Mirror Kisses makes nostalgia sound sexy. In this clip Mirror Kisses’ George Clanton teams with Hackers’ Johnny Lee Miller to bring frosted blonde hair back.

George Clanton describes his Mirror Kisses as a “modern male emotional empowerment music movement.” Join by getting the Mirror Kisses discography on bandcamp, all for PWYW. Also check ESPRIT 空想 for George’s Vaporwave work.

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Music

High Expectations for “Lower”

In spite of what you’ve heard, Lower did not come from an icy wasteland to create bleak post-punk soundtracks for a doomed generation. That’s how the band was described after their Walk on Hands EP expanded upon the Iceage lead Copenhagen doom punk invasion. However, Adrian Toubro, Simon Formann, Kristian Emdal, and Anton Rothstein weren’t interested in fitting into that mold. Lower’s full-length debut Seek Warmer Climes was more celebratory than melancholy. Upbeat and inspirational dance tunes balanced out the more somber numbers, and Lower demonstrated a deeper palate than reviewers initially saw.

Lower has travelled extensively in support of Seek Warmer Climes. This month they will be making their Japanese debut February 27th in Tokyo and March 2nd in Osaka. We spoke to Anton and Kristian ahead their performances in Tokyo and Osaka. The guys talked the brutality of touring, Copenhagen’s sonic takeover, the score for Akira, and how it feels to be promoted as “the future of rock music.”

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Why do you make music?

Music is a proper way of putting everything on the table at once, of expressing yourself stronger than you can with words only. Through music we have an efficient opportunity to formulate all the answers we need. It is a truly human voice. We also make music because it’s a wonderful way to have fun and pass time with your friends.

How do you feel about the response to Seek Warmer Climes? Did people react as you hoped?

We didn’t really think of how people would react to the record. When you create music you think for yourself primarily, and the opinion of your surroundings doesn’t matter. Criticism in one way or the other, heckling or applauding, is not mandatory for us to continue creating. It will always be there, but it is important to stay focused on what you want and not what someone else expects of you.

In the “13 Torches for a Burn” mini-documentary the tone of the bands blend together until Lower comes on. It’s gloomy, and then there you are upbeat and singing inspirational lyrics about making a better life. Is this direction an attempt to stand out or just something you’ve naturally grown into?

Everything we do is a product of natural intuition – be it notes played, beats hit or words sung. Honesty and being true to ourselves and each other is very important. Making music is all about us and we. Just as stated above, we don’t really aim to please anyone but ourselves, and we try not to compare our music to what our friends play. The lyrics are always Adrian’s way of self cleansing, so it should never be mistaken as a way of posing something on other people even though the lyrics may sound accusing at times. Continue reading

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Blade Runner begat a generation worth of great anime. Now, thanks to a savvy fan, Anime can give something back. Using clips from Bubble Crisis, an OVA heavily inspired by Blade Runner, a strong guess at what an animated version of Blade Runner would look like.

Interviews, Music

Summer of Punk: The Hether Fortune Interview

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Hether Fortune is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, rock star, dominatrix, journalist, and twitter iconoclast. She brought all those talents into making Wax Idols “Discipline and Desire” one of the best releases of 2013. This year she’s worked as the bassist for White Lung whose world tour has earned glowing reviews on three continents. White Lung hope to add a fourth to that list when they play the Fuji Rock Festival this Saturday. We talked with Hether about the tour, her next album, and karaoke.

Why do you make music?

I can’t remember what it’s like to not make music. I’ve never really wanted to do anything else. I have no backup plan, no college degree waiting patiently for me as if this is a phase that will pass. There is really nothing else for me but music.

What’s been your favorite and least favorite things about touring with White Lung?

My favorite thing is remembering what it’s like to play in a band just for fun, because White Lung is not my personal source of creative output. It’s just a touring thing with my friends and I have little to no responsibility. It’s a lot different than Wax Idols, which is very much my band and my responsibility. Continue reading

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Music

Japan's Finest: The Crazy T Interview

After seven years holding it down on the streets of Kofu, Yamanashi-based Hip Hop artist Travis “Crazy T” Tewes met a career milestone: his latest EP “Crazy as Fuck” reached number one on Amazon Japan’s Hip Hop download chart. The Panache caught up with him to talk topping the charts, navigating the Japanese Hip Hop scene, and shooting videos guerilla style.

Your latest release hit #1 on Amazon in Hip Hop downloads. How much work went into making that happen? How did it feel to achieve it?

It was just surreal. I was kind of in this strange writer’s block phase last year, I wrote and recorded a bunch of tracks that I ended up just throwing out. When I finally got 5 I really liked it just felt good to get it out there and be done with it. I was originally planning on releasing it in spring 2013 but it took me until the winter to finish it.

Seeing it actually achieve some degree of success was very rewarding and surreal.

You’ve been performing in Japan for 7 years, how has Hip Hop here grown or changed in that time?

I think people are starting to realize that Hip Hop is about individuality and not dressing the same and saying the same thing. I’ve seen many really talented and unique artists come up recently. That’s not to say there weren’t any before, but recently I’ve seen a lot more than I used to.
Continue reading

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