Tom Smith on Japan’s pioneering electronic duo
They’ve been compared to the Chemical Brothers meets Prodigy. Some say they’re responsible for instigating a new wave of homegrown electro-talent in Japan. And as for others, well, they know them as that band with the kick arse tracks in Appleseed
. Whatever you know about Boom Boom Satellites, know this; they’re back, and with a new album that has not only been picked up for release in the UK, but will include exclusive content never before released in Japan too! Oh how the tables have turned on the days when Japan was the one getting all the extras on CDs.
Boom Boom Satellites’ Michiyuki Kawashima (guitar, vocals) and Masayuki Nakano (bass, programming) first joined forces at the start of the 90s after meeting at a jazz bar. Some reports state that Michiyuki was the head manager there and once Masayuki, a mere underling, had a pizza lobbed in his direction by an angry boss-man Michiyuki. However, his fiery temper couldn’t have been that bad (or Masayuki became a master at dodging airborne inanimate objects) as by 1995 the pair had pulled together and made their musical debut on a compilation album from famed DJ Fuimya Tanaka. By 1997 they were signed in Europe, and by 1998 they had critics across the world raving about their first album, leading to a tour with 90s electro guru Moby, as well as major festival appearances. They even played some festivals over here; Glastonbury in 1998, Leeds in 2004 and Manchester’s In The City 2007!
Now their latest album EMBRACE
, which marks their 15th anniversary, brings the twosome back to the UK. The special release sees them not only enter British and European retail, but also sees them work with a London-based producer for this region’s exclusive bonus track. That’s on top of the album’s existing single ‘BROKEN MIRROR’, which was used as the fifth opening to Gundam Unicorn
. The music video, below, was filmed entirely live and features a rather nifty projection technique – a must watch for any visual tech freaks out there.
If you thought that was cool, be sure to check out their live video from their set at the Nippon Budokan, it was streamed live as part of Youtube Japan’s Music Week and allows viewers to move the camera 360 degrees while watching. The full set is now viewable on their homepage: http://360.bbs-net.com/
As mentioned at the start, Boom Boom Satellites are no strangers to anime. Their first brush with the animated art form came in 2004 when a number of their tracks were used in the Appleseed
soundtrack (before that they had a couple of tunes in Ridge Racer 5
too), followed by two further songs in sci-fi CG film Vexille
. They even managed to slip a track into Batman sequel The Dark Knight
too. However, it wasn’t until Manga UK’s Xam’d: Lost Memories
that the duo had their biggest hit to date –at least as far music statistic site Last.fm is concerned – with opening theme ‘Shut Up and Explode
EMBRACE from Boom Boom Satellites is out now on CD and digital format from JPU Records.