Clear And Refreshing is a dumping ground for thoughts, reviews and links related to music in Japan. My name’s Ian Martin and I’m a British immigrant living in Tokyo. The name of the blog was taken by my girlfriend (now wife) from the side of a can of chu-hi in 2003 and has stuck ever since, no matter how pretentious and convoluted my writing becomes.
I get a lot of messages from overseas bands asking me to write about them, so I should make it clear at this point that this blog is exclusively about Japanese music and the music scene in Japan. I sincerely wish your bands all the best, but I don’t take requests.
My book Quit Your Band – Musical Notes from the Japanese Underground was published in 2016 by Awai Books, with the Japanese edition following a year later from Ele-king Books. I also run an indie/post-punk label called Call And Response Records, and help organise frequent live events and DJ parties, mostly in Tokyo but also sometimes in other parts of Japan.
If you want to contact me, there’s a contact form on the Call And Response website that will get you to my inbox.