Tokyo Incidents

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About Tokyo Incidents

The edgy quintet Tokyo Incidents gives Sheena Ringo, one of Japan’s most boundary-pushing pop stars, the space to experiment with her rocker side. After releasing a trio of albums in the early 2000s that saw her nudging J-pop toward high art, Ringo recruited players from the country’s rock community to serve as her backing band on tour. She opted to stop solo activity and focus all her effort on the band in 2003, bringing her immense artistry with her. Harder bands such as Number Girl and Supercar were already steering pop audiences toward rock (sometimes fusing it with electronic music), but Tokyo Incidents provided an even fresher take on the genre in much the same way Ringo shook up J-pop a few years earlier. The band quickly found a sweet spot between garage rock energy and Ringo’s Bowie-esque eclecticism, establishing this balance through the band’s collaborative approach to songwriting. Ringo’s interest in jazz merged with her bandmates’ uptempo playing, resulting in experimental numbers like “Noudouteki Sanpunkan” and “Mirror-Ball,” which take stylistic twists throughout. Sheena Ringo resumed her solo career in 2006 and the group disbanded in 2012, but the band returned in 2020 with the surprise EP News, which once again showcased the members’ topsy-turvy take on traditional Japanese rock.

July 18, 2003

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