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#1 Posted by clagnaught (1259 posts) -

So at some point YouTube started recommending Japanese music to me. And not anything that would make sense, like say songs from the Persona 4 soundtrack, but rather...Japanese jazz? (I'm not great at categorizing music, there's probably a better term for this.) I and it looks like thousands or millions of other YouTube users have no idea why this is happening. All I know is that this music is actually kinda great.

The first song I noticed was "4:00 AM" by Taeko Ohnuki. (The original video recommended to me has some copyright restrictions on it now, but here's another copy; The original video has over a million views now):

And then this morning, the same sort of thing happened with YouTube recommending the song "Taiji no Yume" by Sai Yoshiko.

So I have a couple of thoughts on this:

  1. Why is YouTube doing this? Are their algorithms so sophisticated that it somehow connected Giant Bomb, film making video essays, IT how to videos, and Hatsune Miku to sweet Japanese jazz? Did something go sideways? Was somebody at Google bored and slipped this into the code?
  2. Since I'm actually watching these videos, clicking the Like button, etc., this should actually affect the type of content YouTube is going to feed me. The big data will say "Oh, this guy likes these Japanese jams. Keep 'em comin'". Not that I'm complaining. It's odd this is happening, but I welcome it.

Am I the only one seeing this stuff on their YouTube? Am I the only one that kinda digs this music?

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#2 Posted by Chango (885 posts) -

I've noticed that too -and I also listened to some of the Persona 4 soundtrack sometime back. But thanks to them I found out about Ryo Fukui -whom I now adore- some I'm not complaining.

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#3 Edited by Magmamud (847 posts) -

If you see these on your recommended list, you can actually click on the little : looking button next to the video choose "not interested" and then "tell why" a window will come up telling you where the recommendation came from. Not always though.

No Caption Provided

And if you want good Japanese Jazz, check out Taeko Kunishima. Specifically her album Late Autumn.

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#5 Posted by tnecniv (96 posts) -

@chango: Ryo Fukui has one of my favorite versions of Autumn Leaves

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#6 Edited by paulmako (1685 posts) -

What did you to to my YouTube! My home page is now recommending 'Love Trip - Takako Mamiya [ 間宮貴子 ] - 1982 - Full Album'.

And now I am listening and it is smooooooooth.

I guess I did listen to a couple of jpop songs before but nothing like this. I imagine it's one of those things that just spreads like wildfire between users with similar viewing habits. So I imagine people who watch GB videos on YouTube are now going to be slightly more likely to find similar sweet Japanese music now this thread has happened.

Edit: There are lots of comments under that video from recent days of people also acting surprised but enjoying it. Some mention of YouTube changing its algorithm for recommendations?

Edit II: 10 minutes in and this is actually really cool. Thanks YouTube!

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#7 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5718 posts) -

Yeah funny enough I got these too. Well not these exact ones but yeah, Japanese Jazz. Pretty dope stuff!

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#8 Edited by EthanielRain (1331 posts) -

Well you are talking about/sharing it, so maybe not so random ^_~

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#9 Edited by Maximus_Dipplomacy (60 posts) -

Thank you for sharing this, I've got my weekend listening cut out for me now!

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#10 Posted by clagnaught (1259 posts) -

@paulmako: I also came across the album Love Trip while browsing YouTube. I have no idea how popular this music was in Japan, but man it is really smoooooooth.

I wish all of this music was on Spotify. Part of it is for the sake of convenience, but I also wish I could press a button and just say "Play more songs and artists like this". There's probably some literature on this if I dug deep enough, but so far all I know is whatever YouTube comes back with.

Here's Love Trip if anybody else is curious:

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#11 Posted by xanadu (1169 posts) -

They love their Jazz in Japan! It's definitely one of the most interesting things about their culture. Japan's culture is deeply embedded in the east and obviously do not share too many similarities from the west. But for some reason they really grabbed Western Jazz music and ran with it! I think it has to do a lot of with the "emotional" sound of jazz. Those Jazzy chords (7ths and 9ths) go a long way to adding drama that would otherwise be absent in other tonal western music. Anyone who has watched Japanese anime or video games know how they love to get super dramatic as fuck in their stories. In that sense, Jazz is almost perfect for Japan! Also, It's just cool man.

Seems like I'm constantly recommending this anime but if you're really interested about Jazz culture in Japan. You must must must absolutely watch Kids on the Slope. It's about a classically trained pianist who changes schools and learns about the amazing powers of Jazz through his new friends and classmates. It's really good. Please watch.

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#12 Posted by clagnaught (1259 posts) -

@xanadu: I'll add Kids on the Slope to my queue. When you mentioned anime, I immediately thought of the opening theme to Baccano! This is one of my favorite anime themes. It does a fantastic job of getting you pumped for the next episode.