Excuse us while we brag a little: Ebisu's Liquidroom was packed to the rafters for our seventh birthday bash last weekend, with a strong lineup of up-and-coming Tokyo-based artists on hand to celebrate the anniversary of our very own Time Out Café & Diner. Firing up the assembled crowd were D.A.N. and Yahyel, both blazing hot names on the city's indie scene right now, along with electronic wizard Agraph, Albino Sound, Inner Science, Cero, Siamese Cats, Stuts and the ever-popular DJ Licaxxx.
Licaxxx kicked the night off with a bang, unleashing a brand-new mix packed with fresh tunes crafted especially for this evening, while Albino Sound followed with their catchy electronica beats and surprised us with an immersive performance that felt miles away from the delicacy of their last album, Cloud Sports. Next up was a Balearic-meets-electronica adventure courtesy of Inner Science aka Masumi Nishimura, fresh off the release of three well-received tunes last year and contributions to local house and techno artisan Gonno's magnum opus Remember The Life Is Beautiful.
Bringing some much-needed groove to the dancefloor was lone hip hop representative Stuts, while Agraph showed off his uppity electronica streak with tunes off new disc The Shader. But it wasn't until D.A.N. and Yahyel took to the stage that things really hit boiling point. Travelling from post-dubstep to LA beat, Yahyel raised some serious interest in underground circles with their first demo last spring, and played in the UK earlier this year – before even debuting in their home country. By contrast, D.A.N. label themselves strictly as a Japanese band and produce catchy tunes crooned in their native language.
While it seems many mainstream Japanese artists attempt to ‘westernise’ their music, we can safely claim that this tendency hasn't spread to the indie scene. We’re hoping that future Time Out music showcases can continue spreading the word on what's going on in Tokyo away from the headlines, and create a space where like-minded people come together to enjoy what they love most: some good old oontz oontz oontz.