When you’re a fan of Japanese music and you don’t live in Japan, you’re always faced with the same problem: imports. Some Japanese artists make their music available through iTunes, while others can’t for legal reasons due to their record contract. If you do manage to track down the CD you want, you’ll be faced with ludicrous shipping costs, often costing more than the CD itself.
This is where UK based company “JPU Records” can help. They’re relatively new being established in 2012, and going from strength to strength ever since by helping huge Japanese artists gain popularity in the UK such as SCANDAL and Spyair.
My favourite band SCANDAL, give a message to their UK fans via JPU Records
But that’s not all JPU Records provide fans of Japanese music with. They’re a growing network operating out of London, and touching base with the artists. Their website contains extra content such as reviews, interviews, and dates of underground performances. Their news section is updated regularly by Tom Smith who publishes awesome articles on the latest ins and outs of Japanese pop and rock music. This helps to further raise the profile of bands already gaining more popularity in the UK such as BabyMetal and ONE OK ROCK, who recently sold out London shows.
With conventions like Hyper Japan gaining more popularity each year, this provides an amazing platform for JPU Records to introduce more exciting music to their target audience. Hyper Japan continue to hire exciting new acts every year, and recently hinted at the possibility of having Dempagumi Inc. perform at their next event, so here’s hoping!
It’s good for the music industry to have a company like JPU based in the UK as they’re not a specific genre label. If it impresses them, it gets their attention, which in turn will grab your attention. This allows the best Japanese music to reach the UK and even parts of Europe, as their distribution network continues to grow.
Taken from the JPU Records website, here’s what they’ve accomplished over the past few years:
Our journey so far has led to our first release, DIVISION by the GazettE, being featured as a Q4 hot release in British industry mag Music Week (found here on page 35), as well as the band being voted Music Act of 2012 by the readers of NEO Magazine. We followed that up in 2013 by getting their next album BEAUTIFUL DEFORMITY into charts across Europe, including #3 in the iTunes UK Metal Chart and #2 and #5 Finland and France’s respective iTunes Rock Charts, as well as in the top ten of Amazon UK’s rock chart.
With exclusive versions of artists albums being offered to JPU Records, I know where I’ll be getting my releases from in future (Sorry PlayAsia). I was too hasty with the latest SCANDAL release and preordered it when it was announced in Japan. Little did I know, that a few weeks later that JPU Records would bag an exclusive edition with two bonus tracks, a signed poster card, an A4 folder, and all the lyrics in the cover booklet would be in Romaji and English. There’s still time for you to grab yours here though!
You can check out JPU Records (and Japan Underground) and their connected networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr) right here.