The War in Ukraine jolted the world to wake back up. The dream that future wars would only ever be fought in far-flung minor countries, far away from the chummy borders of North America, Europe and Australasia has crumbled. To respond to this rationally, rediscovering the hard-nosed realities of grand warfare, of Great Power politics is vital. Nowhere moreso is this true than with regards to Japan. A nation which has swung in the last century from swirling expansionism to shy pacificism. And yet now must face the reality that it, just as the nations of Europe, directly stares into the eyes of a resurgent Russia.
Author Archives: Sam L Barker
The Ghost In Your Machine: AI Art & The Future
AI art does not need to be explained, it exists right in front of you. This is why the explosion is happening in a way it hasn’t for other technologies. This is an iPhone moment, you don’t need to tell me the benefits- I can see them.
Landing Your Business in Japan: An Expert Guide To Success
Japan is one of the world’s largest economies, ranking third behind the USA and China, and even then punches above its weight in terms of cultural power, prestige and global interest. Understandably many organisations, startups and businesses are eager to get a foothold in the Japanese market. But if your organisation has ambitions to start doing business in Japan, how should you start? I reached out to a number of experts: business owners with years of diverse, hard-won experience in the Japanese market. Here’s our guide to help your business flourish in Japan. Focusing on three key points: language, mindset and diversity.
Nightdrive With You: A Vaporwave Guide to Tokyo
Tokyo is one of the greatest cities on earth. Home to 14 million people, stretching from mountains to sea, the metropolis has been stealing hearts for centuries. With a sophisticated culture, world-class food, smooth public transport and endless treasures to explore, it’s no wonder Tokyo attracts waves of visitors from across the globe every year.Continue reading “Nightdrive With You: A Vaporwave Guide to Tokyo”
Crystalpep64 talks Nova Sixty-Four
Seeing as most of my releases draw from video game soundtrack, it’s not a surprise this one kind of does too. Delving into these PC-Engine and NES role playing games often feels like rummaging through an old cardboard box in the attic and it always gives me intriguing new ideas I want to implement in my style of music. That’s when the clashing begins. The synthwavey aspect of the ep certainly stems from games like Hotline Miami or Slipstream, but there is no denying the fact that HOME played a role, too. Translating those influences into a coherent sound is difficult but also very interesting.
Screenager: The World of Alpha Chrome Yayo
Choke is probably the darkest release I’ve ever put out, and it originally stemmed from hearing an ice cream truck rolling around my neighbourhood late at night. There’s something so fiercely unnerving about that, something innocent and sweet turned suddenly sour under sinister circumstances. I mean, I don’t know what that guy is doing, but he sure ain’t selling snowcones!
A Million Miles Together: Crystalpep64 Interview
When we played it for the first time, I was only about 10 years old and I was just thrilled to experience those adventures with all these colourful Disney characters. I wasn’t always there when my friend played it so I never saw everything in the game. And I didn’t even understand or process what was happening story-wise. But for years after that it stuck with me, that boy called Sora and his adventures.
We’re All Anime Fans Now
Or look to the entire genre of Future Funk. The sounds draw on 80s J-Pop, City Pop and retro music, and its images draw from their parallels in 80s and 90s anime. Looping clips of anime girls, either from legacy series like Urusei Yatsura , or their modern counterparts , are a cornerstone of the genre. What’s the purpose of these loops? To inject the kind of colour and vim which anime is so perfect at. A combination of cuteness and energy which is able to attract the eye and the ear. You don’t need to be an ‘anime’ fan to enjoy them, you just need to vibe with it.
Great Anime Vibes: Winter 2020
It also has a great, styalised visual aesthetic. It’s telling that all three anime I’ve responded to this season focus on making their visuals charming and memorable, rather than just shiny. Ultimately the show is just so darn sincere, any creative, of any stripe or type, will likely see a bit of themselves in Eizouken.
Surfing With the Alien: Hatsune Miku Live in London
Miku delivered in full force at Brixton. Her lightshow was excellent. The live band were beyond reproach, adding a little frisson of organic energy into the otherwise digital proceedings. Miku’s support squad of Vocaloids (Len and Rin being the most impressive consorts) added a mix of varied colours to the proceedings. Quite literally in fact, as the obligatory glowsticks wielded by the crowd turn into their respective colours depending on the Vocaloid singing.