Tokyo Blog, Tokyo Story

The blog of Stephen David Smith, Tokyo, Japan 2018

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Radio Tokyo Vol. 5 – Brooklands

After a longish break from making mixes, Radio Tokyo is back with this latest offering which is a montage of bleak and haunting musical soundscapes from the electronic music scenes of UK, Germany, and US. Moody enough for you? Here’s the playlist:

  1. I Made a Tree on the Wold – Telefon Tel Aviv
  2. Error 404 – Apparat
  3. You Are Here (Four Tet Remix) – Nathan Fake
  4. Harrowdown Hill – Thom Yorke
  5. No Release – Lindstrøm
  6. Lump – James Holden
  7. Rusty Nails – Moderat
  8. Mobula – Fairmont
  9. Cerulean – Simian Mobile Disco
  10. Street Halo – Burial
  11. Crackle Blues (Burial Remix) – Blackdown
  12. No Special Bed – Prefuse 73
  13. Arcadia – Apparat
  14. Mdrmx – Brothomstates
  15. Gold – Darkstar
  16. Ode to Bear – Mount Kimbie
  17. Wilhelms Scream – James Blake
  18. Missing – The XX
  19. Oaklands – Chris Clark
  20. Soft Trees Break The Fall – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

View all podcasts in the Radio Tokyo series and download this episode here.


Cesare vs. Disorder & Onirik – Il Viaggio

A Brazilian visual artist based in Berlin called Fernanda contacted me by email the other day and pointed to her recent project for an independent record label. What you see above is a music video she made for an upcoming release on Serialism Records featuring a montage of video shot in Tokyo in January this year. I really liked it and wanted to share it with you. Thanks to Fernanda Mattos for the info.


Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Here’s the music video for a new Japanese artist I recently discovered. Someone recommended this one to me and after checking it out on YouTube I noticed that it seemed to have gone viral with a lot of people in the west sharing it because of it’s crazy visuals and its Harajuku Kawaisa / Decora elements. The song is produced by Yasutaka Nakata who also does Perfume’s stuff.


SonarSound Tokyo 2012’s Superb Lineup

This year’s SonarSound Tokyo 2012 sports the most unmissable lineup ever: Squarepusher, Clark, Global Communication, The Cinematic Orchestra, Vincent Gallo, Mount Kimbie, Rustie, Hudson Mohawke and way more(!). It takes place on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of April and a one day ticket will set you back ¥7,750 in advance and ¥8,500 on the day and the two day ticket costs ¥14,500. Regardless of cost, this is surely a must-go-to event for any electronic music fan. I’ll certainly be there as it’s my birthday on the 24th! I’ll be here both days, and then off to relax in the hot springs of Izu the following day! It’s going to be a great weekend – let me know if you’re going.


Radio Tokyo Volume 4 – Commercial Breaks

This episode of Radio Tokyo showcases some of the more leftfield Japanese artists past and present that I had in my collection. As ever, I don't present or narrate, but at the same time it's not just a straightforward mix. There's a real variety of genres, styles and BPM here, so I wove them together with some samples taken from retro Japanese TV commercials, and that's where the name and the theme of this episode comes from. Here's the playlist, enjoy:


  1. I, Me, My, Mine - Polysics
  2. A11 A10ne - Buffalo Daughter
  3. LSD - Trippple Nippples
  4. Rocket - Polysics
  5. 4 Little Joeys Remix - Kiiiiii!
  6. I Wanna Be Sedated - Shonen Knife
  7. Twiggy Twiggy - Pizzicato Five
  8. Mogu Mogu - Chinza Dopeness
  9. Spam Keikoku - Shonen Knife
  10. Pajama Party Pop - Lullatone
  11. Sugar Water - Cibo Matto
  12. The Audrey Hepburn Complex (Billy Wilder Mix) - Pizzicato Five

View all podcasts in the Radio Tokyo series and download this episode here.


Washed Out at Liquid Room, Ebisu – Tonight

Just wanted to quickly mention for chillwave and dreampop lovers out there, that Washed Out will be playing at Liquid Room in Ebisu tonight. It’s ¥5,500 in advance, but it looks like tickets on the door will be the same price. i was really thinking about going down myself, but I really am too busy to go. If you do have time, I heartily recommend you go and catch this – starts at 7:30. Full details can be found on Liquid Room’s page for the event.



Hello. Got some Polysics for you today. Enjoy.


Radio Tokyo Volume 1 – Airspace

Radio Tokyo Volume 1 - Airspace

A little foray into the art of Podcasting here. The first in a series of radio broadcasts / mixes. This first one is something of an experiment. Haven’t gotten used to the software yet, so not as well made as I’d like, but still; this first episode takes an aeronautical theme, inspired by the airliners that pass over my house on their way to the newly opened international runway at Tokyo Haneda Airport.


  1. Blue Calx – Aphex Twin
  2. Wing Body Wing – Four Tet
  3. Amo Bishop Roden – Boards of Canada
  4. Hilarious Movie of the 90’s – Four Tet
  5. Genshi – Susumu Yokota
  6. Circling – Four Tet
  7. Cocoon – Bjork
  8. Goodbye – Kevin Shields
  9. There is a Number of Small Things – Mum
  10. Pink Stones – Memory Tapes
  11. Z Twig – Aphex Twin
  12. Auto Pilot – Lusine icl

View all podcasts in the Radio Tokyo series and download this episode here.


Peter, Bjorn & John Feat. Yoyogi Rockabillies

This great music video for the song Nothing to Worry About by Peter, Bjorn & John features the Tokyo Rockabilly Club. People will probably know them as the guys who rock out in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Check it out – the guy’s got a motorcycle in his apartment!


Washed Out and Toro y Moi

There’s a few new low-fi synth-pop acts based in America’s South East, specifically the states of South Carolina and Georgia. It seems as though the region is set to spawn a new sub-genre and the main two pioneers of the sound are doing the rounds on YouTube. I can’t remember how I found it, but they’re going to form a double bill of sorts for this musical interlude.

(Toro y Moi – Talamak, Washed Out – Feel it All Around)

As a random tie-in to this musical interlude special, here’s Toro y Moi secretly playing a cameo in Uniqlo’s UT promotion this year:

Toro y Moi for UT


Noh at Meiji-jingu

Noh at Meiji-jingu

This past Monday saw a performance of Japan’s ancient musical drama, Noh at Meiji-jingu in Yoyogi park. I got there with a friend at around 11.45 ready for the start at noon. At the beginning the stage was covered in white cloth, which men in Japanese traditional dress removed about 5 minutes before to reveal a beautifully polished stage. The setting was perfect, with a wedding procession passing through the inner courtyard of the shrine shortly after we arrived, and then, with just 60 seconds to go before the start, a booming Taiko drum heralded the arrival of the performers and for the duration it was completely silent. The man you see in the picture above is playing the part of a Samurai telling of how he lost in battle. There’s no hope of understanding the dialogue however, as it’s spoken in an archaic form of Japanese with peculiar enunciation. Still, I would definitely recommend seeing it if you have a chance, it completely blew me away.


Boards of Canada – Sixtyniner

Musical interlude from BOC. The idea is with these posts is that you just click play and you have something to listen to while you read.


Chinza Dopeness – Mogu Mogu

Tokyo rapper Chinza Dopeness’ unique style is new to my ears, but I’m going to get the album as a result of listening to this. Via Shane Lester’s Vimeo.


Family Mart Jingle via Korg

This is pretty goofy, but it’s a remix of the Family Mart jingle that you usually hear when you walk into one of their convenience stores. The guy’s pretty hot with the Korg too. The cheesy techno it descends into would usually be a turn off, but in this situation it suits the chimes perfectly! People in Tokyo will definitely recoginse it.


Azukiiro No Kaori

Musical Interlude. I couldn’t find any videos worthy of showcasing the fine electronic music produced by Susumu Yokota, so I made my own. The track is Azukiiro No Kaori by Susumu Yokota from his Sakura album. All of the footage was shot Autumn/Winter 2008 and Autumn 2009.