The Blog

Popular Computer's Top 5 Japanese Music Artists

Popular Computer is a man. His name's not really Popular Computer, he's a Parisian called Sylvain Dalido. A celebrated remixer of bands like New Young Pony Club and Hot Chip, his new solo album LiTE is out on February 20th. Embraced by Japan who loves both his DJ skills and the fact his music is infused with Japanese sounds and rhythms, I thought it would appropriate to ask Dalido for his top 5 J-artists. He was kind enough to oblige.

Ryuichi Sakamoto

He's played with famous artists as Caetono Veloso, Hector and did the score for Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence with David Bowie. He won an Oscar for scoring The Last Emperor. His music is like a mix between classical and pop. Most of the time it is a simple theme on the piano, but with a romantic pop structure. He made his own first electronic album in 1978 and was a member of the pioneering electronic music group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO). I think he brings something special into the music, a Japanese touch throughout the world. To me, it represents romanticism, nostalgia, melancholy and love. Listen to Rain.

Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO)

This band is as important as say, Talking Heads, except they really put a foot ahead to the development of electronic music. What can I say, everybody knows this band. To me it is like Kraftwerk but it is much better, because they know how to mix different styles of music. YMO was from the minimalistic scene. It was not an underground band, they had lots of success. I like the story with the track Behind the mask and Michael Jackson. MJ did a cover but the deal failed due to legal issues with YMO's management and the track was removed from the Thriller album. Crazy! Look at this video they are playing on all instruments for real.

Towa Tei

He was THE member of Deee-lite. But he is a little bit similar to bands like Pizzicato Five. The genius of Groove is in the Heart maybe comes from Towa Tei, because it is again fusing many different styles of music. Easy Listening with elegance sometimes sounds funny and fresh as Technova by Towa Tei. Check this out.

Shinichi Osawa

Today he makes some techno Music that I like but he was also the bassist of Mondo Grosso. He remixed my trackLost and Found which is still the best remix. We collaborated together on a track called Just for all I have on my forthcoming album LiTE. For me is one of the best dj in the world.

Joe Hisaishi

He is a composer and director. He is really famous for his soundtracks, he's done over a hundred of them. A few that I like are: My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, Sonatine. It is said that he was really influenced by Yellow Magic Orchestra, because he worked from minimalist ideas and then played his music toward orchestral work. To be a film composer who is interested in the 70s made me think he has got an open mind in music. That's what I like...Listen to this.

LiTE is released on 20 February.