Where Did All the Net Lable Stuff Go?: The difficulties of keeping up with media from cultures other than your own


Netlabel music is a sub-genre of music that started in the early 2010s in Japan that has a heavy focus on electronic music, often tinged with home-production values and novel sounds, including samples of anime and unconventional instruments. It is so called because it was started by musicians who were enabled by cheap production software like Garage Bang and could easily host their own music instead of trying to get a label. I love Netlabel stuff, especially later stuff like Maltine, Mikeneko Homeless and artists like Tomggg. That said, it feels like there’s been less major labels, and the stalwarts I like, like Mikeneko and Tomggg have been putting out less stuff. I feel simply, that things have shifted or there are up-and-comers but I have no idea who they are.

In part, this is due to the fact that I do not live in Japan and am not a part of that scene. I know Japanese and try to keep up when I can, but there is that barrier. That barrier has always been of interest to me: that there are subcultures or groups we’re interested in and want to keep up with but might have a hard time doing because of language barriers or just literal distance. This is a factor (that has been lessened recently) in keeping up with Japanese indie games, and, I am sure has been a factor elsewhere, through the internet and the world.

What is a thing that you’re interested in that you have had trouble keeping up with due to cultural-restrictions, be it that you do not speak a language, can not access a website, or can’t buy a product? How do you overcome or deal with these?

Also if someone knows, please tell, where should I go to for new Netlabel stuff?