The Japanese are coming to Pittsburgh! From April 11 to 14, our city will once again be hosting the Tekko Japanese Pop Culture Festival at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. It will be the festival’s 16th edition. Here’s what we know about the current lineup of bands so far.
You’ve probably already heard TeddyLoid’s work in the song Panty & Stocking, from the official soundtrack for the 2010 GAINAX anime, which in 2013 was sampled by Loadstar in the EDM track “Give It To Me.”
TeddyLoid has also famously provided the background music to Mekakucity Actors and produced Neo STARGATE for Momoiro Clover Z, with whom he collaborates frequently. His first solo album, Black Moon Rising in 2014 is a culmination of his energetic vaporwave sound, which he has been honing since he started out as a DJ at 18 years old. At 29, TeddyLoid is an ambassador of the Japanese synth sound, and Pittsburgh is his next stop. He’s definitely one of the most influential Japanese electronic musicians of his generation.
Myth & Roid
Catchy melodies, commanding vocal performances, and strange pop melodies are the result of this collaboration between vocalist KIHOW and digital instrumentalist Tom-H@ck. Since debuting their first single L.L.L.
in 2015 for the anime OVERLORD, the pair has ranked in iTunes and have since been an inseparable creative duo. Prepare for epic, melodic industrial pop rock.
You might know him better as Takeru, vocalist of J-Rock outfit SuG. He is the same Takeru whose million$orchestra clothing line successfully opened a pop-up store in LA back in 2016. And now, the versatile artist who has explored music, film, design, and fiction has started his own solo project. Dubbed sleepyhead, not much has been revealed about his current sound, except that he decided to start the project on the night of a lunar eclipse.
These are just some of the confirmed acts for this year’s Tekko. It should come as no surprise that here in Pittsburgh, we are still seeing the ongoing rise of Japanese culture. Pittsburgh Music Magazine has long been familiar with the anime, J-Rock, and “OTAKU” cultures that have swept across America in recent years. In Los Angeles, the annual Anime Expo similarly celebrates the art and culture of Japan. Publishers Weekly reported that the 26th expo last year was attended by an estimated 110,000 fans.
This has led to an increasing demand for Japanese related content across media platforms, with the gaming industry in particular creating a lot of games based on Japanese culture. On the web, the Expatbets game Sakura Fortune brings together two major parts of Japanese culture that international audiences closely associate with the country – the warrior and cherry blossoms. With western filmmakers making adaptions of popular anime and manga, such as Ghost in a Shell and Alita: Battle Angel, these Japanese conventions will only get more popular.
And continuing this bridging of cultures is the upcoming Tekko Japanese Pop Culture Festival, with an impressive lineup that aims to celebrate the best that the Japanese have to offer.