text by Ben Munro
Sugar plant are a Japanese band, Chinatsu Shoyama and Shin'ichi Ogawa.
Other members of the band usually include a keyboardist and drummer, but are fluid, and members change continuously.
Chinatsu and Shin'ichi formed the band in 1993, when they met at university, and took the name from a sugar factory in Kawasaki City.
After producing a two song demo tape, they sent it out to overseas leabels,and soon released their debut single "Orange Filter" through the German label, A Turntable Friend.
Sugar plant signed to the Japanese label Wonder Release, and soon after released their first album, "hiding place", which was also released through the American label, Pop Narcotic.
1995 saw sugar plant embark on a two month, 25 date American tour, which saw their profile growing strongly. They played with bands such as Lois, Magnetic Fields, Versus, Helium and the Dambuilders.
The mini-album "cage of the sun" is released in both America and Japan at the start of 1996, and in March they begin recording their major label debut, "after after hours", at Studio Red, Philadelphia.
In April they commenced their second American tour, this time 35 dates. Artists they play with on the tour include Jessamine, Babe the blue OX, Mojave 3 and Windy and Carl.
By this time Chinatsu and Shin'ichi are becoming very interested in trance techno music, and go to techno clubs regularly in Tokyo.
In August, sugar plant make their major debut with "after after hours", which is released in Japan through Pony Canyon. Play at Club Quattro in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, and commence an Autumn tour of festivals.
The mini-album, "trance mellow" is released in Japan.
"after after hours" is released in America in March 1997, climbing to number 52 in the national CMJ chart. Sugar plant begin their third tour of America, which sees them playing in over 40 cities to constant attention. During the tour they are interviewed by over 64 newspapers, magazines and fanzines.
Showing their versatility and their wide range of their appeal, they play at a large techno trance festival to rapturous attention, with the legendary Japanese punk band, The Boredoms, as well as DJs playing trance, drum and bass and ambient styles.
The "happy" mini-album is released in January, 1998, in Japan. It is released as a double set (happy/trance mellow) in America in June.
They have been the front act for bands such as Silver Apples and Yo La Tengo, in Japan.
A French band, a reminiscent drive remixes "rise" and it is put out on the compilation "The colour of your dreams" in 1999 in Japan. Also an instrumental song "oneness" is out on the compilation "spiritual fantasy". In September, they go to a studio to make a full length album.
"dryfruit" is released in February 2000 in Japan.