MUSIC BAR BOUNCE: Where Black Music and Shibuya Street Culture Converge

Previously we highlighted ‘RECORD BAR analog‘, and would now like to cover its sister venue. ‘MUSIC BAR BOUNCE’ is a music bar that focuses exclusively on Black music styles, spanning hip-hop, soul, R&B, reggae, dub, funk, jazz, house, and ambient piano.

The Best of The Bar and The Club

Compared to ‘analog’, the atmosphere here is markedly different, leaning more towards an underground club vibe. Instead of a request-based format, DJs perform live. The seating is not fixed and patrons are free to move around the venue.

Upon entry, you pay an entrance fee, and drink orders are placed and paid for directly at the bar counter using cashless payment methods only.

The interior is divided into two rooms, separated by a staircase. The room with the bar counter has counter seating and stools along the walls, creating a comfortable environment for solo guests. Nestled within the bar counter is the DJ booth, allowing patrons to experience the performance up close.

The other room features large tables surrounded by seating and sofas, giving it a coffee shop-like layout. This area allows for smoking, making it a suitable choice if you want to enjoy conversation with a group or wait comfortably for a specific DJ’s set.

The interior design is said to be inspired by the aesthetic of ‘abandoned churches,’ and the striking stained glass-like symbol in the venue is a work by illustrator Takuya Ueoka, whose works have been used in multiple artists’ cover art.

The graffiti murals adorning the concrete walls are the work of Ghetto Hollywood, also known as SITE – a multifaceted creator who holds the moniker ‘Jack of All Trades in Hip-Hop’ – as well as street artist GUCCIMAZE®. SITE is also a regular guest DJ, often taking the stage to spin at the venue.

1st image: Graffiti artwork by SITE
2nd image: On the left is SITE, in the center is Takuya Ueoka, and on the right is the collaborative work of GUCCIMAZE®

SITE is also renowned as the author of the manga ‘Shōnen In The Hood’, which draws inspiration from the hip-hop culture of Shibuya in the late 90s. The owner, Mr. Matsuzuru had commissioned him with the aim of capturing that era’s spirit within the venue.

“We had a few mutual acquaintances, so they facilitated the introduction when this place was being established. Later, I learned that SITE also DJs, so I started inviting him to perform here on a monthly basis.”

A DJ Lineup for True Music Lovers

BOUNCE’s monthly schedule, announced on their Instagram, features a core lineup of DJs who are well-respected in the industry, catering to the discerning tastes of connoisseurs.

From legendary figures like MURO and Mitsu the beats, to producers currently making waves in the latest scene such as shin sakiura and KM, the roster is an impressive who’s who that would excite any fan of Japanese hip-hop.

Moreover, the lineup includes artists not typically associated with DJing, adding an eclectic element, such as street manga artists like the aforementioned SITE, Santaro Inoue, and Kei Usuba, as well as Rage Okamoto from the rock band OKAMOTO’S.

“We either directly reach out to DJs we feel embody the right vibe for this place, or book those we already have an existing connection with. Featuring DJs for whom it’s not their primary profession is something that distinguishes us from other venues.”

The lineup encompasses not just music, but culture as well, so frequenting BOUNCE will allow you to truly immerse yourself in the authentic street culture of Shibuya.

A Place to Spend the Night Your Way

I visited BOUNCE a bit after its 8 PM opening on a Saturday. The interior was relatively calm at the time, with solo patrons along the walls, immersed in the music, and groups of men chatting over snacks at the tables. As the night went on, the crowd gradually grew, and by 9 PM, many were standing and swaying to the music.

BOUNCE can serve a variety of purposes – it could be a spot to head to for a bit of fun after dinner with friends, a place for enjoying the evening solo, or even a meetup location before hitting a club.

“There are many music enthusiasts who don’t frequent clubs. We hope to provide a space for them to immerse themselves in their favorite tunes at volumes they can’t get at home,” explains Mr. Matsuzuru.

Going to a club can indeed be daunting, especially for women, and those simply seeking to enjoy music may find the club environment too intense. BOUNCE, on the other hand, seems to offer a more accessible and comfortable atmosphere, with many women visiting alone, indicating it’s considered a safe space. Whether socializing, in a group, or solo and keeping to themselves, the dual setup of a bar and night café-like areas facilitates a space where patrons can freely spend their time in a number of ways.

The recommended drink menu features names that pay tribute to Black music, such as the ‘Bruno Mohito’ made with SelvaRey Rum co-owned by Bruno Mars, and the ‘Gin & Juice’ inspired by Snoop Dogg’s track of the same name. These drinks add an extra layer of engagement with the music and culture through your beverages and taste buds.

If you’re seeking to immerse yourself in the fusion of Black music and Shibuya’s street culture, a visit to BOUNCE is highly recommended. As a spot that attracts a crowd with a relatively strong interest in music and culture, it’s sure to provide a refreshing experience, for both locals and those visiting from abroad.

 ■Entrance charge (varies depending on event)
  Weekdays: ¥1000
  Friday, Saturday and Sunday: ¥1500
■Order: Cash on delivery
■Payment: mobile payment, credit card
■Opening Hours:
 (Thu~Sat) 20:00~3:30
 (Sun) 18:00-23:45
■Instagram : @musicbarbounce


Orie Ishikawa

ZEROMILE lead editor. With a limitless curiosity about things such as history, literature, biology, culture, art, fashion, and more, Orie has spent most of her lifetime studying random knowledge. Her number one spot in Tokyo is the National Museum of Nature and Science.