Next Music from Tokyo: Volume 13 Comes to Canada This Week

The annual tour introducing Canadians to innovative Japanese indie and underground music scenes returns this week. Since 2010, Toronto-based anesthesiologist Steven Tanaka has brought a different group of Japanese bands to Canada annually. He travels abroad multiple times a year to scout out the best possible lineup for each edition. With each year since Next Music from Tokyo’s formation, Tanaka has proved again and again that music played with energy and passion can be appreciated by any audience.

This year, for the first time ever, Next Music from Tokyo features a band from outside Japan. Taiwanese math-rock trio Elephant Gym recently signed with Topshelf Records and their performances here in Canada kick off their first-ever world tour. The band has an optimistic tone with intricate yet clean instrumentation. Elephant Gym has gained a significant following in Japan, making them a fitting choice in this edition’s lineup for NMFT. Check out their music here.

The second of five featured bands this year, Mass of the Fermenting Drugs (MOTFD), is the first band to make a third appearance. This trio plays a ferocious and melancholic post-punk. You can hear them here.

Four-piece otori’s unique sound blends no-wave, hardcore punk, krautrock, and noise. This is their second appearance at NMFT. Here’s what they sound like.

Female math-rockers paranoid void from Osaka is known for impressive live performances. They move effortlessly from smooth and technical to vicious and thunderous. This is what they sound like.

Finally, UlulU, a garage rock revival trio has a sound similar to The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys. Listen to them here.

Here is the schedule for Next Music from Tokyo: Volume 13

October 5: Toronto @ Rivoli

October 6: Toronto @ Lee’s Palace

October 7: Montreal @ Le Ministère

October 10: Vancouver @ Biltmore Cabaret

For more information, you can check out the tour’s official website here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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