A Poem for My Friends

Here's a little poem I wrote last night for all my primary school friends 10 years ago:

I'm glad I met you guys again
Totally lost for words
in expressing the joy and delight,
and how ecstatic I feel.

I'm glad I met you guys again
Its about 10 years since we last met
and I have to say I dearly miss you guys
from the deepest corner of my heart.

I'm glad I met you guys again
Although I don't remember many names and faces
but surely I'll always remember
all the wonderful times we've had together.

I'm glad I met you guys again
It was a great journey for us all
of mutual learning and understanding
and moments that are to be cherished forever.

I'm glad I met you guys again
even happier to acknowledge
that we've made it together
and be part of each other.

This Is Love is the first track on Utada Hikaru's Ultra Blue album. It was used as a radio single to promote the album (much like Play Ball and Parody before it). The song was even used as a CM song for a Nissin cup noodle campaign. However, unlike these previous radio singles it was announced on May the 11th that This Is Love would be able to be purchased as a digital single from websites such as iTunes from the 31st of May onwards. This makes This Is Love Utada's third download exclusive single, after Easy Breezy and Devil Inside. It reached the #1 spot within a few of days in almost all the online music stores. Utada herself is quoted to have said that this song is about expressing that, 'Love is like a mix of extremes; anxiety and peace.'


You can view the commercial for Nissin Cup Noodles here:

Utada Hikaru - Nissin Cup Noodle 30s CM (This Is Love)

This is Love

※予期せぬ愛に 自由奪われたいね Oh ひと目で分かったの
冷たい言葉と暖かいキスあげるよ This Is Love This Is Love...

夜と朝の狭間 震える手で (確かな支えで)

激しい雨も 不意に芽生える愛も Oh 不安と安らぎの
冷たい枕と暖かいベットになるよ This Is Love This Is Love...(×2)

夢と夢の間 怯えた目で(確かに覗いて)

激しい雨に 鳴り止まない遺伝子 Oh 咲かせてあげたいの
運命と花を あてどない空の花を This Is Love This Is Love...(×2)

もう済んだ事 時に見つけて 損した事 あなたにもありませんか?
閉ざされてた扉 開ける呪文 Oh 今度こそ あなたに聴こえるといいな

悪い予感がすると わくわくしちゃうな Oh 痛めつけなくても
この身はいつか滅びるものだから 甘えてなんぼ This Is Love This Is Love...


Yokisenu ai ni jiyuu ubawareta ine
Oh hitome de wakatta no
Tsumetai kotoba to atatakai kisu ageru yo
This is Love, This is Love...

Yoru to asa no hazama furueru te de
(tashika na sasae de)
Toraeru hito
(ushiro kara sotto)
Dakitsuku hito
Nanika ii tai kedo
(tsugi no shunkan)
Mou asa na no

Hageshii ame mo fui ni mebaeru ai mo
Oh fuan to yasuragi no
Tsumetai makura to atatakai betto ni naru yo
This is Love, This is Love...
This is Love, This is Love...

Yume to yume no ma obieta me de
(tashika ni nozoi te)
Sama you hito
(watashi kara sotto)
Idai te mi ta no
Totemo ie nai kedo
(moshika shi tara kore)
Mou ai kamo

Hageshii ame ni nari yama nai idenshi
Oh sakasete age tai no
Unmei ni hana wo ate do nai sora no hana wo
This is Love, This is Love...
This is Love, This is Love...

Mou sunda koto toki mitsukete son shita koto
Anata ni mo arimasen ka?
Tozasareteta tobira akeru jumon
Oh kondo koso anata ni kikoeru to ii na

Warui yokan ga suru to wakuwaku shi chau na
Oh itametsuke naku te mo
Kono mi wa itsuka horobiru mono da kara amaete na
This is love, This is love...

Yokisenu ai ni jiyuu ubawareta ine
Oh hitome de wakatta no
Tsumetai kotoba to atatakai kisu ageru yo
This is Love, This is Love...
This is Love, This is Love...

I want my freedom to be bound by unanticipated love
Oh I knew it at a glance
I'll give you cold words and warm kisses
This is Love, This is Love...

In between night and morning, with a shaking hand
(with certain support)
The person you can catch
(and from the back softly)
The person that you can cling to
I want to say something but
(the next instant)
It's already morning

Violent rain and unconciously sprouted love both
Oh become the cold pillow and warm bed
of uneasiness and peace of mind
This is Love, This is Love...
This is Love, This is Love...

With a frightened eye
(I definitely peeked)
Through the spaced between dreams
(I softly)
tried embracing the wandering person
It's very hard for me to say this, but probably
(This might)
Already be love

Genes that dont stop ringing in the violent rain
Oh I want to make it bloom
Bloom destiny and the flower, flower of the aimless sky
This is Love, This is Love...
This is Love, This is Love...

Things already finished, you find in time.
Haven't you ever suffered a loss before?
If this time you can hear
Oh the spell to open the bolted door that would be great

I just get nervous when I have a bad premonition
Oh Even if you dont treat me badly, sometime this body will
Decay. So no matter how much I behave like a spoilt child
This is love, This is love...

I want my freedom to be bound by unanticipated love
Oh I knew it at a glance
I'll give you cold words and warm kisses
This is Love, This is Love...
This is Love, This is Love...

Credits to yonyon @ U-O

Visit ULTRA BLUE's official blog here.


Skalpel are Marcin Cichy and Igor Pudlo DJs/producers from Wroclaw, Poland. Their track "Ninjazz" is a languorous bit of fusion, with its emphasis on a lilting keyboard phrases and a rolling trap set.

They are extremely talented DJs, whose 4 mixes were aired on Solid Steel in the past, two of which were released as "Virtual Cuts" - namely the best mixtape released in the history of electronic music in Poland. The year 2000 was a landmark for them, as they traveled the country with DJ Vadim and his Russian Percussion, presenting an amazing 4-deck show. Later that year they released demo CD-R titled "Polish Jazz", which led Skalpel to signing a contract with Ninja Tune.

For the last two years they've been digging in the crates, trying to build the most exciting collection of samples from Polish Jazz records. Now they are slowly unleashing the music created from these sounds. They ressurected dusty & smokey spirit of Polish jazz of 60s and 70s, and reimagined it for 21st century audiophiles.

Their official site here and their label at ninjatunes.net

Download the track here:
Skalpel - Ninjazz

Here are the lyrics to Quruli's great track "Akai Densha". You can read more about Quruli on my other blog post here.

作詞: くるり 作曲: くるり



でっかい東京 どこへでも
君住む街へ ひとっ飛び



でっかい東京 こんな街もあるんだ
見たことのない景色見せてよ 赤い電車

赤い電車 赤い電車 赤い電車

君住む街へ ひとっ飛び
赤い電車で ひとっ飛び

Akai Densha
Lyrics: Quruli Music: Quruli

Akai densha ni nokkatte
Boku wa dokoka he itte shimaitai

Akai densha wa haneda kara
Bokura wo nosete hitotsu tobi

Dekkai toukyou doko he demo
Dokomademo yukeru kara
Kimi sumu machi he hitottobi

Akai densha wa utai dasu

Akai densha ni nokkatte
Yume wo sagashi ni yukundayo~

Dekkai toukyou konna machi mo arunda
Mita koto no nai keshiki misete yo akai densha

Akai densha akai densha akai densha

Dekkai toukyou
Kimi sumu machi he hitottobi
Akai densha de hitottobi

Getting on a red train
I want to go somewhere

The red train leaves Haneda
With us on board

We can go anywhere in big Tokyo
We can go anywhere at all
We can take a ride to the city that you live in

The red train starts to sing

Getting on a red train
I'm going to search for my dreams

Show me some scenery in big Tokyo
That I haven't seen before, red train

Red train, red train, red train

Big Tokyo
Take a ride to the city that you live in
Take a ride on a red train

credits to the cherryblossom garden for the romanization and mognet.net for the translation.

You can buy Quruli's singles at yesasia.com

Maxi On!

Takako Minekawa (嶺川貴子) is full of surprises. She is a beautiful but shy woman who makes some of the most wistful yet willful pop music you can imagine. Her sound is an unusual juxtaposition of elements ranging from French pop to Krautrock to easy listening to indie rock that she has appropriately dubbed "future-folk-fusion-funk." Unlike the countless other pretty faces of Japan's music industry, Takako is a pop singer who avoids the cliche's of love and relationships for the purer themes of color and water. Her innocence is fetching; she'd rather play with her cat than chase the spotlight that other pop stars crave so desperately. You could say that she's a heroine by default, an icon for all the indie kids that admire her creativity in a world of musical mediocrity.

The track Maxi On! is elegantly arranged and has strong elements of electronica and even a bit ambient. Her amazing vocals in this track also never cease to amaze her listeners.

Takako Minekawa - Maxi On!

Visit her site at Emperor Norton Records and her official site at Polystar.

Five Minutes

Buffalo Daughter is a Japanese rock group formed in 1993. The three main members are suGar Yoshinaga (ex-Havana Exotica) on guitar, Yumiko Ohno (ex-Havana Exotica) on bass, and Moog (later changed to MoOog) Yamamoto on turntables and graphic design. The group originally had a drummer, Chika Ogawa, but after her departure they've had no permanent drummer and have hired different people to fill in as needed. In addition, the band is well known for using a number of electronic instruments, such as the TB-303, TR-606, minimoog, shortwave radio, etc.

Buffalo Daughter - Five Minutes

Do remember to visit their site here and their record label Emperor Norton records.

More Powah to You!

Xploding Plastix is the musical child of Jens Petter Nilsen and Hallvard Hagen. Both based in Oslo, they started making music together somewhere late 98-early 99.

Xploding Plastix has a very organic sound; throwing saccharine analogue melodies to foreground the acoustic quality; imposing a distinctive live feel. A certain raw edge. An oeuvre of an ear-opener: Zipping and unzipping the beat, a beat-science out-of the ordinary. Emphasizing the flowing warmth and organity of the rhythms.

Sweet strings give it its melodic side. But the track "More Powah To You" is also very percussive and rousing.

Xploding Plastix - More Powah to You

Visit their official website here for more music and news.


Efterklang is a band from Copenhagen, Denmark. The literal translation of ‘Efterklang’ is ‘after noise’ (and thus ‘reverberation’), but the term more loosely translates as ‘remembrance,’ a more fitting meaning given the yearning character of the Copenhagen group’s sound.

This album is consistently excellent and best broached as a complete fifty-minute work, given the connecting threads that run throughout. Aside from an overall uniformity of sound, motifs like an Ovalesque rippling pattern (made more memorable by a subtle hiccup) and electric piano sprinkles intermittently re-appear. The group deftly merges digital and organic sounds, with electronics mainly used as a base for natural sounds (vocals, piano, trumpet, strings). Much like a requiem, the mood is mournful, even funereal, and the work includes passages one could label classical and minimalist.

The album's primary influences are Múm and Sigur Rós, but listening to the track reminds us of tracks from Bjork, Jaga Jazzist and maybe even abit of Coldplay.

You can download the track here:

Efterklang - Kloy Gyn

Visit their official site here.

Utada Hikaru - Final Distance (MV)

Final Distance is Utada Hikaru's 9th single and her 1st single in her widely acclaimed "Deep River" album. This video was directed by Utada Hikaru's husband, 紀里谷和明, Mr Kiriya Kazuaki. Mr Kiriya also directed the motion picture "CASSHERN" which featured Utada Hikaru's 誰かの願いが叶うころ (Dareka no negai ga kanau koro) as the ending theme song.

"Distance" originally appeared in the Distance album, and was planned to be released as a single. However, Utada heard of a rampage in which schoolgirl Reina Yamashita (山下玲奈) had died. Reina had previously won an essay competition; writing about how she wanted to become a singer just like Utada. Utada decided to change the song entirely, creating the song "FINAL DISTANCE".

The Japanese Ministry of Education decided to incorporate Utada Hikaru's ballad "FINAL DISTANCE" in the high school music textbook starting spring semester 2001, which was announced on 8th of April. In order to pass the proposal, they needed 313 points. The proposal was passed with 319 points. They will be targeting high school students in their second year to test the new curriculum. According to the publisher of arts in education, the song was chosen because it is closely familiar with high school students.

Utada Hikaru - Final Distance MV (Youtube Video)

Utada Hikaru's official site at Toshiba-EMI here.


Bought Tsuji Ayano's (つじあやの)album "Balanco" awhile ago but didn't really write much about it. This album is one of her older works and was released on 17/04/2002. It basically retains much of her original style which is predominantly light and happy. Notable tracks in this album are サンデーモーニング (Sunday Morning) and 恋人どうし (Koibito Doushi).

Here's the tracklisting for Balanco:
01. あの子のしあわせ
02. サンデーモーニング
03. 愛のかけら☆恋のかけら
04. 僕の好きだった人
05. 悲しみは果てしなく
06. 恋人どうし
07. 君に会いに行きましょう
08. 僕のすべて
09. 星の輝き
10. 君の花が咲いていた
11. いつまでも二人で

Tsuji Ayano - サンデーモーニング (Sunday Morning) (Streaming Real Audio)

Her official site is here.

Jaga Jazzist's

Jaga Jazzist started out in Tonsberg (a small town outside Oslo) in 1994 at which time Lars Horntveth (the main songwriter in Jaga) was only 14 years old! In 2001 they released their debut album ³A Livingroom Hush² on Warner in Scandinavia to massive critical acclaim and great sales (the album sold over 15000 copies in Norway alone..). The band then signed a deal for the rest of the world through Oslo`s Smalltown Supersound. Throughout 2002 the band shocked fans and critics alike with their blistering live shows and the buzz resulted in sold out dates all over Europe and the band soon came to the attention of Ninja Tune who did a license/collaboration deal with Smalltown Supersound.

Jaga Jazzist - All I Know is Tonight

Visit their official site here.


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