Shibuya-kei…

Tensi Love – My Time
Track 2 (Title track) / Single “My Time” / Released 28 Apr 2006

Come across this music video by chance. Thought this song might fall into the non-mainstream category for Korean pop, but then it also sounds too pleasant and pop-like to be classified as such ^^” The song is put under the category Shibuya-kei 涉谷系 according to the album information found online. Hmm… what’s that?

According to wikipedia, Shibuya-kei is a sub-genre of Japanese pop originating in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. In short, it is a combination of jazz, pop and electropop. It is also influenced by lounge and bossa nova.

Another song released recently and also labelled as Shibuya-kei is Big Bang’s ” 바보 ” off their new mini album “Hot Issue”. What stands out from both songs is rhythmically driven energy and happy, relaxed feeling, which is almost dreamy. Both songs feature the prominent hit-hat cymbal, which gives the jazzy sound. While “My Time” employs heavy synthetic bass sounds, ” 바보 ” uses regular drum beats to give the song a rhythmic drive. Unique sounds and echo effects are used to good effect in both songs to create a dreamy feeling. This is also achieved by the underlying harmony of both songs. In “My Time”, the flattened notes blurred the tonality of the song – this makes you wander between major and minor keys. For ” 바보 “, the whole song is built on 7th chords, which lack direction in nature as they do not require harmonic resolution (IVmaj7 – V7 – iii min7 – I).

There must be lots of interesting Shibuya-kei Japanese pop songs since this musical style originated in Japan. Gotta find out more.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibuya-kei
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang_(group)

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