Next Music from Tokyo (NMFT) is an annual tour that introduces Canadians to the most creative and skilled bands from Japan’s indie and underground music scene. The tour began in 2010 and brings a different group of Japanese bands to Canada each year. Tour organizer Steven Tanaka is a Toronto-based anesthesiologist who travels to Japan five to seven times a year, scouting the best possible line-up for each upcoming volume. With shows selling out yearly, NMFT is proof that music played with energy and passion transcends language barriers, and can be appreciated by audiences anywhere.
NMFT vol 10 is highlighted by the return of Hyacca: fan-favorites of the NMFT3 tour in 2011. They’re a 4-pc band from Fukuoka with male-female screamed vocals over lightning speed punk, shoegaze distortion, krautrock rhythms, and angular prog-jazz riffs. Their sound is an equal parts mix of the Bad Brains, My Bloody Valentine, Neu! and Tera Melos. Noisy and aggressive but fiercely melodic and extremely danceable, watching Hyacca perform live should be on the bucket list for all fans of post-punk and noise.
Joining Hyacca are:
Yukueshirezutsurezure (Not Secured, Loose Ends): four beautiful women from Nagoya who combine idol music with screamo/HC. Their shows involve non-stop stagediving, crowdsurfing, moshing and the entire audience in a huddle of synchronized headbanging. BABYMETAL’s sexier and infinitely cooler, older cousins.
The Taupe: post-punk quartet that are masters of song dynamics. At first they capture your attention with calm, beautiful soundscapes then shatter your ear-drums with a monstrous maelstrom of overdrive and distortion. An unpredictable pattern of sublime and abrasive.
Bakyun the everyday: speedy melodic pop-punk akin to Cloud Nothings with dual male/female vocals, occasional tricky guitars and ultra-fast, powerful drumming. The perfect combination of fun and kick-ass.
Yubisaki Nohaku: though not a math rock band a female quartet with a heavily quirky, prog/technical side. One of the best female bands on the planet not named tricot.
Next Music from Tokyo prides itself in showcasing a fresh and eclectic line-up of Japanese bands that put on a great show without resorting to gimmicks. Although this year’s line-up is predominantly rock-based, none of the bands sound remotely alike and are bound to fascinate audiences that keep an open mind. NMFT is the only tour in Canada featuring multiple Japanese bands and will continue its tradition of creating one of the most interesting and intense live music experiences of the year.