At the beginning of the month I traveled all the way from Tokyo to Hiroshima in order to attend two events that were part of Pasocom Ongaku Club’s Night Flow Album Release Tour. The first was held at Mondo Cafe in Fukuyama, and the second was at a food and music venue called ONDO in central Hiroshima. in the blue shirt—who is one of my favorite indie electronic producers in Japan—was also a part of this Hiroshima tour so I was ecstatic to go on this trip!
Hiroshima is typically a place where people go to visit historical sights, so before my arrival I had no idea what the nightlife was like. I was pleasantly surprised to see how interactive the music scene is here. Not only did the quality of music and talent of the artists exceed my expectations, but I also have fond memories from both events because they connected me with a lot of different people. I also had the experience to see rare parts of Japan, so coming here was worth all of the time and effort.
Who is Pasocom Ongaku Club?
Pasocom Ongaku Club (パソコン音楽クラブ in Japanese; also stylized “Pasocom Music Club” in English) is a unit formed in 2015 focused on creating desktop music (DTM) of the new age. They have an adorable dog mascot named Maron (マロン) that appears in a lot of their photos and merchandise. Pasocom Ongaku Club have performed at numerous venues in Japan and utilize modules and digital synthesizers like the Roland SC series and Yamaha MU series to create 90s style music. They have also participated in music production and remixes with other artists, commercials, and a wide range of other activities.
⇢ Official Website
A Brief Timeline of Pasocom Ongaku Club’s Releases:
- 2015: The unit was formed and started uploading DTM tracks on their Soundcloud.
- 2017: Released their first major album “PARKCITY” on Maltine Records. Also self-released a miscellaneous album “SHE IS A“.
- 2018: “DREAM WALK” and “DREAM WALK REMIXES” were released and extremely well-received, gaining them a lot of recognition. They also released their CONDOMINIUM. – Atrium Plants EP.
- 2019: “Night Flow” and “Night Flow Remixes” were released with critical acclaim. Arranged “Pokémon Shiritori” (ポケモンしりとり)━the ending for the latest Pokémon anime based on the games Sword/Shield. The group of children singing the lyrics to their song are called “Pokémon Ongaku Club”.
One of the most popular Pasocom Ongaku Club songs out right now is “reiji no machi” which features lovely vocals by Inoue Warabi:
I first saw Pasocom Ongaku Club in 2018 at a music/Q&A event called “ゆパ交流戦” in Osaka. I was very impressed by their music production method and how they sang through what looks like a talk box to record some of their vocals.
The event was held again this year  with a slightly different lineup. I could not attend the event this year because I was in Korea, but the highlights were uploaded to in the blue shirt’s YouTube channel.
Who is in the blue shirt?
Born in 1991, “in the blue shirt” is the solo project of a trackmaker named Arimura Ryo who currently resides in Osaka. He started creating music in 2012 and also has managed sound production for commercials and web advertisements. Released his 2nd album, “Recollect the Feeling” in April of this year. Recently he has been organizing a recurring trackmaker/DTM workshop event called “Potluck Lab” and working on his own vlog series tentatively titled “Travels in the blue“.
⇢ Official Website
A Brief Timeline of in the blue shirt’s Releases:
- 2012: First started producing music━early demos and samples of his work can be found on his Soundcloud.
- 2013-2014: First EP “Impasse” was released. Worked on various compilations and remixes; most notably a remix of Porter Robinson’s “Flicker” on “Re:Flicker“.
- 2015: “toward morning” is self-released, and mini-album “Cyanotype” is released on Maltine Records.
- 2016: First official album “Sensation of Blueness” is released on Trekkie Trax with much success. Tracks are also featured on “Trekkie Trax The Best 2012-2015“.
- 2019: Created a trackmaker/DTM workshop event called “Potluck Lab” held in Kyoto. Releases 2nd album “Recollect the Feeling” and all vinyls sell out. Preview of new EP is teased on Twitter.
in the blue shirt also released a remix of “reiji no machi” on “Night Flow Remixes”:
The First Night: At Mondo Cafe
After seeing all of Hiroshima’s major sights, I arrived at Mondo Cafe in Fukuyama around midnight. This was my first time ever going to a music event in Hiroshima so I was a bit nervous by myself, but I was happy to see that some of my friends I had met at Kyoto Metro were here too! It had been several months since I had last saw them so drinking together and catching up was a very pleasant time. Some nice boys from Hiroshima also bought me drinks and I was grateful for their hospitality.
Though I didn’t know many of the local Fukuyama DJs, all of them had great talent. The night was a mix of DTM, disco house, electronic, indie, and funk music. During the event I tried to make conversation with other people, but the music was so good I didn’t want to leave the dancefloor!!
Pasocom Ongaku Club’s set consisted of their own custom intro, hit tracks Night Flow, and some nostalgic tracks from PARKCITY like “oldnewtown”. It was very refreshing to see how much they had improved since I first saw them over a year ago! I recommend their music to everyone.
in the blue shirt’s set consisted of many different genres; his own songs released on Sensation of Blueness, Recollect the Feeling, and toward morning were mixed in with songs from other international artists. He also played “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” by KYLE, “Nishio 2” by Lemaitre, and “Whatever You Want” by 95 Royale━which is one of my favorite house tracks of all time! This is one of the best in the blue shirt performances I had ever seen!
By the end of the night I was filled with happiness and inspiration from all of the amazing tracks I had danced to that night. It was extremely hard to sleep, but I managed to get a few hours in before the next event on Sunday.
〒720-0077 1 Chome-9-21 Minamihonjo, Fukuyama, Hiroshima
The Second Night: At ONDO
The second event was on a Sunday evening so it started early around 6pm. Much like Mondo Cafe, this event space was very homey but well-suited for the event. Most of the people from last night also came here, so I had the chance to talk to some of the DJs and also see my friends again. I was very grateful for everyone’s kindness and the hard work put into this event. It felt more like a house party than a club event!
What made this event extremely unique was that Pasocom Ongaku Club dropped “Pokémon Shiritori” in one of their sets for the very first time. The composition of this song is brilliant because they sampled the Pokémon Center healing SFX. You can see the video I captured of it (this is one of my most-viewed videos):
Additionally, the VJ here was very talented. The series of flashing logos and animations was the perfect level of stimulation for this kind of event. The lighting at Mondo Cafe was ambient and soothing, but I liked the way ONDO was set up even more.
in the blue shirt’s set was once again filled with a high level of energy and precise mixing of multiple genres. This set had his famous song “Seven Bridge” on it that made the club go insane as well as several tracks that I did not recognize. I am now even more excited to hear the new EP he is working on! I was really fortunate to talk with him and buy one of the few remaining vinyls of Recollect the Feeling. He signed it with my name on it too! I left the venue with a very good feeling.
Afterwards, I went to a lovely Chinese restaurant with some of my female friends. It was so nice to catch up after all this time had passed and share these moments together.
〒730-0026 Hiroshima, Naka Ward, Tanakamachi, 6−3, 音戸温泉ビル
Traveling around Japan for music events has been extremely rewarding for me. I’ve learned much about the world, the people, and the culture of different prefectures of this country through music, and I’ve still got much to learn! I go to clubs and events in Tokyo almost every week, but the atmosphere of the venues in Hiroshima and Kyoto are much more welcoming. The artists and listeners are able to connect so much more freely with this type of event. I will cherish all of the memories that I made here.
I do not have any big trips planned for the rest of the year, but I am planning to go to Nagoya in 2020. Please stay tuned for more updates, and thank you always for reading. ♡