The live scene is healthy, although with so many bands, there arent enough rewards to go round. As with here, the Internet has taken a huge bite out of CDs, but low album sales doesn't mean a lot of people aren't listening. They are. And thanks to the Internet, followings can be built overseas without those people having to wait for pricey import discs.
So what does Japanese music sound like? Like the Western worlds, because they heavily rely on reworking outside influences (read: American) to make their own. Zoobombs may be the one band youre likely to know already, but the doc exposes you to many new favorites. They include Shintaro Miyazaki and his cut-and-paste beats; Sexy Synthesizer, an act that busts out video game-inspired electrojams; d.v.d., whose live notes affect a live Pong game going on behind them on a huge screen; Optrum, playing with fluorescent light tubes; Makoto Oshiro, who makes his own instruments through abnormal means. Some groups may irritate you ... just like they do here.
Director Lewis Rapkin lets most of the bands profiled do the talking via their stage performances, but in between, he pulls off some cool scenes of Tokyos city life, with the camera taking on an interesting POV, as on the front of an elevated train. These sequences are like a Koyaanisqatsi for the Internet generation!
There are no extras on the DVD, yet there are two extras with the DVD. Allow me to explain: One is a code awarding you a free download of a compilation of artists from the film. The other is that 10 percent of sales are being donated to the Red Cross for earthquake relief. Win-win! Rod Lott