I have heard of him already, but didn’t know about him too many things until this album that he has made with Takako Minekawa. I have caught sight of her name and pounce on the record immediately so I had to know him:

Dustin Wong is a Hawaiian born half Chinese/half American guitarist. He grew up in Japan and went to college to the US. There he founded an experimental guitar duo with Matthew Papich (nowadays: Co La), the Ecstatic Sunshine (2004-07) and the Deerhoofesque art rock band, Ponytail (2005-11). After the break-up he has begun solo career and made experimental guitar albums. He lives in Japan again.

Takako Minekawa is a Japanese musician. She was active in the 90’s as the most interesting shibuya-kei artist. The term comes from Tokyo’s Shibuya ward. The district is the centre of the Japanese fashion and pop culture. Shibuya-kei (literally: Shibuya system) is described as a mix of jazz, pop and synthpop. Takako Minekawa’s music is experimental shibuya-kei. She loves cats, clouds, Kraftwerk, French pop and vintage instruments.

They have met in Tokyo in 2011 after a Dustin Wong gig and become working together. The outcome of their labour is the recently born Toropical Circle album. It’s Takako Minekawa’s first work for 13 years. Her weird synth sounds and dreamy singing voice meets his strange guitar sounds

The record is rather experimental with ambient, gamelan and oriental moods than pop, but there are some shibuya-kei moments too. It’s a really nice, pleasant album.

Released by Plancha Records, Vinyl from Thrill Jockey

Some useful links

Free Music Archive Dustin Wong   Ponytail

Live at Shea Stadium Dustin Wong   Ecstatic Sunshine



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