Electronic Music: Japanese Cyberpunk and Germany’s Liberalism.

We previously discussed the concept of national philosophy and conflict influencing the structures of electronic music. This included for example societal expectations into artistic products. Upon further examination of Japanese dance music, such as artists Keita Sano and Takaaki Itoh, I believe that Japanese techno has been significantly inspired by cyberpunk. Techno has always been prevalent throughout the cyberpunk universe, however in comparison to the German dance music that I regularly consume, Japanese techno illustrates a dystopian and anarchic nature.  Japan developed into the realm of cyberpunk in the 80’s (Gibson, W. 2001), and the subsequent emergence of electronic music during the same period can draw a relationship between the two. The chaotic nature of Japanese techno is applicable to the recurring cyberpunk theme of social breakdown and conflict between institutions. This is due to the production of rapid and distorted musical structures and themes.

The cyberpunk impression can be heard by Takaaki Itoh:

Previously I stated that Kyoka, a Japanese producer and DJ (Luebs, E. 2016), argues that “the performer is seen as presenting their intellect.” In my opinion the multitude of complex layers heard throughout Japanese techno reflects this statement, as the incremental and intricate nature of achieving such work is a representation of the intellectual framework that Japanese society prides itself on (Ikeya, N. Ishikawa, H. 2001). Whereas consumption of European electronic music that swamps my personal platforms results in an experience that is a representation of the conflicting ideologies of the Cold War and the subsequent libertarian philosophies that followed. 

The sound of the grim history of Germany can be heard here by Sven Vath for example:

The liberalism can be heard by the same artist Sven Vath:

Due to personal philosophy demonstrating a mix of anarchism and liberalism, the culture of Cyberpunk in Japan and the political environment in Germany following the Cold War is encapsulating. My understanding of Japanese techno will be a reflection of teenage taste in thrash and punk. With both genres having associated anarchist culture and themes throughout, thus resulting in some degree of personal importance.


Ikeya, N. Ishikawa, H. (2001) The Japanese Intelligence Culture, Competitive Intelligence Review, Vol 12. John Wiley & Sons Inc. Viewed 03.09.16

Luebs, E. (2016) The shape-shifting landscape of Japan’s electronic underground, The Japan Times, viewed 03.09.16 <http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2016/01/03/music/shape-shifting-landscape-japans-electronic-underground/#.V9oRmpN94ch&gt;



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s