Far East

Various Artists “Oto No Wa – Selected Sounds of Japan (1988 – 2018)” (Music For Dreams)

2020-04-30T22:45:18+00:00April 30th, 2020|

For the fifth entry in our Collector`s Series we enlist the skills of Japan-based musical connoisseurs, Ken Hidaka, Max Essa, and Dr. Rob. Their compilation Oto No Wa sets out to map the evolution of chilled Japanese sounds across 3 decades, collecting 14 tracks, produced by a wide range of artists. From ambient pioneers to dance-floor veterans, to a 9-piece reggae band, Little Tempo, percussionist Kazuya Kotani, and organic, psychedelic collective, Olololop.

Beginning in the late 1980s, the era when “environmental music” became prevalent, there`s Yoshio Ojima`s cool computer-generated Sealed. The compilation also includes later work by his contemporaries Takashi Kokubo, and Yoshiaki Ochi. Theirs are compositions designed for art galleries and museum installations. “BGM” built from emerging technology, and / or counterpoint tapped out expertly on sticks and stones. The 90s give us the seminal electronics of Susumu Yokota, and the solar-flare strut of Scha Dara Parr – Japan’s answer to The Beastie Boys. Here, remixed by the legendary Major Force. Moving into the 21st century we have the post-house productions of Flower Records. Kentaro Takizawa`s oceanic Gradual Life, and Little Big Bee`s colourful coral reef-diving Scuba. Fellow traveller, Kaoru Inoue`s “Kyushu kosmische”. Representing the next decade are Flower Records’ current rising stars, Coastlines, who calmly combine classic fusion, library music, and gentle nova bossa nova rhythms. Alongside them are the sun-baked electro-acoustics of Karel Arbus & Eiji Takamatsu, plus Chillax` previously unreleased epic analog / modular jam.

All of these selections are the result of some serious “digging” but more importantly they represent physical connections made during Ken’s 20-plus-year career in the “Biz”, Max` decade of DJing all over Japan. Music made by folks interviewed by Rob at the websites, Test Pressing and Ban Ban Ton Ton. Friendships forged at Lone Star – the trio’s long-running party, which takes place every month at Bar Bonobo in Harajuku.

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Nobuyuki Shimizu “Corner Top” (Bill Box)

2020-04-30T22:45:16+00:00April 30th, 2020|

Top musicians such as Yasuaki Shimizu, Pecker, Shuichi Murakami, Tetsuo Sakurai, Rei Ohara, Kenji Omura, Hirokuni Ozekata support a wide variety of songs from Jazz-Funk / Fusion to techno pop. One piece that is highly evaluated from overseas and is rare in the used market. In the cover of the super famous song “Konukaame” written by Ginji Ito and Tatsuro Yamashita, Mariya Takeuchi and EPO participated as back vocals. In addition, Latin Flavor’s Organ Fusion title song “Corner Top” and the cosmic funk “Silver Spot” with EPO vocals are exactly the Japanese sounds that are sought “now”.

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Piper “Sunshine Kiz” (Ship To Shore)

2020-04-30T22:45:14+00:00April 30th, 2020|

Riding high on the success of Gentle Breeze, PIPER was eager to put out more new material. Keeping the same members and guest musicians, the band used its excitement and forward momentum – aided no doubt by its ever-growing experience and taste for experimentation – to produce its next album, Sunshine Kiz, within the tiny span of six months. And despite seeing no change in personnel for these latest efforts, PIPER’s musicality was constantly evolving.

Perhaps most obviously, Sunshine Kiz showed the band beginning to break away from its signature style. Instrumentals were no longer the focus as more vocal-centric tracks made their way to the fore. Sunshine Kiz turned out to be a “song album,” and its lyric sheet saw a substantial increase in the number of words. A Drumulator replaced the LinnDrums, and the programmed percussion suddenly sounded more natural. Some songs actually featured live drumming, abandoning programmed beats altogether.

It could be said that this all amounted to, at least partially, a return to PIPER’s roots. Or, maybe more accurately, it was something like PIPER circa 1981 filtered through the signature sound the band had forged with their two Breeze albums of 1983. The title track on Sunshine Kiz was released as their second-ever single – their first since “Far Away” from their debut album. And with this new single there even came a music video.

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Far Out “Nihonjin” (Everland)

2020-04-30T22:45:14+00:00April 30th, 2020|

Some albums are certainly a kind of holy grail for music lovers and collectors of a certain genre, style and era. FAR OUT with their eponymous debut and unfortunately also farewell album from 1973 have created such a sacred gem. Original copies in good condition change hands for up to 2000 USD and there are certainly a few not so official reprints on vinyl and CD out on the market which do not even come close to do justice to the greatness of the old original black gold. But here we go with the first ever official vinyl reissue taken directly from the original mastertapes supplied by Nippon Columbia.

EVERLAND MUSIC did a brilliant job as usual with their reissue. The coverart with a white glove hanging on a washing line to dry comes on an awesome heavy gatefold sleeve. Including 2 inserts with live photos from back in the day when the band was going wild on stage.

Now for the most important part, the music. There are certainly not too many wild moments here since both long tracks „Too many people“ and „Nihonjin“ have a melancholic, dreamy approach with a desperately howling and sighing lead guitar that spouts some utterly intense melodies. These two tracks are epics in the pure sense of the word. They start both with a rather gentle part which develops into a journey of sound that bring either vast landscapes of enchanting beauty untouched by modern human life or quite dramatic scenes to your mind’s eye. The lead guitarist often uses some strange instrument which is a kind of electric sitar to add the atmosphere of eastern mystic. So while falling into a state of deep trance while letting the music rush through my ears into my brain my spirit that has left my body embarks on a trip from the smokey volcanic hills around Pompeji to the icy permafrost wastelands of the Northeastern lands and arrives somewhere in the East Asian jungle on a gold plated pyramid of an unspeakable age where laughing demons dance around mystic fireplaces. Yes, this is the real journey to the center of your mind and despite having no really abstract freak out parts, tricky instrumental runs and twisted rhythm figures this music will capture your whole existence for the next 38 minutes. The end of „Nihonjin“, the second tune, shows an ambient like section with synthesizer background, echoing atonal sitar, a brightly squeaking flute, organ carpet and some percussions. This is indeed a rather extreme part, due to the pointed tone of the flute but quite soon the music stops and leaves the listener back in reality. This second track later on got a kind of reappearance on the FAR EAST FAMILY album „Nipponjin“, also retitled as „Nipponjin“. Mastermind behind both acts is multi instrumentalist Fumio Miyashita, so there is no wonder. The later version has more space rock elements and electronic sounds than the original FAR OUT tune and is a little bit shorter all in all. But I digress.

This is the real thing for those who still miss the melodies and atmosphere of the late 60s and very early 70s when people had a dream of a peaceful world and who enjoy early German cosmic kraut rock like AMON DÜÜL II, ORGANISATION (later to become KRAFTWERK), the debut album by TANGERINE DREAM and more obscure stuff but also international bands like PINK FLOYD, GONG, TWINK and HAWKWIND just as an East Asian version. A real gem and finally available with the real sound and package again.

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Various Artists”Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1972-1986″ (Light In The Attic)

2020-04-30T22:45:13+00:00April 30th, 2020|

When Light In The Attic released Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1976-1986 in 2019, it was the first collection of its kind to be released outside Japan. It proved to be just what music fans had been waiting for—a compilation of sought-after tracks that had been nearly impossible to obtain unless you were well-connected with dealers and collectors, or traveled regularly to the countless record stores in Japan. Pacific Breeze included Minako Yoshida, Taeko Ohnuki, Hiroshi Sato and Haruomi Hosono among other key players of ‘70s-’80s Japanese City Pop, the nebulous genre that encompassed an “amalgam of AOR, R&B, jazz fusion, funk, boogie and disco, all a touch dizzy with tropical euphoria,” as we described it the first time around.

With Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1972-1986 we dig deeper into those sounds of bubble-era Japan. From the proto-City Pop funk of Bread & Butter and Eiichi Ohtaki to the crate-digger favorites Eri Ohno and Piper, the latest entry in Light In The Attic’s Japan Archival Series brings another set of sought-after tunes, most of which have never before been available outside of Japan. Tomoko Aran and Anri, also included in this compilation, are just a few of the artists who have gained popularity in recent years thanks to Vaporwave, the meme-genre that heavily samples Japanese City Pop to create its particular aesthetic.

Pacific Breeze 2 once again feature the artwork of renowned Tokyo-based illustrator Hiroshi Nagai, whose iconic images of resort living have become synonymous with City Pop. Nagai’s urban tropical imagery is a perfect match for the expertly curated tunes, evoking a certain sense of nostalgia for the leisure lifestyles of ‘70s-’80s Tokyo, while simultaneously being perfectly in tune with the current zeitgeist.

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Various Artists “Uzelli Elektro Saz” (Rush Hour)

2020-04-16T20:19:54+00:00April 16th, 2020|

Uzelli Kaset was established in 1971 by Muammer and Yavuz Uzelli in Frankfurt, Germany. Their music resonated not only with the longing that Gastarbeiter (guest workers) felt for the homelands and families they had left behind and the melancholy brought by their difficult living and working conditions in Germany, but also with the joy that welled up at village weddings on their days off, and the long car or train journeys home. Reaching the remotest corners of Germany as well as Turkey, Uzelli Kaset was soon more than just a music company; it became a companion to Turkish workers living far from home. Not counting the handful of 8-track tapes and 14 LPs released in the early days, the catalog consisted entirely of cassettes.

When they opened their Istanbul office in 1977, Uzelli moved beyond production and became successful in the areas of reproduction, distribution and marketing. Taking the catalogs of other production companies under its umbrella, it continued its rapid growth.

The 90s became the CD decade, and because Uzelli Kaset had not released its catalog in CD format, hundreds of albums remained unavailable to an entire new generation. Because the albums had not been released in LP form either, musical explorers ran into the same problem. Remaining active and serving in various areas of the music industry, Uzelli carefully preserved its visual, audio and document archives, ensuring their survival to the present day.

After an immense amount of work, this catalog, which had long awaited discovery by new generations, was finally released in digital format. For record collectors seeking the spirit of those times, we also began offering this special selection of compilation albums in vinyl format. As we created this series, our goal was to guide listeners toward new discoveries, and open new pages for music lovers to explore. Leaving our rich, multifaceted catalog to genuine musicians, curators and artists, our desire became to approach the recordings of that period from a different perspective.

We are overjoyed to know that our continuing meticulous work will bear fruits whose taste and aroma have been long forgotten.

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Piper “Gentle Breeze” (Ship To Shore)

2020-04-16T20:19:53+00:00April 16th, 2020|

Scoring a hit with their second album Summer Breeze, Piper set out to record their follow up in a similar vein. Members remained the same: Keisuke Yamamoto (guitar, vocals), Takashi Shima (keyboards), and Wataru Ito (bass). Guest musicians included Kazuhito Murata and Hiroshi Koitabashi on chorus, and Tetsuaki Hoashi on percussion.

Recording sessions for the third album began less than 6 months after the second, but the evolution of their sound was considerable. One reason was utilizing the skills of Yuji Toriyama for programming of the Linn Drums. This made it easier for the band to write and arrange their songs to their liking. Second was that the band members were beginning to enjoy making music in this style. Specific ideas were coming together to become distinct songs. The fact that they were able to transcend the BGM style that they initially aspired towards to create a distinct pop sound, is one of the important aspects of this album.

The front cover photo of a snowy scene juxtaposed with the sunny pool scene of the back cover, also had quite an impact. This jacket design was a collaboration between (TV personality and jazz aficionado) Tamori, who took the photos, anddesigner Hajime Anzai. The two would go on to become the popular co-hosts of “Soramimi Hour” on Tamori’s variety show Tamori Club. The duo’s unique visual sense encouraged listeners to enjoy the sounds of summer in a wintery setting – which in turn had a hand in influencing PIPER’s own sound as well.

Gentle Breeze is in one way an extension of Summer Breeze, in other ways it’s one big step up. Many PIPER fans consider this album to be their masterpiece. For fans who enjoy this phase of PIPER, we encourage you to listen to the songs from Gentle Breeze and Summer Breeze on shuffle. That way the meaning catch copy on the obi – “Gentle Beat Pop” – should start to make sense.

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Matao and Atilla Engin “Turkish Delight” (Arsivplak)

2020-03-20T19:41:34+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Arsivplak present a reissue of Matao with Atilla Engin’s Turkish Delight, originally released in 1979. It’s a Turkish jazz-funk delight! Some hard-hitting rhythm section blending into a prime example of the swingin’ sound of the cool influences of jazz, funk, and folk music, with a Turkish flavor. Its fantastic funk jazz groove built on a titanium synth bassline! An instrumental library of traditional Turkish jazz session reaching a great climax in drums and percussion sets, plus electro-bass breaks with Moog and synthesizers from the beginning to the end. Traditional Turkish songs based on drums and synth bass over moody 5/8 fuzz guitars… Album recorded and released in Denmark, 1979, and it has never been released in Turkey. Hard cardboard sleeve; obi.

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Master Musicians Of Jajouka “Apocalypse Across The Sky” (Zehra)

2020-03-20T19:43:03+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Zehra present a reissue of Apocalypse Across The Sky by The Master Musicians of Jajouka featuring Bachir Attar, originally released in 1992. Available on vinyl for the very first time. Produced by Bill Laswell, remastered for vinyl by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. No matter if you consider the Master Musicians of Jajouka a “4,000 year-old rock n’ roll band” (William S. Burroughs) or even “6,000 years old” (Ornette Coleman) — without doubt, the music of the ensemble in all its incarnations over the centuries is deeply rooted in Sufi mysticism, paganism, and the cult of the goat-god Boujeloud. According to a myth, many centuries ago Boujeloud appeared to a shepherd called Attar, an ancestor of today’s ensemble leader Bachir Attar, and till today every year at the end of Ramadan a fire in honor of the goat-god is ignited. This pagan root aside, the music performed in several hour long rituals on traditional instruments like tebel and tariyya (drums), ghaita (a woodwind instrument), lira (flute), and gimbri (stringed instrument) reveals hypnotic, trance-inducing qualities and is considered to have magical and healing properties. In the 1950s, Brion Gysin along with Paul Bowles were among the first westerners to witness such a ceremony, and it was Gysin who invited the Master Musicians of Jajouka to play in his restaurant in Tangier, and who later (in 1967) brought Brian Jones to the small village of Jajouka where the Rolling Stones guitarist recorded the ensemble for what became the first “world music album” and that raised interest in the Master Musicians of Jajouka in the western world. Since those days, a wide number of creative minds like William S. Burroughs, Ornette Coleman, Marc Ribot, Flea, Talvin Singh, or the Rolling Stones have worked with the Master Musicians of Jajouka who are now performing regularly outside Morocco. In 1991, iconic producer Bill Laswell also embarked on a trip to the small village of just 800 inhabitants in the Rif mountains to record the group for his Axiom label — Apocalypse Across The Sky is, unlike other Laswell projects that bring together different cultures and genres, a pure document of the ensemble, raw and unpolished but exquisitely recorded, and ranks among the essential recordings according to the world music magazine Songlines. 180 gram vinyl; gatefold sleeve; includes download code.

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Ajate “Alo” (180g)

2020-03-13T20:33:45+00:00March 5th, 2020|

“Three years after their critically acclaimed and sold out Abrada LP the great and joyful Japanese afro groovers Ajate are back with their much awaited brand new album Alo!

Ajate is a Japanese band who plays a unique blend of afro-groove dance music mixed with Japanese traditional festival music called “”Ohayashi””. Formed in 2011 by the band-leader John Imaeda, Ajate consists of 10 Japanese musicians.

Another unique feature of the band is the use of hand-made bamboo instruments as well as traditional Japanese percussion. The “”Jahte”” is a bamboo-made xylophone or balafon with a piezo pick-up mic attached to each key, connected to a pre-amplifier to obtain a loud sound and to add some touch of dirty distortion to its warm and natural acoustic sonority. The “”Piechiku”” is also a bamboo-made string instrument inspired by the west-African “”Ngoni”” or Moroccan “”Guembri”” instruments. The Piechiku uses strings of the Japanese traditional “”Shamisen””. This instrument is also played through a pre-amplifier and John sometimes adds some wah-wah effect to it. All these bamboo instruments are designed, made and named by John Imaeda himself.

On Alo you will also be amazed by the exceptional sound of the Japanese Shinofue flute, which was not on the previous Abrada LP.

Now, add to this unique sound some well-crafted Japanese female and male singing and you get a killer mix of Afro-Funk flavored grooves with traditional Japanese music!

Since the release in 2017 of their Abrada LP on the 180g label Ajate has toured Europe twice and has played a memorable concert at the world famous Trans Musicales festival in France in 2018, which has been followed by another great KEXP Live session.

Here is some music you will not be able to hear anywhere else, by one of the most joyful Japanese band to hear on record and to listen live!

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Osamu Kitajima “The Osamu Kitajima Boxset” (Everland)

2020-03-19T20:09:52+00:00January 31st, 2020|

Osamu Kitajima was born in Chigasaki, Japan on February 3rd 1949 and studied classical guitar and piano already in his childhood days. Later on in the 1960s, when Beat and Rock music became the hot stuff in the popular music circuit, he joined his cousin’s band “The Launchers” with his brother, before graduating from university. Osamu’s cousin, Yūzō Kayama, is a famous Japanese film actor and musician. In 1971, when Osamu was already a successful composer of TV advertising jingles, he moved to England for a year and developed an obsession for British Rock music, especially in the Psychedelic field. The Beatles, The Bee Gees, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple and The Zombies became his major influences and inspired him to start a solo career under the name JUSTIN HEATHCLIFF, which he adopted for it’s typical English sound. His 1971 eponymous album was a typical Pop Psyche effort for it’s time, but not long after he returned home to Japan, Osamu abandoned the English sounding name and further on merged Western Progressive and Electronic music with Japanese Folk sounds.

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Andaleeb M. Wasif “Andaleeb M. Wasif” (Little Axe)

2020-01-17T03:35:36+00:00January 9th, 2020|

ANDALEEB WASIF was born in a well-known family of Hyderabad, India in 1928. A self-taught singer and harmonium player. He gained recognition early in life, performing for the Nizam (ruler) of Hyderabad when he was only six years old. On this recording Wasif performs six ghazals, a poetic form of couplets focussing on love and longing with mystical and spiritual elements. The lyrics to the ghazals featured on the recording are written by some of the best known Urdu poets of the 20th century including FAIZ AHMAD FAIZ. Never commercially released, the songs have been sourced from private concerts, home recorded cassettes and radio shows. Andaleeb’s renditions are enigmatic, filled with pathos, timeless and ethereal.

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Bunalim “Bunalim” (Pharaway)

2019-10-25T03:50:47+00:00October 25th, 2019|

Restocked; Turkish band Bunalim (Turkish for “Depression”) is a true legend: They were the absolute wildest and crudest band from the Anatolian rock scene. Under the wing of Cem Karaça, who was their manager and producer, they released a few singles which are all collected here. Fierce Turkish folk-flavored psychedelic fuzz-rock circa 1970-1972. Remastered sound, including an insert with liner notes and pictures.

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Yukihiro Takahashi “Saravah!” (Wewantsounds)

2019-10-25T03:48:31+00:00October 25th, 2019|

Wewantsounds present a reissue of Yukihiro Takahashi’s debut solo album Saravah!, originally released in 1978. One of the key Japanese albums of the ’70s, it was released at a key time when, following his tenure with Sadistic Mika Band, Takahashi had just joined the nascent line up of Yellow Magic Orchestra. A sophisticated mix of disco funk, synth pop, ambient, French exotica, and bossa nova, the album has the stylish feel of a night out clubbing in Paris circa 1978. It’s the missing link between the city pop scene of the late ’70s and the synth sound of YMO which was about to revolutionize the world. The month before recording the YMO debut album that would help alter the course of music, Yukihiro Takahashi entered the studio with his fellow band-members Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono to record Saravah! together with the cream of the Japanese scene. He drew his inspiration from globe-trotting French musician Pierre Barouh who had introduced Bossa Nova in France in 1966 with “Samba Saravah” (featured in soundtrack the Oscar winner A Man And A Woman which he co-wrote) and subsequently launched Saravah Records. Saravah! starts off with a couple of French and Italian exotica classics (“Volare” and “C’est Si Bon”) with delicious touches of synth while “Saravah!” is a nod to Pierre Barouh, a languid bossa nova with beautiful soulful strings arranged by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The album gets hotter with “La Rosa”, a superb mid-tempo ambient funk featuring Shigeru Suzuki’s fluid guitar. Next is an amazing exotica-synth version of the standard “Mood Indigo”, announcing the midi revolution that was to come before things get funkier shortly after with Ryuichi Sakamoto’s superb up-tempo disco instrumental “Elastic Dummy” featuring soulful strings and horns with solos by Sakamoto and guitarist Tsunehide Matsuki. The album then moves on to the ambient synth pop of “Sunset” before switching back to disco funk with “Back Street Midnight Queen” which, like “Elastic Dummy”, has become a dancefloor cult classic. Saravah! ends on a perfect note with the beautiful “Present” a perfectly crafted pop song which Takahashi wanted to do in a city pop mode, featuring a superb melody and high-class arrangements.. Newly remastered by renowned engineer Mitsuo Koike. Features original artwork with photos by Masayoshi Sukita (David Bowie’s Heroes (1977)); includes four-page insert and a new Introduction by Benjamin Barouh (of Saravah Records).

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Hamlet Minassian “Armenian Pop Music” (Numero)

2019-10-11T03:15:02+00:00October 11th, 2019|

A winsome and dizzying spin on disco pop, recorded in westernized Iran during the last moments before the 1979 revolution. All but criminalized in the wake of Ayatollah Khomeni’s theocratic repression, Hamlet Minassian’s solo masterpiece is a testament to the Middle East’s forgotten dance music culture. This six-song, 44-minute LP hybridizes Euro attitude and Armenian traditional songs to create long, hypnotic proto-house, seemingly beamed in from another dimension.

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Atomic Forest “Disco Roar” (Now-Again)

2019-09-27T03:47:09+00:00September 27th, 2019|

“The re-discovered third album by India’s best known psychedelic-rock ensemble, presented in its entirety. The companion piece our Atomic Forest anthology Obsession. Covers of Deodato, Stevie Wonder and ‘Spectrum,’ the heaviest Indian psych-funk jam unearthed to date. Over the course of four years, culminating in 2011, we at Now-Again Records assembled the Atomic Forest anthology Obsession, which delved into and told the story of India’s 70s rock underground and this psychedelic ensemble’s story. At the time we issued Obsession, we were not aware of the third album that the Atomic Forest had recorded, issued under Kanga’s name as Disco Roar. When it came to our attention, we figured that we owed it to anyone entranced by this hard-to-believe, underground, Indian rock scene to issue this, the first album that the Atomic Forest recorded. ‘That Disco Roar album was the first time we were doing anything like that. It was the first thing we did. It progressed into the Hit Film Themes album. Then these guys came with more commercial potential songs (which became Obsession ’77). But originally it was just a band, the live performances that we did, that made us very popular, these simple songs,’ guitarist Abraham Mammen recalls. Atomic Forest’s story stands in for the untold stories of many of India’s underground bands, bands remembered vividly by those who witnessed their performances, bands that often homemade, cassette recordings — that have been lost to time. Mammen, now a traveling preacher splitting his time between India and the United States, reflects on the unlikely reissue of the Atomic Forest’s recordings: ‘What’s left of the Atomic Forest? It’s just like smoke: smoke on the water.’ With the release of Disco Roar, that smoke keeps rising.”

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Various Artists “Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock n Roll” (Dust To Digital)

2019-09-27T03:47:05+00:00September 27th, 2019|

2019 repress. Double LP in gatefold sleeve with insert and download code. Expanded edition of the soundtrack to the celebrated 2014 documentary film Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll, originally released on CD by Dust-to-Digital in 2015. On April 17, 1975, Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge and Cambodian rock and roll was no more. Its star musicians were targeted and killed, record collections were destroyed, clubs were closed, and Western-style music-making, dancing, and clothes were outlawed. The deaths of approximately two million Cambodians and the horrors of the Killing Fields have been well documented; add to this John Pirozzi’s fascinating tale of Cambodia’s vibrant pop music scene, beginning in the 1950s and ’60s and influenced by France’s Johnny Hallyday and Britain’s Cliff Richard and the Shadows. Cambodian culture has long been synonymous with a love for the arts. Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten pays homage to the country’s rock legends who paid for their creativity with their lives. Punctuating rare archival footage with telling interviews with the few surviving musicians, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten examines and unravels Cambodia’s tragic past through the eyes, words, and songs of its popular music stars of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Compiled by Pirozzi, the soundtrack album is very cinematic in nature — the sequencing and remastered audio transport the listener through the rock and roll history of Cambodia in a way that parallels the film. It is both entertaining and essential to hear so many tracks that have never before been available outside of Cambodia. Performers include The Royal University of Fine Arts, Sinn Sisamouth, Chhoun Malay, Huoy Meas, Baksey Cham Krong, Ros Serey Sothea, Pen Ran, Sieng Vannthy, Va Sovy, Drakkar, Pou Vannary, Yol Aularong, and Cheam Chansovannary. Includes two tracks not included on the CD version (“Three Maidens” by Ros Serey Sothea and “Have You No Mercy” by Drakkar).

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Selda “Yuh Yuh” (Türküola)

2019-09-20T04:22:44+00:00September 20th, 2019|

A vinyl reissue of a German cassette release from nearly 40 years ago. The songs are from some of Selda’s singles and her debut LP. Most of these songs are performed with the Anatolian super rock group Dadaslar, known for working with Ersen. The group consists of Fehiman Ugurdemir (guitars and synthesizer, formerly with Cem Karaca and Kardaslar), Ozkan Ugur (here on bass, but previously Baris Manço guitarist) and Mehmet Gözüpek (the former drummer of Bunalim) and creates a powerful groove with very psychedelic arrangements.

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Baris Manco “Sakla Samani, Gelir Zamani” (Türküola)

2019-09-20T04:22:44+00:00September 18th, 2019|

‘Sakla Samani…’ is an outstanding 1976 compilation of 45rpm singles from the legendary Turkish psych/prog/rock artist, originally released in Turkey by Yavuz Records. A couple of years later it was reissued in Germany with a slightly different tracklist. This 2018 vinyl reissue comes with updated artwork.

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Various Artists “Seito: In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun” (Akuphone)

2019-08-16T03:43:54+00:00August 16th, 2019|

Includes 24-page portfolio and download card. Seitō: In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun gathers Japanese female artists from various electronic and experimental music fields. Like the Tokyo Flashback series issued by P.S.F. in the early 1990s, this collection recorded between 2017 and 2019 exposes the richness of the contemporary Japanese underground music scene. The title refers to a cult feminist magazine printed in Japan in the 1910s. Featuring: Fuji-Yuki’s glommy folk song, Kiki Hitomi’s haunted dub tune, Mikado Koko’s deep house hit, Miki Yui’s electoacoustic performance, Kakushin Nishihara’s noisy folk track, Kuunatic’s oriental psych blend, and Keiko Higuchi’s memorable nine-minute cover of the classic Japanese folk song, “Okesa Bushi”. All tracks issued for the first time.

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Sachiko Kanenobu “Misora” (Light In the Attic)

2019-08-02T03:16:33+00:00August 2nd, 2019|

Often regarded as Japan’s first female singer-songwriter, Sachiko Kanenobu created an enduring legacy with Misora, a timeless classic of intricate finger-picking, gently soaring melodies, and rustic Laurel Canyon vibes. Originally released in 1972 on URC (Underground Record Club), one of Japan’s first independent record labels, the Haruomi Hosono-produced album remains one of the most beloved works to come out of Japan’s folk and rock scenes centered around Tokyo and Kansai areas in the early 1970s.

Born and raised in Osaka in a large, music-loving family, Kanenobu picked up the guitar as a teen just as the “college folk” boom swept through university campuses in the Kansai area in the mid-60s. The Pete Seeger and American folk-leaning scene didn’t appeal much to her, however, and instead gravitated towards the British sounds of Donovan and Pentangle, teaching herself guitar techniques by listening to their music. Kanenobu made her songwriting and recording debut as part of Himitsu Kessha Marumaru Kyodan, whose sole single was released on URC in 1969. After years of being pushed aside by the label in favor of newer male artists who were more “folky” in a traditional sense, it was her friendship with the groundbreaking band and labelmate Happy End that ultimately helped her secure the opportunity to record a solo album. With Hosono on board as producer, Kanenobu spent seven days recording the songs that would become Misora, with most songs recorded in a single take.

By the time Misora released in September 1972, Kanenobu was gone. She had left for America, eager to start a new life with Paul Williams, a music writer who had founded Crawdaddy Magazine in 1966. Without the artist to promote it, “_Misora_ was asleep for a long time,” she said. Meanwhile Kanenobu settled near Sonoma in Northern California, retiring from music and concentrating on raising her two children. It wasn’t until Philip K. Dick, the famed writer and family friend, heard Misora and encouraged her to get back into music, that Kanenobu felt the urge to pick up the guitar again. Soon new songs started flowing, and Dick helped finance a single for Kanenobu in 1981. He was committed to producing a full length when he died unexpectedly in 1982.

While she enjoyed success (especially in Germany) with her hard-hitting group Culture Shock in the 1980s, and continued to release albums in American and in Japan in the 1990s, it’s Misora that keeps coming back to her. Every few years a new generation of fans discover the album. Devendra Banhart, Jim O’Rourke, Steve Gunn, and many others continue to tout its greatness.

Kanenobu played a series of sold-out homecoming shows in Japan in 2018, playing Misora in its entirety. Surviving members of Happy End came out to support, some even playing in her backing band. Audience members included old and young, some young enough to be her grandchildren. “I love it,” she said. “They love Misora, they’ve heard it so many times. And here it rose from death…because for them, they can’t believe it—she’s still alive!”

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Minoru Muraoka “Bamboo” (Mr. Bongo)

2019-07-05T03:20:40+00:00July 5th, 2019|

Japanese jazz/breakbeat, folkloric mega-rarity as hallowed the likes of DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Egon and co. Uniquely combines traditional Japanese instrumentation with Western jazz influences.

Minoru Muraoka plays ‘shakuhachi’ – a traditional bamboo Japanese flute – joined by his band members accompanying him on the ‘koto’ (strings) and ‘tsutsumi’ (drum) amongst others, to create their ‘Shakuhachi Jazz’ sound.

Includes cover versions of very well-known jazz & pop classics, coupled with two original songs.

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