Call it bias on my part, but the electronica tracks on Sony Music’s Japan for Sale series have never really interested me.
The inclusion of L’Arc~en~Ciel, Chara and ACO sold me on Japan for Sale, Vol. 2, but on the whole, electronica occupies the most real estate in the series’ programming.
On Japan for Sale, Vol. 3, though, it’s the electronica tracks that are more interesting than the rock tracks.
DJ Krush’s success with hip-hop collaborations have definitely set the tone for the third installment of the series — the first half of Japan for Sale, Vol. 3 pretty much delivers one great electronica collaboration after another.
Goku starts things off strongly with “Time”. With the B.M.Q’s sultry anonymous female singer contrasting against Goku’s raps, “Time” is a brighter answer to Krush’s “Tragicomic” single with Twigy and ACO.
Krush once again makes an appearance in the series with the Sly & Robbie collaboration, “The Lost Voices”. “Aletheuo” from Krush’s latest album, Shinsou, would have been a nice addition to Japan for Sale, but “The Lost Voices” contributes to the flow much better.
Dub finds its ambassador on Matally’s “Four Seasons vs Yo-Yo C”, an imaginative track which pits the reggae genre’s ethereal sound against electronica’s frenzied beats.
After Loop Junktion’s hip-hop/electronica hybrid “Ja:Pon”, the album ventures off to other genres.
Polysics have consistently provided the weakest points in the series, but the electro-clash-y “Black Out Fall Out” actually doesn’t suck. Guitar Vader, meanwhile, provides the collection’s most whimsical rocker, “Super Brothers”.
After that, Japan for Sale, Vol. 3 loses steam.
Hoshimura Mai represents Japan’s more mainstream tastes, but “Stay With You”, while accomplished, is somewhat bland.
Kitaki Mayu still thinks she can match Nomiya Maki being a fashion chameleon, but the most you can say about “Latata” is it’s a good effort.
The Brilliant Green’s “I’m a player of T.V. games” rocks the collection out one last time before the album finally peters out. (Why couldn’t BuriGuri rock this hard on The Winter Album?)
Takkyu Isshino and Sunahara Yoshinori are all right, but Kyoto Jazz Massive is best described by my coworker’s description of the Thievery Corporation — loops for housewives.
I’m just thankful there’s no Puffy AmiYumi on this volume.
Like its predecessors, Japan for Sale, Vol. 3 provides a nice overview of Japan’s incredibly diverse music scene. And with so much material competing for attention, it’s inevitable some things come across better than others.
On this volume, hip-hop is the clear winner.