Apr 28 2015

Introducing Charisma.com


By day, the ladies of Charisma.com are holding down days jobs like any ordinary people however during the night, these women are breaking new grounds in the music world. Ever heard of electro-rap? Probably not, because up until two years ago, no one ever thought that it was possible to combine rapping with electronic music. Truthfully, the EDM scene in Japan is still in its infancy, so the majority of artists are just pigeonholed under the EDM banner.

Although EDM has been slowly seeping into Japanese culture, hardly anyone knew about the genre outside of JPOP songs with influences from Zedd’s sonic elements. With JPOP taking Japan by storm, Japanese EDM artists went under the radar for years, though that isn’t to say that they were lacking talent compared to international DJs.

In other parts of the world, electronic DJs became household names in casino nightclubs that were filled with a mix of excitable tourists. Nightclubs in casinos are the perfect platform for worldwide recognition – which Japanese DJs lack access to due to government regulations on gambling. Although all this could change given the potential to improve the economy it is a long way off yet. Even the Japanese civilians have demonstrated their interest in online gambling, giving reason for the world’s first casino InterCasino to penetrate the Japanese market if the opportunity were to arise. The loose regulations on online gambling, along with the prospective for integrated resorts to boost the economy and tourism for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, could mean that casino legalization may be well on its way.

But for now, Japanese DJs will have to find other ways to make a name for themselves, and truthfully, a number of them have done a remarkable job despite the missing presence of casino nightclubs, including the aforementioned Charisma.com. What started as merely an outlet for the built up rage from work and daily life turned into a new genre of music that captured the souls of fans all over the world, performing in the annual Baycamp and Rock in Japan Festivals and the Japan Expo in Bangkok just last year. And hopefully, it won’t be long before they embark on their first global tour.

If you’re curious and want to listen to their music, check out the video below.


Apr 26 2015

Weekend Videos: David Rosen – “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep”

David Rosen is a prolific composer and producer based out of Las Vegas. Although his show reel is filled with ads and film work I am more interested in his personal compositions which have started to make their way to us at Cougar HQ more and more frequently.

“If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” is the first track I ever heard from him and without knowing anything about his background I was instantly drawn to it. With hindsight the the cinematic qualities present in the song are quite evident and the accompanying video works a treat drawiing accompanying the viewer- and the protagonist- on an enticing journey.

Keep an eye out for future David Rosen projects.



Apr 19 2015

Weekend Video – Lara Snow – I Like Snow

Lara Snow introduces herself to the world with “We Are Animals“, her collaboration EP with producer $aFrA. The leadoff track “I Like Snow” is a raw blast of energy coming across like a collision between Grimes and Die Antwoord with a breakdown that would make Refused proud.

The singer has been honing her skills for the past few years working on her songwriting and production skills, collaborating with other people in her scene and setting up an electric live performance with drummer and regular collaborator Jonatan Harpak.

Now that everything is in place “I Like Snow” represents just the first step in a busy few months ahead for the white haired songstress.




Jan 22 2015

CM Top Albums of 2014: Sia – 1000 Forms Of Fear


For her 6th studio album, Sia had no problem writing lyrics that address the sweet sadness of reality, masking it with rock music, catchy hooks, and her notable soaring vocals. ‘1000 Forms of Fear‘ doesn’t just ask us to swing drunkenly from the chandelier, it addresses all of our fears head on: going insane from loving someone too much, getting knocked down by love, crying our eyes out, and getting back on our feet ready to do it all again.  All in all, this was the pop album of the year.


Words by Amanda Jabes



Jan 6 2015

CM Top Albums of 2014: Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty


Shabazz Palaces

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Jan 9 2014

Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2013: David Bowie – ‘The Next Day’

David Bowie's The Next Day

The fact that ‘The Next Day‘ was released with no warning at all was remarkable enough in it’s own right but even the biggest David Bowie fan could not have expected such a consistently brilliant album.

David Bowie returned unexpectedly after nearly 10 years of silence upon which much speculation was had (depression, lack of inspiration, fear of the illness had in ‘last tour?). The lineup is the same as on his last releases ‘Hours‘, ‘Heathen and ‘Reality‘, and the trusty Tony Visconti is confirmed again on production duties.  ‘The Next Day’ turns out to be a gem of absolute value, with a handful of superb songs, like the nostalgic and hopeful “Where Are We Now” or the already classic “The Stars Are Out Tonight” – Mario

I loved this album after probably the third listen, but as a Bowie devotee for years, there was never really any chance that I wouldn’t. I have tried and failed to put my finger on where ‘The Next Day‘ fits in amongst his past albums and various reincarnations, but the closest I can come is that it reminds me of everything I love about weird but amazing songs like “Life on Mars,” but with a steady, rocking groove that extends through each track. It is deliciously melodramatic and yet feels subdued and mature, like Ziggy Stardust growing older and wiser.

Best track: “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” – Emily

Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2013



Jan 9 2014

2013: The Year in Music


2013 was a great year for music marked by phenomenal comebacks from some of the biggest bona fide superstars as well as remarkable debuts and sophomore albums from a hungry crop of up and coming artists. It was also a year where we had to bid farewell to Lou ReedRay Manzarek and Benjamin Curtis to name a few who will be sorely missed.

Over the past 12 months we attended SXSW in Austin, The Great Escape in Brighton, Culture Collide in LA and CMJ in New York as well as catching breakout performances by the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The xx, Drake and Alt-J

With so much good music coming out in 2013 choosing which records stood out amongst the rest was a fairly easy task, the hardest part was keeping this year’s list to a respectable number (and all the while one of the debuts we were most excited over was bumped to 2014).

Without further ado here is the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2013




Dec 19 2013

CYMBALS gear up for release of ‘The Age Of Fracture’


For those of you that remain nostalgic of the sounds of the 80s I highly recommend ‘Erosion‘, by my favourite London synth­pop fourpiece CYMBALS.

Think The Cure meets New Order  and you get this, the first track from their upcoming album ‘The Age Of Fracture‘ which is schedule for release on the 27th of January .

I’ve been following these Dalstonites for a while now as they caught my ear back in 2012 with their hit song “Like An Animal“. Seeing them live this summer definitely strengthened my opinion of them as one of the most promising london based bands around right now.

A striking bass, a funky guitar and frontman Jack Cleverly‘s strong, raspy voice are all that is needed for CYMBALS to make a great and naturally catchy synthpop tune with deliberate new wave echoes.


Post by Olivia