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Japan Shibuya-kei
Stylistic origins J-pop
bossa nova
Cultural origins 1960s-1990s in Shibuya, Japan
Typical instruments Guitar - Bass guitar - Drum kit - Vocals - Synthesizer
Mainstream popularity Late 90s

Shibuya-kei (渋谷系 ?) is a sub-genre of Japanese pop music which originated in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. It is best described as a mix between jazz, pop, and electropop. The word for Shibuya (渋谷 ?) is combined with the Japanese word kei ( ?) which literally means "system"[1] or, in this context, "style"[2], to form Shibuya-kei which roughly translates to "Shibuya style".

Initially, the term was applied to Flipper's Guitar, and Pizzicato Five, bands strongly influenced by French yé-yé music and its most notable proponent, Serge Gainsbourg. Other influences include lounge, and bossa nova. As the style's popularity increased at end of the 90s, the term began to be applied to many bands whose musical stylings began to reflect a more mainstream sensibility.

Some artists rejected or resisted being categorized as "Shibuya-kei," but the name ultimately stuck. The style was favoured by local businesses, including Shibuya Center Street's HMV Shibuya, which sold Shibuya-kei records in its traditional Japanese music section.

Increasingly, musicians outside of Japan, such as Britain's Momus, France's Dimitri from Paris, and the US artists Natural Calamity and Phofo are labelled Shibuya-kei.

Notable artists

For more artists, see Shibuya-kei musicians


External links

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