I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Dance for philosophy - Dance Founder (ダンス・ファウンダー) / Just Memories (ジャスト・メモリーズ)

It's been a while since my last article. I've been trying to enjoy my summer vacations to the most - there's not that many years left until my long vacations start to get shorter, so I ought to make the most of these three months.

Me and my boyfriend have been compiling a playlist of modern idols and it's been a lot of fun. I've been opening up to more genres, while becoming aware that modern idols have been covering way more music genres that what I thought. The current trend seems to be shoegaze and light rock, but there's also rap and hip-hop, punk rock, metal, electronic, folk music... You name it. Still, there are some unique groups, such as the one I'm presenting today. 

Dance for philosophy, also known as The Dance for philosophy and Philosophy no Dance (フィロソフィーのダンス) (the group itself jokes about using several names), is an idol group formed in 2015. It's composed by four girls: Otoha Totsuka (十束おとは), Haru Hinata (日向ハル), Mariri Okutsu (奥津マリリ) and Maria Sato (佐藤まりあ).

They describe themselves as a contemporary funk and R&B group. And from what I've seen, they are one of the only idol groups (even J-Pop groups) tackling that genre, and the most solid one at doing so. Every release sounds like a refreshing tribute to the popular sounds of the late 80's and 90's, particularly in American music. It wasn't until I finished writing the article that I noticed Marcos already did a write-up on their first album "Funky but Chic", but the songs I'm presenting are part of their second one "The Founder", released in 2017, which I personally prefer.

"Dance Founder" is one of the best idol releases of this year so far, in my opinion. The song had been released in "The Founder", but was re-released as a single this year, with a new arrangement. It is a funky dance tune accompanied by a music vídeo that pays tribute to several decades of pop culture in a very fun fashion.

I thought about covering only "Dance Founder", but I would be missing the R&B part of the group, and the best way to showcase it is with "Just Memories". This 6-minute long ballad was also included in "The Founder" (it's just a great album). Me and my boyfriend usually call it it "the Mariah Carey song", because it's essentially how it sounds, in a positive way. Haru Hinata's vocals making for the powerful chorus parts, it's other of the staple songs of the group, in my opinion.

Dance for philosophy seems to be quite underrated in the West, so I hope to get some more people listening to it, because I think it's a group that can appeal to almost anyone. Besides the nostalgia factor of the funk and R&B sounds, the mix of different and unique vocals of the girls, great songs, as well as their group dynamics as a whole, make it worth of giving a chance.


  1. Hello, Joana.

    Thanks for reminding me about Dance for philosophy again. As I commented for Marcos' article on the group, Dfp sounds like it has picked up the torch that Especia left and then took it deeper into the late 1980s/early 1990s. And I think Dfp sings better than Especia...:)

    I will always welcome any artist or group that can bring back some of that old-time soul into music on either side of the Pacific. Personally, I would love to hear a bit of Anita Baker again...

  2. Hello, J-Canuck! Thanks for commenting.

    I agree with you. DFP has better singers as a whole, even if they don't have technically good voices. All the four girls bring character to the group.

    By the way, former Especia members Monari Wakita and HALLCA are still releasing some great music. Maybe I'll write a bit about them soon.


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