Japanese Virtuosos Rock of Asia Blend Modern Folk, Rock, and Traditional Native Music to Create a Musical Journey

Nikki Matsumoto is the brains behind the beautiful and soulful music of Japanese quintet Rock of Asia. Along with four other phenomenal musicians and a host of guests that flow in and out of his compositions, Matsumoto makes songs that blend together modern folk m usic, the traditional music of his native Japan, and elements of rock and pop to create a fusion sound that’s hard to describe but harder to not enjoy.

The opening track of their release Asian Anthology, “Lal Dhaga”, is a magical, musical, spiritual journey (amongst an album of other such gems) that is hard to not find yourself engulfed by. Despite not speaking the language myself, this listener finds himself lifted away by the music and feeling the evocative, emotional vocals. Certainly, an understanding of the lyrics may enhance the song, but those who find themselves at the same deficit as I need not worry, as it’s simply not necessary to know what he’s singing in order to enjoy the flight of fancy that this music will find you engaged in.

The entire album is streamable over at Bandcamp, where you can purchase it digitally or on CD, as well. But, for now, I present to you “Lal Dhaga”:

Justin has been running websites since his first Geocities site in 1994, but only did he ever start covering anything of substance years later. After he stopped regularly running local concerts in Northern NJ and the greater Philly area, he knew he needed to step up his writing game if he expected to continue to get free music to listen to. He writes regularly here and at Cinapse, as well as contributing to a few other sites on occasion. He likes music, film, the Philadelphia Eagles, the 76ers, talking about Criminal Justice, reading Intelligence Report, and his family... not in that order. His beautiful wife is far more talented than he is and his kids far more adorable... and crazy.
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