Listeners expecting traditional wood flutes and koto drums may be surprised by the music offered up on THE ROUGH GUIDE TO THE MUSIC OF JAPAN. While strains of traditional sounds can be traced throughout these 18 selections, the Rough Guide mostly offers an enlightening look into the hybrid music of contemporary Japan. Synth-pop, rap, lounge, blues, and avant-garde elements are only a few of the ingredients thrown into the cultural blender heard in tracks by Yukihiro Goto, the An-Chang Project, Kawachiya Kikusuimaru, Koto Vortex, and Shizuko Kasagi. This fascinating compilation is recommended to anyone seeking an introduction, or an ear-turning update, to modern Japanese pop.
AllMusic Review by AllMusic