Next Music from Tokyo Vol. 14 brings back favourites Koutei Camera Girl Drei and four more

Koutei Camera Girl Drei

Twice a year, music fans in Vancouver (and Montreal and Toronto) are treated to some of the wildest underground musical talent Japan has to offer. Next Music from Tokyo comes to Canada courtesy Toronto music fan/anaesthesiologist Steven Tanaka, who makes annual scouting pilgrimages to the country and then brings the best of what he sees back home.

This latest edition, Vol. 14, features five acts, one back by popular demand and a few new ones. The showcase comes to the Biltmore May 20. Tickets are only $15 at Find out more about the bands below (click on names to watch a video).

Stereogirl—The quintet plays what Tanaka calls “shoegaze-tinged pop punk sound heavily influenced by American and British acts such as Pavement, The Smiths, and Stone Roses. They also have a distinctively Japanese feel and a fiercely emotional side similar to NMFT fan favorites Kinoko Teikoku.”


TAMTAM— A five-piece band that started out playing dub/reggae. According to Tanaka, “Over the decade they have reinvented themselves changing to post-rock/shoegaze and then to folk/neo-soul but always retaining a bit of their dub roots. Currently TAMTAM sound like Thundercat with female vocals and they are easily the most soothing, sexy and soulful band NMFT has invited to Canada.”


Koutei Camera Girl Drei—Returning champs Koutei Camera Girl is a three-piece female “idol” group (that is, a group formed by producers working behind the scenes) making their third appearance with NMFT. Tanaka again: “Their sound involves rapped lyrics over EDM instrumentals but it’s the soulfulness, creativity and supreme attention to detail in production coupled with the heartfelt, raw-as-punk ebullience of the girls’ on-stage performance that makes KCG Drei one of the most captivating acts in Tokyo’s underground music scene.”

imai—This guy makes beats for electro-hip hop duo group_inou. According to Tanaka, “Even fans of rock music who dislike EDM may fall hard for the ultra-melodic, emo/punk-charged, noisy brilliance of imai’s unique brand of electronic beats.”


Kougou no Goraiko-Another group with roots in dub/reggae, Kougou no Goraiko “combine funky yet tranquil dub reggae rhythms with beautifully lush guitar tones that explode into the most gloriously chaotic punk/noise when you least expect it.”


Next Music from Tokyo Vol. 14

When: May 20

Where: Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward St.)

Tickets: $15 at

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