[Review] ‘Cyber Trance Presents Ayu Trance 2’ is a timely reissue, reminder of J-pop’s once towering soft power

Do you like Trance? Do you like Ayumi Hamasaki? Are you a DJ? Then you probably know what this is. To the rest of you, this year marks the 20th anniversary of 'Cyber Trance presents Ayu Trance', an official remix project commissioned by Avex to get the biggest names in trance to remix their J-Pop superstar Ms. Hamasaki. It would end up being a hugely successful and influential endeavor, leading to another 3 volumes and Ayu finding her way into DJ crates around the world. For many outside of Japan, this was the gateway into 21st century J-Pop.

Read More »

Girls Planet 999 Episode 11: The 3rd elimination, interim ranking, and the road to the finale

We are at long last in the final lap of our hectic journey through the cosmos of Girls Planet 999. For some contestants, Mnet has made it's intentions very clear, but for others, the future remains murky. Furthermore, the interim results for the final week of voting have completely torpedoed any sense of rationality remaining in the show. So without further adieu let's get on with it.

Read More »

Girls Planet 999 Episodes 9+10: Kim Dayeon ascends, Mnet dabbles in class warfare, also Collaboration Mission

After the second elimination, it's time to recalibrate the groups. Team "U+Me = Love" is down to four members: Sakamoto Mashiro, May, Kotone Kamimoto and Zhou Xinyu. While Sakamoto ranks in the overall Top 9, May barely skated in at 8th place in J-Group and both Kotone and Zhou Xinyu had to be rescued by the Planet Pass. But things could have been worse!

Read More »