveyed a cut-and-paste style that was inspired by previous genres based on kitsch, fusion, and artifice.Shibuya-kei inherited musical characteristics from earlier 1980s Japanese city pop, while incorporating strong influences from 1960s culture and Western pop music, especially the orchestral domains occupied by producers Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson, Phil Spector, and singer Serge Gainsbourg.
*special intro: Kaji Kideki, The Smell of Bob,
Pizzicato Five, It’s a Beautiful Day,
Konishi Yasuharu and Pizzicato Five, Part of Your World,
Pizzicato Five, From Party to Party,
Eiko Shuri, Ye-Ye,
Reiko Ohara, Peacock Baby,
Jun Mayuzumi, Black Room,
Mie Nakao, Sharock No.1,
Pizzicato Five, My Baby Portable Player Sound,
Pizzicato Five, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy),
Konishi Yasuharu and Pizzicato Five, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,
(track listings within^)
Pizzicato Five, 20th Century Girl,
Pizzicato Five, CDJ,
Pizzicato Five, Baby Love Child,
Pizzicato Five, A Room With A View,
Kaji Kideki, Let’s Make a PopSong,
Kaji Kideki, Weekenders,
Kaji Kideki, Tokyo to London,
Emy Jackson, Tenshi No Itazura,
Background and influences
The term “Shibuya-kei” comes from Shibuya (渋谷), one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo known for its concentration of stylish restaurants, bars, buildings, record shops, and bookshops. In the late 1980s, the term “J-pop” was formulated by FM radio station J-Wave as a way to distinguish Western-sounding Japanese music (a central characteristic of Shibuya-kei) from exclusively Euro-American music. In 1991, HMV Shibuya opened a J-pop corner which showcased displays and leaflets that highlighted indie records. It was one of those displays that coined “Shibuya-kei”.
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The upper middle-class, privately educated rich kids who frequented these [Shibuya record] stores bought loads of imported records from the UK and esoteric reissues of all kinds, then created music that was a portrait of themselves as exquisitely discerning consumers.