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Boom Boom Satellites


Sony

When they first leapt out of the bubbling cauldron of Tokyo's digital music scene in 1997, they were pegged as the Chemical Brothers of Japan. In the intervening years, however, the duo of vocalist/guitarist Michiyuki Kawashima and bassist/programmer Masayuki Nakano have outgrown the tag.

Case in point: Their second, just-released album, Umbra, is a work that sweeps from the unassuming pair's trademark digital psychedelia to free jazz explorations, and onto the unvarnished rhymes of guest rapper Chuck D from Public Enemy.

While Boom Boom Satellites' recent success has come fast and hard, it's the result of a decade of intensive effort by the duo who, naming themselves after a song by seminal influence, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, first hooked up at college in 1990. Crafting their futuristic sound in relative obscurity, their big break came in 1997 with the release of their song "Dub Me Crazy" which caught the ear of Europe's music press.

The attention led to the duo's signing with Sony, and to a series of high-profile appearances at European festivals such as Glastonbury. As is often the case, foreign interest prompted Japan's domestic audience to take note, and soon Boom Boom Satellites were being slotted at the Fuji Rock Festival and other key venues.

As if any other recommendation were needed, the Boom Boom Satellites also boast one of Japan's most dynamic live shows, which, unlike many of their knob-twisting digital brethren, seamlessly blend the theatrics of guitar rock with the sonic depth of digital audio technology.

Boom Boom Satellites play Shibuya AX on Mar 23. See listings for details.


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