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Shigeru Suzuki - Sunset Hills Hotel Reservation Calendar (LP)
Shigeru Suzuki - Sunset Hills Hotel Reservation Calendar (LP)Columbia
¥4,180

Killer JPN New Age/Walearic! Shigeru Suzuki's alias works are back on LP!

This LP reissue is the most new age of Shigeru Suzuki's works from 1987, which debuted as a guitarist for Happiendo, produced many songs, and supported the Showa music history and new music scene.

The conceptual content, which advocates resort ambient with a graceful touch, has recently been reevaluated in the context of "Japanese Rarealic" ("Japanese mono" + "Balearic"). It is a well-known masterpiece that is popular both domestically and internationally. The music is provided by Tetsuji Hayashi, Mari Iijima, Kazuo Zaitsu, Hajime Mizoguchi, Meiko Nakahara, and Asami Kado.

Jimmy Murakawa - Original De-Motion Picture (LP)
Jimmy Murakawa - Original De-Motion Picture (LP)Columbia
¥4,180

Obscure Japanese New Wave/Dub! The only album he left in 1982 is finally reissued on LP!

The solo album by Satoshi Murakawa "Jimmy" Murakawa, the vocalist of "Mariah", a band internationally reevaluated for its progressive musicality, has finally been reissued straight from the press amidst a lot of WANT.

The minimal beat "Down? Down, Down!", which was reconstructed by Chee Shimizu, the oriental ambient dub "Beauty", and the cold wave "Cat's Eye", which sharply disturbs the auditory senses, are all featured on this album, with sound design by co-producer Yasuaki Shimizu reflected in every part. The album features a total of 10 tracks that reflect the sound design of co-producer Yasuaki Shimizu.

Merzbow - Door Open At 8 AM (Remastered + Bonus Tracks) (2LP)Merzbow - Door Open At 8 AM (Remastered + Bonus Tracks) (2LP)
Merzbow - Door Open At 8 AM (Remastered + Bonus Tracks) (2LP)Aurora Central
¥3,976
Limited edition of 200 copies. Merzbow is a Japanoise legend who has been advocating and practicing thoroughgoing ahimsa. This is the first analogue/cassette version of their very popular CD-only release "Door Open At 8 AM" released in 1999. Recorded at his home studio, Bedroom, Tokyo, in April/May 1998 using EMS VCS3, EMS Synthi 'A', Moog Rogue, Theremin, etc., this is a career-defining album. Recorded around the same time as one of Merzbow's most adventurous works, Aqua, it pays homage to the free jazz musicians he admires. Tony Williams and John Coltrane were also sampled. Remastered at Munemihouse in 2020. Remastered at Munemihouse in 2020 with new artwork by himself. Includes additional bonus tracks.
Merzbow - Hybrid Noisebloom (2LP)Merzbow - Hybrid Noisebloom (2LP)
Merzbow - Hybrid Noisebloom (2LP)Urashima
¥4,413
Merzbow stands as the most important artist in noise music. The moniker of Japanese artist Masami Akita was born in Tokyo in 1979. Inspired by dadaism and surrealism, Akita took the name for his project from German artist Kurt Schwitters's pre-war architectural assemblage The Cathedral of Erotic Misery or Merzbau. Working in his home, he quickly gained notoriety as a purveyor of a musical genre composed solely of pure, unadulterated noise. Embracing technology and the machine, first in an absolutely analog way and then welcoming digital innovation, Merzbow broke boundaries and pushed toward new territories of the extreme, arriving at a sonic space of uncontaminated, straight noise that, from its base in Tokyo, has continued, now for over 40 years, to set the pace for the entire genre of noise. When it comes to Japanese noise, few projects have pushed boundaries or risen to a more iconic status than Merzbow. Hybrid Noisebloom, originally issued by Vinyl Communications on CD in 1997, is the latest in this trilling bread crumb trail. It is also the first time that this seminal document from Merzbow’s '90s period has ever appeared on vinyl. Composed and performed on EMS and Moog Synthesizers, Theremin, Metal Devices, Noise Electronics, and Voice, all recorded at extreme volumes, Hybrid Noisebloom's five tracks present a fascinating sonic assault, heavily driven by the presence of electronic sounds, played against the sparse interjections of Akita’s heavily processed vocals, that push toward new territories of the extreme, while subtly nodding toward historical gestures from the early years of the avant-garde. A side opens with Plasma Birds comprising a series of banner that investigate timbral relationships, the fragmentation of melody, and abrasive, provocative noise - shifting from the sparse, airy, and restrained, to dance clusters of interplay and back again. Follows enclosed in just over ten minutes, Minotaurus, finding a strange middle ground between the intuitive logics of their instruments; synth and electronics taking on decidedly percussive approaches, while metal device’s fractured polyrhythms and beats often veer toward the presence of a notable tonality. B side is filled with a single long track, Mouse Of Superconcetion, formed by screeches and from swinging and chugging to stepped back and sparse combinations of rhythm and tone - moving from the lingering sensibilities of straight-ahead synth to radically out hard blow fire. Launching from a total wall of sound, C side track Neuro Electric Butterfly takes the listening on an endlessly surprising journey through its devices’ inner world, shifting between airy open passages that feature endless combinations of one or more effects, to furious moments of sonorous lashings where the sound falls in together in brilliant dialogical periods of conversant texture and psychedelic intervention. Closes The Imaginary Coversation Of Blue embedding bristling fragments, percolating tones, and poignant dissonances within a sweeping field of echoes rumbles and drones, taking sonic abstraction to startling heights. Despite its undeniable intensity, Hybrid Noisebloom is arguably one of Merzbow’s most accessible and engaging releases. Noise at its best - sophisticated and refined, more than twenty-five years after it first appeared, this album is long overdue for a return to the world, retaining every bit of potency and power as the day it was laid to tape. Never before available on vinyl, this beautiful pressing is issued as a deluxe double vinyl LP edition, limited to 299 copies. Needless to say, we can’t possibly recommend it enough.
Merzbow / Lawrence English - Merzbow Mix Tape (CS)
Merzbow / Lawrence English - Merzbow Mix Tape (CS)Room40
¥1,369
Masami Akita is one of the most influential noise artists of our time. Known as Merzbow, Akita has developed a recognisable sound with his harsh, confrontational and abrasive sonic emittance. Lawrence English is a curator of sound, vision and thought. As the founder of Room40, English has released countless records and has worked alongside some of the most notable and adorned sound pioneers of our time – in turn becoming one himself. To coincide with Akita and English’s involvement in issue 02, English compiled a Merzbow Mixtape of hidden gems from Merzbow’s expansive archive.
7FO - Ran - Bouten (LP)
7FO - Ran - Bouten (LP)Conatala
¥3,000

“ When I started working on the piece in March of 2020, I had only decided to record it in the way I wanted to. The coronavirus was spreading globally, and the situation was gradually changing into something very serious. With no gigs scheduled and hardly seeing anyone, I felt as if my spirit was in a slightly deeper place than usual during the production. I sat down in front of my equipment as if I were dropping a fishing line into a quiet lake. I kept feeling that something new was lurking beneath the water surface. I was trying to catch that something that seemed to be just out of reach, that floated in and out of sight like a speck of smoke. ”
_Referenced from: Afterword of 7FO「Ran - Bouten」

2021 brings a new album by Osaka electronic musician / producer 7FO. This work is a departure from the recent global ambient / new age approach, and the unique sound aesthetic created using only hardware equipment is a new frontier of 7FO or a return to his origin. "Ran - Bouten" is a new electronic music album with a poetic sensibility using machines.

Discovered by overseas labels such as RVNG intl., Bokeh Versions, and Metron-and with the release that followed EM Records in his hometown Osaka, it's like his personal folk craft that was once quietly played at his own pace. Music has reached listeners around the world. In recent years, he has been touring from a famous performance with Tapes at the Belgian "Meakusma Festival 2019" to a Japan-Korea tour. "Ran - Bouten" was born as a result of facing the sound alone without being asked by anyone to cool down the heat when the steaming and intense experience had settled down. Inside the cool electronic sound like a water bath, you can feel the maker's heart sending hot blood.

Peep into the condensed universe of a home-recorded miniature world that looks like an independent production of unknown age. He was alone in a dark room, making full use of KAWAI's 1990 digital and FM synthesizers , tracing the shape of nature and resonating the micro and macro sound worlds. The Rhythm and melody that continues to the Paradise Pure Land, which floats in a dreamy atmosphere, is the true value of 7FO even without his guitar play.

Mastering by Makoto Oshiro, which supports everything from home listening to club sound systems. Hiroaki Hidaka designed the jacket to make the image of the sound appear cool and friendly everywhere.

Maki Asakawa (2LP)
Maki Asakawa (2LP)Honest Jon's Records
¥3,989

A stunning survey of the 1970s heyday of great Japanese singer and countercultural icon Maki Asakawa (1942-2010). Deep-indigo, dead-of-night enka, folk, and blues, inhaling Billie Holiday and Nina Simone down to the bone. A traditional waltz abuts Nico-style incantation; defamiliarized versions of Oscar Brown Jr. and Bessie Smith collide with big-band experiments alongside poet Shūji Terayama; a sitar-led psychedelic wig-out runs into a killer excursion in modal, spiritual jazz. Existentialism and noir, mystery and allure, hurt and hauteur. With excellent notes by Alan Cummings and the fabulous photographs of Hitoshi Jin Tamura. "Japan's answer to Scott Walker, with a visual aesthetic and a death-decadent appeal that is straight out of the Keiji Haino songbook." --Volcanic Tongue

Osuwa Daiko & Masahiko Sato - Suwa Ikazuchi (LP)Osuwa Daiko & Masahiko Sato - Suwa Ikazuchi (LP)
Osuwa Daiko & Masahiko Sato - Suwa Ikazuchi (LP)Via Parigi
¥4,135
The Suwa Daiko is a tradition of Kagura (= sacred music and dance) and drums of the SUWA TAISHA Shrine that enshrines the life of the TAKEMINAKATA (= one of god in Japanese mythology). It is a folk performing art that is recorded in an ancient document of the “Koshin-etsu-Senroku (=Koshin-etsu War Record)”. The document says that it is also medieval military music. Shingen TAKEDA(1521-1573), who was a great warlord in 16th-century known for his equestrian corps said to be the strongest in Sengoku period, formed 21 people of Suwa Daiko and raised the spirit and willingness of the Takeda army soldiers by Suwa Daiko at the battle of Kawanakajima (1553-1564). Mr. Daihachi OGUCHI has collected traditional drums with different tones of various sizes and created an original group drum. He opened 15 branches nationwide, 12 branches overseas such as San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Toronto, Singapore etc. and helped spread the Suwa Daiko world wide. Osuwa Daiko Preservation Society is an intangible cultural property that inherits the will of Daihachi OGUCHI. This album was recorded at the Osuwa Daiko Preservation Society dojo in Okaya City, Nagano. One of the two songs is created as DTM by veteran jazz pianist Masahiko SATO (studied at Berklee College of Music in 1966-68 and has many awards). His DTM adds unique musicality to this traditional sound and makes it lively and original. Also, the artwork was licensed to use “Shingen TAKEDA statue” drawn by Tohaku HASEGAWA (=Tohaku HASEGAWA (1539-1610) was the highest painter played an active part from the Azuchi Momoyama to the early Edo period. Now many of his works designated as national treasures.) It is an important cultural property in the Seikei-in Temple at Mt. Koya.
Hiroshi II Hiroshi - Hiroshi II Hiroshi Vol. 1 (Clear Blue Vinyl LP)
Hiroshi II Hiroshi - Hiroshi II Hiroshi Vol. 1 (Clear Blue Vinyl LP)HMV Record Shop
¥4,180
Japanese Balearic Masterpiece ('93) is re-pressed on Clear Blue Vinyl! HIROSHI II HIROSHI" is a unit of Hiroshi Fujiwara and Hiroshi Kawanabe (Tokyo No.1 SOUL SET). This is their chill-out~Balearic classic (EP), which was distributed as a picture disc with a vinyl jacket at the time, and is now a popular and expensive item on the second-hand market. The EP features "H2O," the first track that takes you to a fictional resort with its gentle guitar strumming, and "Beauty & Beast + Bagle (Dub)," an exquisite summer resort dubwise track with melting sounds and the melancholy of the sun in the west. The album also includes six evergreen songs that pioneered the Café Del Mar craze that later spread throughout Japan. The artwork is a faithful reproduction of the CD-era design by Hiroshi Nagai.
V.A. - Longing for the Shadow: Ryūkōka Recordings, 1921-1939 (CD)
V.A. - Longing for the Shadow: Ryūkōka Recordings, 1921-1939 (CD)Death Is Not The End
¥2,294
Here's a great one. This is from Death Is Not The End, a great place for digging up antique music from all over the world, from pre-war blues to immigrant music and South American folklore. It's also a great place to dig for antique music from all over the world. This Japanese project follows on the heels of Katsutaro Kouta, which was released in 2018 and was very popular in our store, and contains haunting and unique sounds that show how cultural fusion with the West was beginning to be reflected in popular songs before the influence of Western pop music during the post-war American occupation. This is a work that every Japanese should be exposed to at least once.
Takayanagi Masayuki New Direction for the Art Complete - La Grima (LP)Takayanagi Masayuki New Direction for the Art Complete - La Grima (LP)
Takayanagi Masayuki New Direction for the Art Complete - La Grima (LP)Aguirre Records
¥3,989
Famed free jazz concert registration of an early New Direction for the Art performance. Recorded in 1971. Old-style Gatefold LP, with rare photographs & extensive liner notes by Alan Cummings. The performance by Takayanagi Masayuki New Direction for the Art at the Gen’yasai festival on August 14, 1971 was an intense, bruising collision between the radical, anti-establishment politics of the period in Japan and the febrile avant-garde music that had begun to emerge a few years before. The ferocious performance that you can hear here was received with outright hostility by the audience, who responded first with catcalls and later with showers of debris that were hurled at the performers. Takayanagi though described the group’s performance to jazz magazine Swing Journal as a success, “an authentic and realistic depiction of the situation”. In 1962, Takayanagi, bassist Kanai Hideto and painter Kageyama Isamu went on to form an AACM-style musicians’ collective called the New Century Music Research Institute. Every Friday, members gathered at Gin-Paris, a chanson bar in the fashionable Ginza district of Tokyo, to push the outer limits of jazz creativity. But the pivotal moment for his music was the creation a new trio version of his New Directions group in August 1969, with the free bassist Yoshizawa Motoharu and a young drummer Toyozumi (Sabu) Yoshisaburō. Experiments eventually led to the creation of two basic frameworks for improvisation that Takayagi referred to as Mass Projection and Gradually Projection. “La Grima” (tears), the piece that was played at the Gen’yasai festival, is a mass projection and listening to it, you can get a clear sense of what Takayanagi was aiming at. Mass projection involves a dense, speedy and chaotic colouring in of space that destroys the listener’s perception of time, and thus of musical development. The ferocity of the performance of “La Grima” at the Gen’yasai Festival in Sanrizuka on August 14, 1971 was consciously grounded by Takayanagi in a particular historical moment, ripe with conflict and violence. A month after the festival, on September 16, three policemen would die during struggles at the site. This was the context that the three-day Gen’yasai Festival existed within. The line-up reflected the radical politics of the movement, with leading free jazz musicians like Takayanagi, Abe Kaoru, and Takagi Mototeru appearing alongside radical ur-punkers Zuno Keisatsu, heavy electric blues bands like Blues Creation, and Haino Keiji’s scream-jazz unit Lost Aaraaff. New Direction for the Arts trio topped the bill on the opening day, playing an aggressive, uncompromising “mass projection” set of polyphonic improvisation. Alongside drummer Hiroshi Yamazaki and saxophonist Kenji Mori, Takayanagi soloed hard and continuously for forty minutes. This was performance as precisely calibrated metaphor: three musicians responding to the demands of the moment with instinctive force and fury, untethered by rules, leaderless yet not rudderless (the direction part of the group’s name was no accident). The piece was entitled La Grima – tears - and the fusion between the palpable anger of the performance and hopeless sadness of its title were also perfectly apt for the situation. This was a fight that the state was always going to win. Yet, by all accounts, the band’s set went down like a fart at a funeral. The band were showered with catcalls and debris throughout, and by chants of “go home” when the music finally came to an end. However, looking back at the event in the year-end issue of Japan’s leading jazz magazine, Swing Journal, Takayanagi was surprisingly upbeat: New Directions brought a solid political consciousness to our performance and succeeded in an authentic and realistic depiction of the situation. But journalism revealed its superficiality in its inability to penetrate the core of the music. I don’t know much about anyone else, but we at least left behind a competent record. It’s a fascinating statement in many ways. Perhaps on one-hand it can be read as stubborn, solipsistic and self-justifying, yet in conjunction with his statement in 1971 there are points that guide us towards an understanding of just what Takayanagi intended with his performance at the festival. As Kitazato Yoshiyuki has argued, it becomes an almost religious act, directed at the earth deities of the land. A union of anger, sorrow and malevolence that can be placed nowhere effective, all it can do is find expression and channeling. The forcible land seizures at Narita, the eviction of farmers from land that had been in families for generations, the destruction of communities: none of this can be prevented, not least by an artistic action. All that can be done is an attempt to mark the land itself, to soak it with the combined force of emotions and the volume of the performances, to bury something there that cannot be drowned out, even by the coming roar of jet engines.
Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai (LP)Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai (LP)
Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai (LP)Aguirre Records
¥3,989
Ferocious JP / US free jazz bomb. A rare meeting between the NYC free jazz scene and the Japanese free music scene. Old-style Gatefold LP, with rare photographs & liner notes by Alan Cummings. Following hot on the heels of the first, mid-sixties generation of Japanese free jazz players like Kaoru Abe, Masayuki Takayanagi, Yōsuke Yamashita, Motoharu Yoshizawa, etc., an exciting second wave of younger players began to emerge in the seventies. Two of its leading members were the saxophonist Kazutoki Umezu and multi-instrumentalist Yoriyuki Harada. Both were post-war babies and immigrants to the city, Umezu from Sendai in the north and Harada from Shimane in the west. They first met as students in the clarinet department at the Kunitachi College of Music, a well-known conservatory in western Tokyo. Harada was already securing sideman gigs on bass with professional jazz groups and was active in student politics, making good use of his connections to set up jazz concerts on campus. It was around this time that the two began to play together in an improvised duo, with Umezu on clarinet and bass clarinet and Harada on piano. They also experimented with graphic scores and prepared piano. These experiments eventually led to the creation of a trio, with a high-school student called Tetsuya Morimura on drums, that they decided to name Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai (Lifestyle Improvement Committee) in joking reference to the Marxist discourse of the student radicals of the time. Around 1973, Umezu and Harada decided to call it a day and go their separate ways. Umezu began playing with the Toshinori Kondo Unit and Harada with the Tadashi Yoshida Quintet. In 1974 Harada formed his own trio and began to play at jazz coffeehouses across Japan. Then, in September 1974 Umezu travelled alone to New York, where he set about building connections with the loft jazz scene in the city. It was a fortuitous moment to arrive in New York. Rents were cheap in the Lower East Side, possibilities for squatting existed, so many musicians and artists had moved to the area. Umezu soon became known on the scene as Kappo and he started to make connections with some of the young musicians like David Murray, Arthur Blythe, and Oliver Lake. He recalls making the rounds of the lofts every evening, checking out the performances, and getting the chance to sit in with many groups including Juma Sultan’s Aboriginal Music Society and trumpeter Ted Daniel’s orchestra. Things were going so well that Umezu wrote to Harada and invited him to come to New York. He accepted and arrived in the city in July 1975. Harada and Umezu took the opportunity to resume their artistic collaboration. Their first concert together in over two years took place on July 20th at another loft, Sunrise Studios at 122 2nd Avenue. Umezu remembers Sunrise as an unusually sunny loft with the rarest of things, a grand piano. He invited along Ahmed Abdullah, a trumpeter he had got to know while playing with Ted Daniel. Abdullah led his own group and was a long-term Sun Ra sideman. William Parker, one of the key figures in the loft jazz scene of the period, was on bass. Abdullah also brought along Rashid Sinan on drums. Sinan drummed in Abdullah’s units throughout the seventies, but he had also played on Frank Lowe’s immortal Black Beings album and collaborated with Arthur Doyle, playing on Doyle’s Alabama Feeling album. By all accounts the evening was a huge success, with speed and dynamism of Harada’s piano playing gaining him lots of support. Since they had managed to save some money from their day jobs, Umezu and Harada decided to set up a recording session with the same line-up on August 11 at Studio We, where there was a well-equipped studio on the third floor. Umezu recalls the session as follows, Of course, we recorded our performances in one take, with zero retakes as far as I remember. On all the tracks we recorded, we moved as one unit, sharp and fast. That was the nature of Lifestyle Improvement Committee, New York Branch. Umezu and Harada would later become known for the elements of parody and entertainment that they brought to their music, a freewheeling blend of pastiche, humour and on-stage performativity that paralleled the approaches of the Art Ensemble, Sun Ra, and Holland’s ICP. But here, on their first recordings, the humour element is not yet present. Instead, there is a febrile sense of joy in creation and connection. On the Umezu-penned “Kim”, for example, Harada opens the piece with a speedy exploration of the full-range of the keyboard, hitting hard on the bass keys to create a rhythmic bed out of which patterns begin to emerge. Umezu enters at a much slower pace, longer held notes that at first float weightlessly over the urgency of the piano before they begin in splinter and accelerate. When Parker and Sinan kick in, it’s a rollicking tempo with Parker plucking deep and hard and the left-handed Sinan skittering hard across the topside of his kit. Abdullah kicks in a glorious solo twelve minutes in, bright and breathy at once. The piece slows and grows more spacious towards the end, giving Parker a chance to showcase some arco work that shades beautifully into the air against Abdullah’s trumpet.
OOIOO - Gamel (2LP)
OOIOO - Gamel (2LP)Thrill Jockey
¥3,756

OOIOO has always created a musical language all its own. Under the leadership of Yoshimi, also a founding member of Boredoms, the group has recorded six albums that have subverted expectations and warped perceptions of what constitutes pop and experimental music. Four years of work went into making Gamel, their bold new album inspired by the Javanese style of gamelan and the first new music from Yoshimi in over five years. Gamelan is an ancient form that has inspired a great many composers and musicians over the past century, from Erik Satie and Claude Debussy to Mouse on Mars and Sun City Girls. The introduction of this traditional form transformed the group into a super tribe, side-stepping the road between the past and the future. Their focus is not to replicate these ancient styles, but to incorporate them into their consistently inventive, constantly shifting musical frameworks. They take their love of indigenous music into an entirely new dimension by freely weaving organic and electric tones into a vivid tapestry, employing their keen sense of color and texture.

While previous OOIOO albums have been largely studio creations, Gamel is the most accurate portrayal of the band’s overwhelming, forceful live presence they have released yet. Yoshimi leads her minimalistic rhythm ensemble by making quick, impulsive shifts in tone and attack, the group acting as one mind under her expert instruction. While the gamelan elements will be brand new to many listeners, the band offsets the bizarre with familiar, at times even nostalgic and childlike, melodies. Gamel is euphoric, bursting at the seams with an exhilarating frenzy that is universal yet uniquely their own. OOIOO’s music is reflected in the ear of the beholder, with each listener taking away something different.

Yoshimi began her music career in 1986 playing drums in UFO or Die with vocalist Eye, and later joined him in the revolutionary noise-pop group Boredoms. Her explosive drum performances captivated audiences and even inspired Wayne Coyne to name a now-famous Flaming Lips album in her honor. While the band’s tours of the United States are infrequent, they are as The New York Times has stated, transcendent. 

OOIOO - Gold & Green  (Green Vinyl 2LP)OOIOO - Gold & Green  (Green Vinyl 2LP)
OOIOO - Gold & Green (Green Vinyl 2LP)Thrill Jockey
¥3,756

Imagine a feather floating from outer space and landing on earth. What's going on? Which bird did this feather come from? That's what OOIOO's (pronounced oh-oh-eye-oh-oh) music is like? so colorful and shiny that you can't even see what is happening.

OOIOO's Gold and Green reveals the group's hard-to-categorize and refreshing avant-garde rock music, which adeptly incorporates elements of punk and more traditional tribal music. Their rhythms are unique and the organic interplay with the vocals is compelling. The music is complex and challenging and playful and childlike. Previously released only in Japan, Gold and Green includes guest appearances including Seiichi Yamamoto (Boredoms), Yuka Honda (Cibo Matto), and Sean Lennon. The album packaging, designed by Yoshimi, is a beautiful miniature gatefold album jacked filled with drawings and photographs by Yoshimi and other artists.

OOIOO began as a fictitious band for a photo shoot for Switch magazine in 1996. An all-female four-piece ensemble started by Yoshimi, the Boredoms' drummer, the band quickly gained attention by being the opening act for Sonic Youth in 1997. On Gold and Green, Yoshimi shows off her musical imagination and virtuosity with her songwriting, as well as by playing the guitar, flute, and trumpet, singing, and adding a number of percussion elements. Yoshimi is joined in OOIOO by the striking Kayano on guitar and vocals, the petite and powerful Maki on bass, and the amazing Yoshico on drums.

OOIOO toured the United States in 2004 for the first time in over five years in support of their recent release, Kila Kila Kila. Their soldout tour performances were notable for their unique exuberance and captivating stage presence. Starting off with a vocals-only polyrhythmic song, the band struck a chord like no other. They will be recording a new album for release in the fall of 2006. 

Taj Mahal Travellers - August 1974 (2LP)Taj Mahal Travellers - August 1974 (2LP)
Taj Mahal Travellers - August 1974 (2LP)Aguirre Records
¥4,161

High quality reissue of the monumental work August 1974 by Japanese experimental music ensemble Taj Mahal Travellers. Pressed on 180gr. vinyl with extensive liner notes by Julian Cowley.

In April 1972 a group of Japanese musicians set off from Rotterdam in a Volkswagen van. As they crossed Europe and then made their way through Asia they made music in a wide range of locations. They also paid close attention to the changing scene and to differing ways of life. Midway through May they reached their destination, the iconic Taj Mahal on the bank of the Yamuna river in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal Travellers had fulfilled physically the promise of the name they adopted when they formed in 1969. But their music had always been a journey, a sonic adventure designed to lead any listener’s imagination into unfamiliar territory.

The double album August 1974 was their second official release. The first July 15, 1972 is a live concert recording, but on 19th August 1974 the Taj Mahal Travellers entered the Tokyo studios of Nippon Columbia and produced what is arguably their definitive statement. The electronic dimension of their collective improvising was coordinated, as usual, by Kinji Hayashi. Guest percussionist Hirokazu Sato joined long-term group members Ryo Koike, Seiji Nagai, Yukio Tsuchiya, Michihiro Kimura, Tokio Hasegawa and Takehisa Kosugi.   

The enigmatic Takehisa Kosugi, whose soaring electric violin was such a vital element in their music, had been a pioneer of free improvisation and intermedia performance art with Group Ongaku at the start of the 60s. Later in that decade, before launching the Taj Mahal Travellers, he had become known internationally through his association with the Fluxus art movement. During the mid-70s the Travellers disbanded and while his colleagues more or less stopped performing as musicians Kosugi continued to reach new audiences across the course of several decades as a composer, regular performer and musical director for the acclaimed Merce Cunningham Dance Company. 

August 1974 captures vividly the characteristic sound of the Taj Mahal Travellers, haunting tones from an unusual combination of instruments, filtered through multiple layers of reverb and delay. Their music has strong stylistic affinities with the trippy ambience of cosmic and psychedelic rock, but the Taj Mahal Travellers were tuning in to other vibrations, drawing inspiration from the energies and rhythms of the world around them rather than projecting some alternative reality. Films of rolling ocean waves often provided a highly appropriate backdrop for their lengthy improvised concerts. This is truly electric music for the mind and body.

Phew - Vertigo KO (LP+DL)Phew - Vertigo KO (LP+DL)
Phew - Vertigo KO (LP+DL)Disciples
¥3,300

音楽フリーク注目のレーベル、Warp傘下の〈Disciples〉からPhewの最新作『Vertigo KO』がリリース!


"このアルバムは、2017年から2019年、10年代の終わり、この閉塞的な期間に制作された音のスケッチです。
言い換えるなら、幻想に浸るでもなく、音楽へ逃避するでもなく、また世界観を提示するものでもなく、2010年代後半のある個人のドキュメンタリーミュージックです。
このアルバムの隠されたメッセージは、「なんてひどい世界、でも生き残ろう」です。” - Phew


日本のアンダーグラウンド・ミュージック界の伝説的なアーティスト、Phew。1978年に大阪で最も初期のパンク・グループの一つであるアーント・サリー (Aunt Sally) のフロントを務めたのを皮切りに、80年代にはソロ・アーティストとして坂本龍一、コニー・プランク、CANのホルガー・シューカイ、ヤキ・リーベツァイト、アインシュテュルツェンデ・ノイバウテンのアレクサンダー・ハッケ、DAFのクリス・ハースなど、多くの著名なアーティストとのコラボレーションを行い、近年では、レインコーツのアナ・ダ・シルヴァ、ジム・オルーク、イクエ・モリ、オーレン・アンバーチ、ボアダムス/OOIOO/SaicobabのYoshimi (Yoshimi P-We) などとのコラボレーションも行っている彼女が、最新作のリリースを発表。

本作は、これまでに、ブラック・ロッジ、ボグダン・ラチンスキー、ヒズ・ネイム・イズ・アライヴといったカルト・ヒーローたちの未発表音源を世に発表して音楽ファンから一目置かれてきたレーベル〈Disciples〉の審美眼に適った初の日本人アーティスト作品となる。

Phewの80年代初期のニューウェイブ指向の作品には、日本のみならず海外のコアな音楽フリークやレーベルから多くの関心が寄せられており、コラボレートしてきた著名なアーティストたちの数々も印象的だが、〈Disciples〉は『Light Sleep』『Voice Hardcore』といった近年の作品は、彼女の素晴らしいキャリアの中でもモダン・クラシックと呼ぶべき傑作であり、Phewが今、再び最盛期を迎えていることを確信し、本作のリリースへと繋がった。〈Disciples〉が今回のリリースにおいて探求したいと思ったのは、まさに彼女の今なのだ。『Vertigo KO』は、前述の2枚のアルバムと同じ時期に録音された楽曲と、今回のリリース用に制作の新曲を収録。アルバムには20ページのブックレットが付属しており、Phewについての文章と、表紙にもなっている塩田正幸の写真が収録。

Merzbow - Triwave Pagoda (CS)Merzbow - Triwave Pagoda (CS)
Merzbow - Triwave Pagoda (CS)Elevator Bath
¥1,672
Merzbow is a Japanese noise legend who continues to advocate a thoroughgoing ahincer practice and experiment with alternative expressions that transcend the boundaries of "noise". Recorded and mixed at Munemihouse in 2021, this is the latest release from Merzbow. It's a powerhouse masterpiece, and I can't say enough about it. Don't miss it!
Merzbow - Project Frequency (LP)Merzbow - Project Frequency (LP)
Merzbow - Project Frequency (LP)menstrualrecordings
¥3,583
Originally recorded and mixed at ZSF Produkt Studio 1995. First released in 1996 by the A.I.P.R. label in German in an edition of 200 copies. A very rare record nowadays. This beautiful re-issue comes in a completely handmade cover. The front cover has a metal mesh attached to it. The cover is spray painted on both sides and is completed with alluminum adhesive tape and stickers. Remastered at Munemihouse in 2019 by Masami Akita. Edition of 200 copies.
Merzbow & Lawrence English - Eternal Stalker (Red/White Swir Color LP)Merzbow & Lawrence English - Eternal Stalker (Red/White Swir Color LP)
Merzbow & Lawrence English - Eternal Stalker (Red/White Swir Color LP)Dais Records
¥3,117
On their first official collaboration, Japanese noise pioneer Masami Akita aka Merzbow and Australian sound sculptor Lawrence English present a harrowing, surrealist portrait of nocturnal industrial activity, spawned by field recordings made in a sprawling factory complex seven hours north of English’s home in Brisbane. He characterizes the area as “uneasy and unsettling,” awash in the sickly glow of smelters and refinement machinery, somehow not of this world – a liminal quality vividly captured in Andrei Tarkovsky’s sprawling purgatorial opus, Stalker, to which the title alludes. Akita, too, described early drafts of Eternal Stalker as feeling “like the soundtrack to a dystopian science fiction opera.” A mood of mechanical dread and ruined futures permeates each of the album’s seven potent compositions. Opener “The Long Dream” sets the stage with steady rain on sheet metal, punctured by thunder and metallic echoes, reverberating to the rafters in a collapsing warehouse. Quickly the tempest rises. “A Gate Of Light” and “Magnetic Traps” both convulse in churning furies of electric demolition and rattling chains, roaring and relentless. “The Visit” and “Black Thicket” operate more at a distance, surveying the topography of steam, rust, and liquid metal from above, their flickers of violence like gunfire swallowed by blankets of darkness. This is noise at its most elemental and unknowable: brooding, bristling, and opaque, stalking forbidden peripheries of chaos and creation. Discussing Akita’s music, English refers to its “intense substrata that is purely psychedelic; it consumes and confounds.” The seasick swells of friction and fracture subsume the listener, forcing an auditory surrender: “this saturation of the senses can be a euphoria.” Proof comes halfway through “The Golden Sphere,” when the howling mayhem subtly recedes, revealing an eerie siren drone hovering in the void, like the resonance of a dead star galaxies away. Slowly a seething, venomous wall of volume returns, shredding the signal until its frequencies fray, whipping away into the eye of the storm. The combined effect merges obliteration and liberation, rapture and ravagement; it’s the sound of dissolution as resolution, uprooted and unmoored, finally freed from form.
Merzbow & Lawrence English - Eternal Stalker (Red & Blue Moon Phase Color LP)Merzbow & Lawrence English - Eternal Stalker (Red & Blue Moon Phase Color LP)
Merzbow & Lawrence English - Eternal Stalker (Red & Blue Moon Phase Color LP)Dais Records
¥3,478
On their first official collaboration, Japanese noise pioneer Masami Akita aka Merzbow and Australian sound sculptor Lawrence English present a harrowing, surrealist portrait of nocturnal industrial activity, spawned by field recordings made in a sprawling factory complex seven hours north of English’s home in Brisbane. He characterizes the area as “uneasy and unsettling,” awash in the sickly glow of smelters and refinement machinery, somehow not of this world – a liminal quality vividly captured in Andrei Tarkovsky’s sprawling purgatorial opus, Stalker, to which the title alludes. Akita, too, described early drafts of Eternal Stalker as feeling “like the soundtrack to a dystopian science fiction opera.” A mood of mechanical dread and ruined futures permeates each of the album’s seven potent compositions. Opener “The Long Dream” sets the stage with steady rain on sheet metal, punctured by thunder and metallic echoes, reverberating to the rafters in a collapsing warehouse. Quickly the tempest rises. “A Gate Of Light” and “Magnetic Traps” both convulse in churning furies of electric demolition and rattling chains, roaring and relentless. “The Visit” and “Black Thicket” operate more at a distance, surveying the topography of steam, rust, and liquid metal from above, their flickers of violence like gunfire swallowed by blankets of darkness. This is noise at its most elemental and unknowable: brooding, bristling, and opaque, stalking forbidden peripheries of chaos and creation. Discussing Akita’s music, English refers to its “intense substrata that is purely psychedelic; it consumes and confounds.” The seasick swells of friction and fracture subsume the listener, forcing an auditory surrender: “this saturation of the senses can be a euphoria.” Proof comes halfway through “The Golden Sphere,” when the howling mayhem subtly recedes, revealing an eerie siren drone hovering in the void, like the resonance of a dead star galaxies away. Slowly a seething, venomous wall of volume returns, shredding the signal until its frequencies fray, whipping away into the eye of the storm. The combined effect merges obliteration and liberation, rapture and ravagement; it’s the sound of dissolution as resolution, uprooted and unmoored, finally freed from form.
Merzbow - Aqua Necromancer (LTD White 2LP)Merzbow - Aqua Necromancer (LTD White 2LP)
Merzbow - Aqua Necromancer (LTD White 2LP)Absurd Exposition
¥3,897
Masami Akita's psych-noise mantra originally released on CD in 1998 by Alien8 Recordings. Expanded double LP reissue available now in standard black and limited white vinyl editions. Remastered by M.A. in 2021 with additional material from the same sessions.
Flower Travellin' Band Anywhere (Orange Color LP)
Flower Travellin' Band Anywhere (Orange Color LP)Future Shock
¥3,379
Reissue of Flower Travellin' Band's debut album Anywhere, originally released in 1970. Anywhere is the first album from the legendary Japanese rockers fronted by Yuya Uchida. Although an album consisting mainly of cover versions, Anywhere still exhibited many of the musical traits that were to come to the fore on the band's next release, the classic 1971 album Satori, an album of original material delivered with panache by the increasingly confident Uchida. An album made memorable by its risky cover as well as its ground-breaking approach to Western rock music."
V.A. - Sound Storing Machines: The First 78rpm Records from Japan, 1903-1912 (CD)
V.A. - Sound Storing Machines: The First 78rpm Records from Japan, 1903-1912 (CD)SUBLIME FREQUENCIES
¥2,519
A historical archive of nine years of Japan's earliest SP recordings, dating back as far as 1903, is now available, from the beginning of the 20th century to 1912. Legendary producer and recording engineer Fred Gaithersburg traveled the world recording for Gramophone, and this groundbreaking compilation is miraculously published by Sublime Frequencies. Simple and complex, alien and familiar. From gagaku (traditional Japanese court music), shakuhachi (bamboo flute), shamisen (three-stringed Japanese banjo), storytelling, and folk songs, this is a unique commercial recording that gives us a glimpse of Japanese classical culture, even a shadow of 19th century Japan, and is a historical document of the beginning of Japan's domestic record industry. The third in the label's series of early Asian recordings, the compilation and liner notes are written by sound artist Robert Millis (Climax Golden Twins), who has produced the previous two releases.
Masayuki Takayanagi, New Direction Unit - Eclipse (LP)Masayuki Takayanagi, New Direction Unit - Eclipse (LP)
Masayuki Takayanagi, New Direction Unit - Eclipse (LP)Black Editions
¥4,234
Masayuki Takayanagi was one of the truly iconoclastic musicians to emerge from Japan, or anywhere else, in the 20th Century. Though he won acclaim in the 1950s and '60s as a master of the electric guitar and jazz improvisation, Takayanagi was a restless spirit, deeply engaged with the era's new movements in contemporary art, music, literature, and philosophy. His work, beginning in the late 1960s placed him on the leading edge of these developments; he began expanding on the most radical elements of American and European free jazz, infusing them with the raw feedback and dissonance of electronic and avant-garde music. With his various New Direction groups, Takayanagi broke free of traditional structures and developed a new theory of music that embraced an aggressive and unrelenting style of playing that has remained almost completely unparalleled in its ferocity. Of all the albums to be released during Takayanagi's lifetime, 1975's Eclipse was perhaps the most enigmatic and sought after. Released in an edition of only 100, it almost immediately disappeared and became a holy grail for Japanese connoisseurs of adventurous music, and rightly so. It's first side contained a two-part realization of Takayanagi's "Gradually Projection" modality -- a searching interplay between instruments -- slowly emerging from a sparse open field and building with the tension of a looming thunder storm. The second side contains an epic performance of a "Mass Projection", a high energy, densely layered barrage of sound that in its 25 minutes, never once slackens its intensity. It would be another 31 years before this key album in Takayangi's oeuvre would finally have a (slightly) wider audience through a CD release by Japan's P.S.F. Records. Black Editions present a deluxe vinyl edition of this masterwork, revealingly remastered from the original tapes by Elysian Masters. The album is packaged in a heavy double tip-on gatefold jacket that pays tribute to the original handmade packaging and features a previously unseen studio photograph of Takayanagi by Tatsuo Minami. Recorded in Tokyo, March 14, 1975. Engineer: Mikio Aoki. Cover, photographs and design by Kazuharu Fujitani. Gatefold photograph by Tatsuo Minami. Insert Notes by Yasunori Saito. Produced by Satoru Obara, Yoshiaki Kamei, Nihon Gendai Jazz Ongaku Kenkyukai. Originally released in an edition of 100 by ISKRA Records, Japan in 1975. Remastered from the original master tapes by Dave Cooley, Elysian Masters, and produced by Peter Kolovos. Deluxe heavy tip-on gatefold LP with matte black paper, second tipped-on metallic gold wrap and insert.

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