Progressive pop/synthpop/new wave. Similar to Real Fish's album, "A Very Big Band in Heaven" but more mellow and with vocals.
Mio Fou were a duo consisting of Hiirofumi Suzuki (Moonriders, Keiichi Suzuki's brother), and violinist Hirono Mio (Shi-shonen, Real Fish)
Maki Nomiya (Pizzicato Five, Portable Rock) also provides guest vocals.
This re-issue features 7 bonus tracks.
Fantastic mix of technopop, folk and pop/rock. Very upbeat, considered a classic.
Ranked as the 26th greatest Japanese album by Snoozer Magazine.
Came in 19th place on Takarajima's Top 20 Japanese albums.
Modern Japanese pop. Tatsuya Kokufu was a member of the band Mangahead although I haven't listened to any of their stuff (nor have I found any of it either.) Ranked as the 108th greatest Japanese album by Snoozer magazine. Extremely good, very recommended if you're into pop music.
Tavito Nanao also provides guest vocals for one of the tracks.
The album in the picture shown to the left is Rock Tensei by Tatsuya Kokufu. A whole lot better than I expected, it's pop/rock with quite a lot in similar with various math rock bands and the vocals are beautiful. I imagine it'd appeal to fans of The Dismemberment Plan, Mass of the Fermenting Dregs and other bands such as Polvo and Toe, etc. (It's also far superior to any of those bands listed.) Apparently Tavito Nanao provides guest vocals on the third track but to be honest I can't notice them.
I did take pictures of those three other albums as well but I can't seem to find them on my camera. Perhaps somebody deleted them although I'm not quite sure about who would do such a thing.
I'll upload these albums when I have the time, hopefully by the end of the week.
It might be worth mentioning that Tokyo Wasshoi was ranked at 26th and 19th place on Snoozer and Takarajima's greatest Japanese albums lists respectively. Tatsuya Kokufu's album Rock Tensei was ranked 108th by Snoozer.
Compilation containing various songs from Masumi Hara's career (1982-2000.)
It's technopop/new wave, some tracks are quite jazzy, the first and
twelfth songs in particular. I think 'Tama with synths' is a fairly
decent comparison, although I much prefer Masumi Hara.
According to the credits BANANA-UG plays the synthesiser on over half of the tracks. I won't go into too much detail but if you don't know who BANANA-UG is then shame on you!
I actualy found this video of Hara Masumi drawing pictures with Tama, although you'll have to skip past the cute Japanese women wearing bikinis first.
Originally released in 1981 this is the 2005 (I think) remaster + reissue that contains 6 previously unreleased tracks. Basically art-rock with some post-punk influences and the second half is a lot better than the first. I was a bit disappointed when I first listened to it but since then I've enjoyed it a lot more with each subsequent listen. Recommended if you like Aunt Sally, Datblygu or other bands similar to those two.
No youtube samples, I'll need to upload some at a later date.
Totsuzen Danball's first single. Released in 1980 and yet sounds nothing like any of their other stuff released at around the same time. It's more or less straight up post-punk instead of the post-punk influenced art-rock they did on the Pass Live split with Gunjocrayon (1980) and their début album Naritatsukana? (1981)
This Is, is another good album by Salon Music. Probably my sixth or seventh favourite by them. Which may sound quite bad on paper but they've released twelve studio albums, one demo collection, one EP and one best of compilation in total. Released a year before O Boy so they sound quite similar musically but I think more synths are used in this one.
Another album I'll upload in FLAC/320 in a bit.
Mix of synth and guitar pop. My fourth favourite Salon Music album, can't think of much else to say about it to be honest.
The version I have uploaded is 192kbps but I can upload it in FLAC or 320 later.
The ninth track is a Sparks collaboration and cover of "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" by Soft Cell.
Solo-project instrumental technopop from Hajime Fukuma, an ex-member of P-Model. I'm not entirely sure but I think these are just live recordings of the album Bellisima. It was hard to find and yet it's extremely good.
Oh, and Totsuzen Danball - Naritatukana? seems to have gotten a lot of views in just one day. I guess a lot of people want it for whatever reason. So I decided to post it when the other album I ordered, Masumi Hara History arrives, which should be tomorrow.
Hiroshi's best album. Hiroshi Fujiwara was the guy from hip-hop/dub duo Tiny Panx Organisation with Takagi Kan. Not to be confused with TPO the new wave group. Although Takagi Kan strangely used to be in the rock 'n' roll new wave band Tokyo Bravo and Mitsuwa Sakamoto was also a member of Tokyo Bravo. Mitsuwa Sakamoto was also in the new wave/technopop group FILMS in which Takumi Iwasaki was also a member and finally Takumi Iwasaki was a member of the new wave group TPO, so when you link everything up like that, T.P.O. and TPO are both very much related.
As for this album, it's dub and features a lot of soul singers. Nothing much else to say really other than if you like Audio Sports and Fishmans you'll probably end up enjoying this. Rolling Stones Japan ranked this as the 80th greatest Japanese "rock" album of all time, it's not in my top 100 but it's a selection I can get behind, unlike some of Rolling Stones Japan other rankings.
LaB LIFe are one of those bands that for some reason are a lot more obscure than they should be, it might be because they only released one EP and two albums over the span of two years but they definitely deserve more recognition.
As far as modern Japanese pop music goes LaB LIFe are one of the best groups.
There's a bit of variety on this album including a track called 'New Order' which was influenced by the band New Order.
This album came with a poster, so why couldn't Sleepless Sheep?
Oh, I'll probably post the album once I've given it a couple more listens. Unfortunately I found it quite disappointing, I was expecting post-punk with some of the awesome guitarwork in their other such as Yokushi Onryoko and to an extent Sukidayou. Instead it's just borderline-experimental rock music with a very slight post-punk influence. Nothing spectacular but I might have to give it a couple of more listens since I was expecting something completely different. I guess that might be the main reason why I was so disappointed with this. I still love Totsuzen Danball though.
EDIT: I've listened to it twice now, I enjoyed it a lot more the second time round. It reminds me of A Very Big Band in Heaven by Real Fish, just with guitars and no synthesisers.
AOTY 2k11. Salon Music's best album since MASH. I think this album combines the best parts of MASH (1995) and La Paloma Show (1984.) There's only one track I don't like and that's Raincoat which is a repetitive synthpop song that sounds like something from New World Record with some of the worst lyrics I've ever heard and it's also far too long.
As much as I love Salon Music and this album there's not much incentive to buy Sleepless Sheep other than the music. The artwork isn't anything special (this coming from a Welshman by the way.) The CD is pure white and all it comes with are the credits and a lyrics sheet. I can also see four blobs of glue where they stuck down the CD holder to the cardboard on the back. I get that Salon Music's popularity has died down but surely they could do something better than that!? I've bought albums for a lot cheaper that came with more, for example; After Dinner - Paradise of Replica, that album only cost me £10 and yet it came with everything Sleepless Sheep had AND a poster! A poster of Haco in fact, one of the cutest Japanese musicians you'll ever see. So why didn't they do such a thing with Sleepless Sheep? I'm not entirely sure how old Hitomi Takenaka is right now but I'm guessing she's now in her fifties but as you can tell by that 'It's a Little Thing' music video she's still extremely cute, not just that but Zin Yoshida actually has a nice arse (no homo) so they could have at least included a poster of him. So Salon Music, Zin Yoshida, Hitomi Takenaka or even Felicity Records if you're reading this (and I know you two can speak English seeing as how all of your lyrics are in it) please include a poster of Hitomi, Zin or even both of them in your next album. I'll probably still buy it no matter what but it'd make me a lot happier if you listened to my request, even if it's just a booklet with a couple pictures in the studio. I'd gladly pay a bit more for your next album if you did something like that, (not too much mind you since Sleepless Sheep came close to costing £30 which is already very expensive.) Thanks for reading.
Their best album in my opinion but they have an extremely varied discography, most of which is worth listening to. They have a couple of shitty albums such as New World Record, Chew it in a Bite and Kelly's Duck (which also has one of the worst album covers I have ever seen.)
Worth listening to for the INU tracks alone. Very low quality and yet the versions of Meshi Kuuna! and Fade Out on this compilation are so much better than the ones on INU's actual album. Also has a track called All The Old Punks which is by INU and isn't on any of their other records. The other artists for the most part are good but nowhere close enough to INU.
What the name of the album says. If you liked any of Lizard's other albums then you should listen to this. Some very good "new" tracks and different takes of songs that made it to their studio albums.
You should also listen to S-Ken if you haven't already, another very good band.
Apparently that Arikitari No Shinpo by Totsuzen Danball post I made has 187 views, it's weird seeing it next to a bunch of double digit numbers. I also ordered Totsuzen Danball's first album Naritatukana? about a week ago, hopefully it'll arrive soon.
Their best album since their self-titled. By this time they're hardly a new wave band at all. Apparently they had been doing live shows with post-punk girlband Mizutama Shobodan and used them as an influence.
Totsuzen Danball's newest album released last year in 2011. I think this is worth buying for the artwork alone, especially the stuff on the inside and the monkey with the cymbals on the back. 15 tracks in total but they're all fairly short pop/rock songs, synthesisers seem to be rarely used. If I have one complaint about the album it's the vocals, they really aren't as good as they used to be on their earlier albums and are sometimes just downright bad.
I bought these three albums, I'll upload them in FLAC and 320 later, it'll take awhile though.
Sleepless Sheep and Arikitari No Shinpo were both released last year in 2011. You can buy them for a reasonable enough price on CDJapan, everywhere else I've found selling them is more expensive.
Internet has been constantly going down so posting let alone uploading anything has been incredibly difficult for me to do recently.
Bo Gumbos are a Japanese rock band, the vocalist is called Takashi Hisatomi a.k.a the guy from Rosa Luxemburg who died in 2000, I'm not sure of the exact reason why though. In my opinion this isn't as good as the two albums released by Rosa Luxemburg but still very good, definitely worth listening to. Released in 1989 but honestly with track titles such as 'Hey Flower Brother' it seems like something a 60's 'hippie' would listen to.
There's also a lot of live performances of Bo Gumbos + Soul Flower Union on Youtube.
While this isn't quite Entropy Productions which is the Vibrastone album I've been searching for everywhere. At least it's something by Vibrastone, Japan's most popular hip-hop group, at least from the late 80's/early 90's that is. Japanese hip-hop with rock/pop/new wave singer Haruo Chikada on MC. Every track's length averages to almost 9 minutes each which is a lot longer than your typical hip-hop song.
Aside from fans of hip-hop I'd really recommend this to people who like Jagatara, E.D.P.S or EP-4, while it is essentially a hip-hop album it's still quite new waveish like in some of Haruo's older bands/albums, mainly The Vibratones and also has a similar funky sound to the previous bands I mentioned.
The first Moonriders album with Keiichi Suzuki as a member, actually, Keiichi Suzuki has always been in the Moonriders so I'm not sure why they released it under this name. It must've been for extra publicity since Keiichi Suzuki was involved with a grand total of one other band before joining Moonriders as far as I'm aware. Anyways, this is one of their best albums in my opinion. For fans of Niagara Triangle, Eiichi Ohtaki, Motoharu Sano, Tatsuro Yamashita, Shigeru Suzuki, Tin Pan Alley, Yosui Inoue, Sugar Babe, Haruomi Hosono (mainly his early to mid 70's stuff,) Happy End ~ the list could go on~ basically if you're a fan of Japanese pop music from the 70's you'll love this.
Something I've been listening to a fair bit recently. Well done dub remakes of classical compositions. You might know of Hiroshi Fujiwara from the hip-hop duo Tiny Panx. No Youtube samples so I'll post the track-list instead, if you like dub or classical music you should give this a listen
01. The Swan (Saint Saens)
02. Ave maria (Shubert)
03. Nocturne (Chopin)
04. Piano Conerto (Ravel)
05. Moonlight (Beethoven)
06. Reverie (Debussy)
07. Dreaming (Schumann)
08. Pathetique (Beethoven)
09. Swanlake (Tchaikovsky)
10. Air on the G-string (Bach)
Fusion pop/rock, from 1974, very popular in Japan at the time. Members include Kazuhiko Kato from The Folk Crusaders, Masayoshi Takanaka who hasn't been in any other bands as far as I'm aware but he has an extremely large fusion solo discography, Hiro Tsunoda from Food Brain, Jacks and Strawberry Path, Yukihiro Takahashi from Yellow Magic Orchestra, The Beatniks and one of Japan's first hip-hop groups, Super Eccentric Theatre and the other three members either haven't done anything else or what they have done is impossible to find outside of Japan.
Citrus are a Japanese Shibuya-kei band who released most of their stuff on Cornelius' (of Flipper's Guitar) Trattoria label. I believe this is their last EP out of around 5 and this one in particular is extremely upbeat and fast paced. And it's only 11 minutes long so it ends all too quickly but nevertheless, great stuff. If you want something calmer you should listen to the EP just before this one called Splash.
Amazarashi are a busy Japanese rock/pop group that have released one album and four mini-albums/EPs in just two years. Their stuff has been fairly consistent and if you like one of their albums, you'll probably like them all. Although if you''re a piano guy you'd probably want to listen to Bakudan no Tsukuri Kata first.
Apparently their lyrics are great so if you speak Japanese you'd probably appreciate them more, I don't speak Japanese nor do I have any intention of learning so it doesn't really affect me, but I just wanted to point that out.