Inspired by Japan’s Jazz Kissa Culture
In an effort to chase Apple and Spotify’s music market share, Amazon has just opened a new music studio in Tokyo. This is Amazon’s second music studio, after opening one previously in New York City. The four-story studio, located roughly 10-minutes north of Shibuya Station, houses a recording studio, a podcast studio, a photo studio, as well as reception area and conference room, all designed by Torafu Architects. While the one-stop studio will work with musicians, podcasters and artists on live-streaming, recordings and other musical events, the inspiration behind it is Japan’s jazz kissa culture.
The Japanese culture of jazz kissas is unique. Jazz kissas are bars dedicated to playing jazz records all day long. Enthusiasts visit their favorite Jazz Kissa and sit there for hours for music rather than drinks. In the 60s and 70s these bars invested in the finest audio equipment and speakers and thrived in post-war Japan, when a lot of people could not afford expensive imported vinyl records. Today, Jazz Kissas still exist in Japan but there are only a few places left where you can have that kind of sonic experience.
Inside the Amazon studio, the first floor is a public reception area and space for live broadcasting. The second floor is dedicated to meeting rooms which also serve as theaters. The third floor functions as a base for podcasting and photography. Finally, on the fourth floor are studios for recording as well as live-streaming.
all photos by Daici Ano and Kazuhiro Nagae courtesy Torafu Architects