Buried within the pubs of the UK are those that crave something new, if they are lucky, they may find that within the artificial walls of their own country, but in today's internationalised world they may find it far beyond their comfortable confines. In Japan, it's no different, socially bored 20-somethings sipping on convenience store beer, or strong zero if times are tough, pine for the stylings of their ocean-crossed brothers, sisters, and others.

Alas, it's all too common for only the top of the soup to be tasted, so to speak. Algorithmic overlords tell you that THIS is UK music. THIS is Japanese music.

In reality, many small bands in smaller towns are doing their thing, and more often than not it can quench the thirst of the more internationally minded. Intending to foster friendship and discovery, I wanted to get some cultural exchange reviews going. A UK band reviews a Japanese band and vice versa, they write in their native language and then it's translated so that it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. A celebration of the global and local, the good bits of both. Thus, GLocal Dispatch is born.
Whilst this project may be short but infrequent, I hope that it's interesting.

GOGHST by Ioan Thomas Hazell (Shtëpi)
Written in English and machine translated.

GOGHST are a two-piece band formed of an acoustic or electric guitar, synthesiser, and two vocals. They occupy a small territory in terms of their textural breadth, but manage, within their compact arrangement, to foster a distinct sense of intimacy. If their territory is small, it is certainly richly contoured. Their songs beguile the listener, not so much in a sense of immersion as of inspection. One must lean into their music, finding at each transition curious intricacies; things which are almost, but not quite expected.


Stylistically, their vocal performances, which often begin inwardly and open gradually throughout their songs, are reminiscent of Sigur Rós. There is a freedom and a sense of wilderness to their louder performance which could not have been foreseen in its stolid beginnings.

彼らのヴォーカルは、しばしば内面から始まり、曲の中で徐々に開いていくスタイルで、Sigur Rósを彷彿とさせる。その大音量の演奏には、穏やかな始まりの頃には予想もつかなかった自由さと荒々しさがある。

GOGHST balance the earthiness of steel strings with synthesisers which move between pointed staccato rhythms and warm enveloping bass pads. The result of this juxtaposition is surprising. Neither element confronts its counterpart, but instead contributes to an experience which feels more authentically human. The line is walked between earthly practicality and the impressionistically ethereal.


They are a band for those who are seeking an intimate, accepting sound. They do not challenge a listener immediately, but instead draw them in to discover a cornucopia of more subtle, smaller details.


Shtpëi by Ida Yunosuke (GOGHST)
Translated by Matthew Foer


A while back I quit playing in a band. I felt like doing something completely different so took up bouldering on a friend's suggestion. I started on an easy boulder outdoors and eagerly frequented a rock-climbing gym. In bouldering, you choose a spot that you can get a good grip on and it becomes the only starting clue for figuring out a certain route all the way to the top. Within a route is a part called the crux; the hardest part, the challenge that can't be avoided. I'd like to share what is awesome about this music video - and its crux.


I think that musical expression and a band's sound are different depending on what language the artists use day to day. The Japanese language is soft, graceful, quiet, elegant, and thus terribly unsuited to rock music. How I have envied and admired the sexiness of the English language in British music! I found myself contemplating this for the first time in a while - although these days I am proud of Japanese culture and music.

Shtëpiの『Mrs Andrews』は最高。こんなにハッキリと最高って思えるMV、映像作品は少ないと思う。ロックというジャンルは、今やかなり広くなったけど「ロックが好き」という人間に見せたら、おそらく8割近くの人が気に入ると思う。気にいらないにしても、何かしらの前向きな衝撃、強い印象が残ると思う。8割。恐ろしい数字だ。

Mrs. Andrews by "Shtëpi" is superb! I don't think there are that many music videos that are so clearly excellent. Rock music has become quite popular and if you show this video to people that like rock I think about 8/10 will like it. Even if someone doesn't like this video I think it will leave a strong impression and some sort of positive impact. 8/10; an impressive proportion.


First of all, the vocalist has an incredible stage presence, hard to put a finger on, but somehow peculiar. He looks like a normal person and also seems crazy; gentle and also frightening. He beats a cowbell and sings and shouts into an old telephone repurposed as a mic. One moment he's dancing mischievously and the next he's on a scratchy distortion guitar. He's like an orchestral conductor. You can feel the traditional British punk spirit from him, and at the same time a grand elegance. This type of person simply can not be found in Japan.

それとこの映像は、録音とミックスが完璧だと思う。僕は最初、Shtëpiをパンクバンドとして聴いていたけど聴いていくうちに、日本で音響派と呼ばれるような音楽の方が近いような気がしてきた。アンビエントやポストロック。Jim O'RourkeやTortoise、Juana Molinaとか。These New Puritansが近い気もするけど、全然違う気もする。きっとサウンドがタイトで、正確なアンビエンスを持ち、目の前で起こった真実に近いこと。そして何をしているかよりも、どんな音が鳴っているか?の方に重心がきてるからそう感じたんだと思う。それぞれが奏でるプレイが際立ち、演奏者としての個性がそのままバンドの個性になっている。

I also think that the video has perfect audio recording and mixing. At first, Shtëpi sounded like a punk band to me but as I listened more I started to feel like it was closer to what is called 'acoustic' in Japan. Ambient or post-rock. Like Jim O'Rourke, Tortoise, or Juana Molina. I feel like it is similar to These New Puritans but at the same time completely different. The sound is tight and there is an ambiance that makes you feel like they're actually playing right in front of you. I think it feels that way because what pulls you in is the kind of sound they're making more so than what they're doing. Each instrumental part stands out distinctly - this individuality of the artists directly gives rise to the band's unique character.


Based on all this, I'm going to say what I think is the crux of this video. The moment when the vocalist raises his drooped glasses. 1:49. Preparing to explode, the silence before entering the run-up. That's - the crux.