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Boom Boom Satellites

Tuesday 3rd September 2013

Tom Smith on Japan’s pioneering electronic duo

Boom Boom SatellitesThey’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 and Xam’d. 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.


One Piece (uncut) Collection 14 (episodes 325-348)

was £34.99
Nami, despite her desperate dash, arrives at the station too late to stop the Sea Train, but she's relieved to learn that Sanji has stowed away on board the vessel and will stop at nothing to rescue Robin! With the storm of all storms bearing down upon them, Nami and Chopper risk their lives to save Luffy and Zoro from the rapidly rising waters. Back aboard the train, Sanji is aided in his battle against the CP9 goons by the arrival of the mysterious Soge King, a wandering warrior from the Island of Snipers!

As the scattered Straw Hats fight to reunite, fate draws them ever nearer the foreboding fortress of Enies Lobby. Will our heroes live to face the hour of reckoning?!



One Piece. Pieces of Hate

Been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt....
Of the anime titles turned into T-shirts by Uniqlo, One Piece is the biggest – the reigning king of all the anime and manga franchises, pretty much unchallenged in the 16 years since Eiichiro Oda began the manga, and 14 since Toei Animation started animating it. But perhaps Uniqlo would have turned One Piece into a line of shirts even if the saga hadn’t been a world hit. Just look at those pirate designs – brash, cartoony, uncompromising. There’s no whiff of a committee, no hint of a five-year product plan reliant on changing a heroine’s hair colour (or deepening her cleavage). It just helps that the pictures are as commercial when they move as they are when they’re a cool static graphic in a manga, or on the front of a T-shirt.

One Piece: Strong World

The Straw Hats Pirates come together for an adventure like no other...
Written by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda himself, Strong World leads the Straw Hats into the deadly path of Golden Lion Shiki.

One Piece - ninja or pirates?

Matt Kamen turns video pirate!
“Ninja or pirates?” While Naruto – representing the ninja corner, of course – has proven hugely popular, UK fans have long been unable to weigh in on the other side. With the long-awaited arrival of One Piece on DVD this May, that finally changes.

One piece: Crew Manifest #1

Matt Kamen finds out who’s who in the One Piece anime
Monkey D. Luffy: The founder and captain of the Straw Hats, Luffy is a carefree soul who wants to become king of the pirates. After eating the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit, he gained an elastic body, making him near-invulnerable and able to stretch but paradoxically making him unable to swim.

One Piece: Crew Manifest #2

Back at sea for volume two of One Piece
Before you set sail on the second round of voyages for One Piece, brush up on who you’ll be encountering in this latest volume of nautical nonsense

One Piece music: TOMATO CUBE

Tom Smith on One Piece’s TOMATO CUBE
One-hit wonders. Every country has them. And, as PSY can most likely attest, very few musicians really want to be labelled as one. Sure, it’s all fun, games and fancy dinners when that royalty cheque floats through the letter box. The one with all the zeroes from that single from yesteryear that went massive. But what about the rest of your work? It must be somewhat unsatisfying as an artist to be known for one track, while everything else remains relatively overlooked, and expectations are high for that difficult follow up single. If you’re TOMATO CUBE, you do nothing. Ever again.


This weekend saw the 10th edition of the UK’s biggest J-culture event, Hyper Japan! Darcy headed down to the Kensington Olympia on Saturday to check out what was happening and give us the festival lowdown.

Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2015

Jasper Sharp on the movies coming to a cinema near you
It is that time of year again, when the Japan Foundation treats audiences across the UK to their lavish smorgasbord of the latest and best in Japanese cinema, running this year from 30th January to 26th March.

The magnificent 47 Ronin

Stephen Turnbull asks what (if anything) went wrong with the 47 Ronin?
When T. H. White’s great Arthurian fantasy The Once and Future King was first published the New York Times described it as “a glorious dream of the Middle Ages as they never were but as they should have been.” A very similar comment would not be inappropriate to describe the strange world of old Japan conjured up in the movie 47 Ronin.

Robots in Anime and Manga

Man-made humans, mecha and merchandising
Japan’s technophilia was born and fostered during the Meiji Era (1868-1912), as it sought to catch up with the American and European powers that came knocking on its door and opened the country up to the wider world.
With plethora of live-action anime adaptations that are already out or in the works such as Parasyte, Death Note and Ghost in the Shell, it’s no surprise that studios are clamouring to get their hands on the next big live-action hit.

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall

There's little to be proud of in this perfunctory light-novel spin off
If anyone needed further proof that Attack on Titan is a cultural juggernaut, they'd only have to take a glance at the bookshelves. While Hajime Isayama's original manga most notably spawned the breakthrough anime series, there are also numerous spin-off and prequel manga, artbooks, and light novels by a host of other creators, all drafted in to craft as much material set in and around the world as possible.
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