Live Report Exclusive

EASTOKLAB at TIMM Showcase Live Series 2022

08/02/2022 2022-02-08 01:00:00 JaME Author: Christine

EASTOKLAB at TIMM Showcase Live Series 2022

EASTOKLAB kicked off "TIMM Showcase Live Series 2022" with gentle, dreamy rock and a lingering sense of longing.


© Tokyo International Music Market. All rights reserved.
On January 24th, Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM) launched a new series of online events called TIMM Showcase Live Series. It expands on the convention's annual three-day live showcase, giving more Japanese artists opportunities to introduce their music to international promoters and distributors, not to mention audiences, throughout the year. The first instalment showcased six acts, with Nagoya-based rock band EASTOKLAB opening proceedings.

Formed in 2018, EASTOKLAB (pronounced "east-okay-labo") are known for a diverse sound drawing on elements of shoegaze, dream pop, alternative rock and electro-funk. They are signed to DAIZAWA RECORDS, an indie label under UK.PROJECT that's been home to groups like THE NOVEMBERS and Kinoko Teikoku in the past.

One key difference between this new event and the annual TIMM live showcase was the lack of translated interview segments to formally introduce each act. When the time arrived for EASTOKLAB's set, there was a montage of music video footage and publicity shots before the stream cut straight to the band onstage. All four members were dressed completely in white, standing in front of a screen showing a video of peaceful waves.

The band's shoegaze influences were immediately evident in the atmospheric opening track In Boredom. It also quickly introduced viewers to frontman Hayato Hioki's high, sweet voice. While Hioki sings clearly and confidently, his voice has a hint of boyish innocence to it that complemented the undercurrent of gentle optimism that ran beautifully through the entire set.

This was particularly true of the next song, Niji no tamoto, a track from EASTOKLAB's latest original release Ai, a five-song digital mini-album that came out in November 2021. The song brought the energy level up a bit with a catchier, more traditional rock sound that placed a stronger focus on Daisuke Nishio's guitar playing.

Sapiens, another track from Ai, seemed to be crying out for fan interaction. It featured a catchy chorus that fans would surely be tempted to sing along with, were the concert able to take place in front of a live audience. Fields of sunflowers, picturesque seashores and blue skies drifted by on the screens behind the band as Hioki sang about the loneliness and longing within all humans.

The short 17-minute set ended with Hug. It was a slow, dreamy song with lyrics that seemed a fitting choice for an online event during the Covid-19 pandemic, a time when people in many countries are still isolated from their friends and family and unable to travel freely.

All in all, EASTOKLAB's mellow set conveyed a lingering feeling of warmth and quiet optimism. Fans of softer, synth-infused rock music or those simply looking for a relaxing soundtrack for the cold winter evenings might enjoy giving it a listen.

Set list

01. In Boredom
02. Niji no tamoto
03. Sapiens
04. Hug

EASTOKLAB's set from TIMM Showcase Live Series 2022 was recently uploaded to their official YouTube channel, and it will be available for viewing for free for a limited period of four weeks (starting from February 1st). Reflecting the international spirit of the event, the video features optional subtitles with English translations of all of the songs' lyrics. Turn on captions to enable them.


EASTOKLAB also recently released a new remix version of their mini-album Ai on January 19th. The remixes were created by the band members themselves, combining vocal data from the mini-album with various analogue and digital synthesizers. It is said to add an inorganic PC-based twist to the mini-album, which originally highlighted the band's human power-based approach, further enhancing the delicacy and gentleness of the songs. Links to download and stream the remix mini-album on various music platforms are available here.
 Download or stream "Ai"  Download or stream "Ai -Bedside Remix-"
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