Tag Archives: j-pop

[Throwback Jams] [Pop/Dance:] Utada Hikaru – Exodus ’04 (Double J Remix)


Exodus ’04 (Double J Radio Mix)
Utada Hikaru

Through traffic jams and Tokyo
New music on the radio
We’ll say goodbye to the world we know…
this is our exodus, this is our exodus

Today’s throwback jam comes from Japanese American songstress, and Kingdom Hearts series soundtrack headliner, Utada Hikaru. This upbeat dance remix is a great re-work of her original “Exodus ’04,” a slow, but powerful pop ballad with Asian strings telling the story of Hikaru spending time living in both New York and Tokyo.

The lyrics are powerful and Utada is always an excellent vocalist. I recently blogged about a new remix of her most iconic song “Simple & Clean” the original theme song to Kingdom Hearts, that was released for the recent “2.8 Remake” on Playstation 4. Be sure to check out Utada’s Japanese and American albums for more.

Other notable songs:
Heart Station – Utada Hikaru [Japanese]
Hotel Lobby [English]
Kremlin Dusk [English]
Passion / Sanctuary [Passion is JPN, Sanctuary is ENG]
Easy Breezy [English]
Let Me Give You My Love (Prod. Timbaland) [English]

 

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[Video Games] [J-Electropop] Utada Hikaru – Simple & Clean (Ray of Hope Remix)


[Video Games] Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8

Electronic/Pop
Simple & Clean (Ray of Hope Remix) – Utada Hikaru
Theme from Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Remake for Playstation 4.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Opening Movie:

Simple & Clean “Ray of Hope Mix”

When you walk away, you don’t hear me say
Please, oh baby – don’t go!
Simple and clean is the way that you’re making me feel,
tonight, it’s hard to let it go

We’re almost through our first month of 2017 so congrats to everyone for that! In other news, fans of role-playing games, Disney, Square Enix and Utada Hikaru are rejoicing around the world at the release of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Prologue for Playstation 4. Released January 24, 2017 (my birthday week!) the game has been a long time coming for many fans after several side spin-off games were released in the past few years and little updates for Kingdom Hearts 3 have surfaced.

Nevertheless the game will likely prove to be extremely popular and wildly successful like most of the offerings in the award-winning franchise that pits Square Enix characters (including popular heroes, and villains, from Final Fantasy) with Disney characters and often in Disney “worlds.”

Since the beginning of the series, Japanese-American singer, Utada Hikaru, has been seen as a sort of frontrunner for the series as the titular games in the series (KH1 & 2) both featured some breath-taking opening movies featuring music from Hikaru. For 2.8, the iconic “Simple & Clean” from the original Kingdom Hearts gets the remix treatment turning from a dance-techno pop song to a more electro-pop/dance offering.

The “Ray of Hope” remix is quite interesting, though short, and 2.8’s opening movie makes it feel all the more epic. You can check out the video and the song itself above. Here’s hoping to a remix of Kingdom Hearts 2‘s “Passion” showing up somewhere eventually as well.

[Throwback] [Anime / J-Pop Music:] LiSA – Crossing Field (Sword Art Online Season 1 Opening)


Sword Art Online is a highly-popular anime based on the concept of MMORPGs (Massive-Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) becoming virtual-reality games in the near future that mimic real, waking life. Many fans of the show laud the complex story elements, plot twists, and oh, the feels that are present throughout the first season (and arguably best) of the show. Elements of video gaming mixed with human emotions are rampant in a virtual world where dying or losing a battle means you also die in real life.

Japanese pop singer, LiSA lends her talents to the opening of the first season and in her song, iconic of the series “Crossing Field”. If you have not seen the show I highly recommend it for anyone who likes gaming or anime.

[Exclusive/Rare Remixes:] FREEZEPOP – テニスのボーイフレンド (Tenisu no Boifurendo) (Kodomo remix)


Notable/Quotable lyrics:

Japanese romaji with English translation undernearth:
anata wa taitei
zuibun ogenki desu ne?
tenisu no boifurendo
totemo ii desu yo!! [repeat 2x]

You are usually
very lively, aren’t you?
[My] tennis boyfriend
[It/You] are very good!! [repeat twice]

anata to… [You and…(I)]

anata wo… [You…]

anata to [you and…(I)]

Te, tai-taitei [usu…usu…usually]
tawa, tawa, tawa, tawa [no meaning chop up of taitei – usually]
tawa, tawa, te, te (anata wo) [anata wo lit. “you at least are” / “regarding you…”]

anata wa taitei [Lit. You, yourself are usually (and no one else)]
zuibun ogenki desu ne? [very lively/healthy right/aren’t you?]
tenisu no boifurendo [Lit. boyfriend of Tennis -> Tennis Boyfriend [my]]
totemo ii desu yo!! [Lit. a lot, it’s good I say / assert. // it’s very good!!]

[Video Game Music Origins:] [Geek Pop / J-Pop] Freezepop – Singles // [NONSTOP MEGAMIX] DJ Tiësto, Activision, Lady Gaga & Adamski


(Original production for PS2 game Harmonix’s FreQuencyScience Genius Girl DJ Hero 2’s deadmau5 Megamix feat. Kaskade Second Feature, DJ Tiesto’s Megamix in DJ Hero 2: Freezepop’s popular music video for TENISU NO BOIFURENDO As a gamer (when time permits) I can’t not highlight music inspired by, from and featured in video games. In fact, there are several games of days past that I can solely attribute to accentuating my love of EDM (electronic dance music) [for a list of good music video games check below].  SSX 3 OST – Emerge (JUNKIE XL Remix) – Fischerspooner

SSX Tricky and more notably SSX 3 on GameCube featured a wide variety of artists including many British EDM acts as well as hip-hop. This game was the first to introduce me to artists such as, The X-Ecutioners, LCD SoundSystem, Audio Bullys and Jason Nevins’ remix of N.E.R.D.’s “Rockstar” with a soundtrack that featured a lot of electronic and UK house music.

Underground sleeper-favorite, blur, a racing game released by the makers of Geometry Wars on PS3 and Xbox 360, had an incredible EDM-filled soundtrack as well. The game sadly went under, probably due to a lack of a good marketing, but its concept was revolutionary, combining the weapon firing elements of Mario Kart with the sports-car inner-city racing thrills of Need For Speed Underground or Midnight Club, blur was way ahead of its time. Check out the blur soundtrack starting with Spank Rock’s “Bump (Best Fwends Remix)

[AMPLITUDE SOUNDTRACK]

Notables: Shades of Blue, Everyone Says Hi, Cherry Lips] For this feature I am highlighting a song out of the Playstation 2 series of music games, “FreQuency” and “Amplitude“. Revolutionary for their time, these games combined elements of rail shooters with music production, where the player would control tracks (such as bass, drums, vocals, FX, etc.) and by successfully tapping the notes the actual tracks would play and be added (or skip or get silenced if you mess up) as you successfully clear the stage. Someone playing S.C.G. by Freezepop in Rock Band

Freezepop was a well-known band through the games alone where they contributed some original music productions that could be called sci-fi techno, trance or just early EDM music. They also created another song called Super Sprode for Harmonix’s sequel to FreQuency, Amplitude, a fan/cult favorite music game that was way ahead of its time. With the song-creating elements of the first game and online interactivity Amplitude is known as one of the greatest music games of all time. There is currectly a KickStarter campain to create a sequel to Amplitude for PS4.


EDM giant deadmau5’s Megamix featuring House legend Kaskade Next, from another popular, but also sadly defunct music game series, comes a stunningly-good megamix of songs by DJ Tiesto featured in the game DJ Hero 2, also produced by Activision. This game was very similar to their other music series, Guitar Hero but featured an actual turntable peripheral used to play the game, scratch and cut-up audio tracks. Though the game was immense fun, it’s very mainstream songlist, huge jump of difficulty from Hard to Expert (much harder than in GH) and lack of support for online play and DLC (though there was a lot of DLC upon first release) led to its eventual demise. DJ Hero by far however was not the first game to use a turntable peripheral, neither was Guitar Hero the first to use guitar add-ons. These medals below to KonamiJapanese video game publisher who’s BEMANI music video game series (started back in 1998) and the obsession of my life from about age 10-19 with their breakout series beatmania, it’s follower beatmania IIDX, and their most popular series to date, Dance Dance Revolution. Video Games with Popular or Prominent Soundtracks: The entire Dance Dance Revolution series Final Fantasy series (notably VII, IX, X, XI and XIII) Audition (Korean PC free-to-play music series) The entire beatmania IIDX series Guitar Hero (3, World Tour, 4) Pump It Up SSX Tricky, and SSX 3 Grand Theft Auto Series & Sleeping Dogs FIFA games and many other EA titles