compiled by Nicholas D. Kent
email: ndkent "at" optonline.net
Last updated 04.12.17
(*) means I don't own this album
This is a sort of recreation of vintage 1930s style Big Band sounding music of the American born brothers of Japanese ancestry, Glenn and Steve Miyashiro who each composed tunes. Hasumi and Miyake who are the modern exotica-style duo Pacific 231 each take on arranging one of the brothers for real orchestra with synth. Tthere are 2 other pieces not by the brothers but perhaps associated with them and certainly from that period. Like Gurenica, not overtly electronic per se, but certainly of interest to exotica fans. More easy going like World Standard than tense like Guernica.
1985 Columbia/Better Days lp: YF-7103
Chris Mosdel does the lyrics. The musicians are Makoto Matsushita, Masato Matsuda, Yasuo Tomikura, Masahiro Miyazaki
1980 ROIR (US) cassette A-147
This is a 60 minute compilation made from 2 Japanese albums by the percussionist Pecker. He adds a big dose of techno pop to the Jamacian dub sound. The album was recorded at Bob Marley's Tuff Gong studio and features a Kenji Omura solo, but most notably Sly and Robby backing on most cuts. Includes a cover of Sakamoto's Kylyn. Initially cassette only.
1981 Les Disques Du Soleil et de l'Acier (Fr) cd: C-DSA54016
A notable female singer backed by Czukay, Leibezeit and Plank. If you know who they are, I need not say more. A recent reissue I don't have added a Sakamoto produced single as a nice bonus. Reccomended.
1987 Les Disques Du Soleil et de l'Acier (Fr) cd: C-DSA54021
The band is Makamoto Othsu, Masahiro Minowa, Tatsuo Kondoh, engineer: Yoshifumi Iio. Not of the same level as the prior listed album.
(*) 1984 Attak records
Jerry Leibowitz: The front of this Lichtenstein-esque album has the band's name, album title and big letters saying "JAPAN POP." Avante pop in stylings reminiscent of the residents and video game soundtracks. Lots of emulators and assorted keyboards. Children's voices. Very strange. The main players are Yuji Asuka and Kooru Todoroki.
1979-85 released 1995 Belle Antique cd: BELLE 9588
A big mistake was made with the album title and the mediocre reproductions of Bosch paintings as the cover art. It leads one to believe this is some goth or noise band. This is actually an album of synthesizer space music in the Klaus Schulze and Jarre, Kitaro Ten Kai era vein. Well done material with a fair amount of tape hiss.
1985 Midi/Dear Heart 12" MIS-503
Chris Mosdel writes the rap. Catchy well produced pop. Coupled with a remix and an even catchier piece called Digi-Vu
Qypthone is a 5 person band. Takeshi Nakatsuka writes most of the music and the front woman is singer Izumi Okawara.
1998 Happiness Records cd: HRCD-001
Six song shortish debut. Excellent. A really charming enjoyable album in all departments, music, lyrics, voice, syhth use. Very much in a shibuya-kei flavor
1999 Happiness Records cd: HRCD-004
Their second EP. Seven songs. I got the impression that this one just has too many musicians playing at the same time. I'm not just making a quip here, I was very impressed by their debut and this was a letdown except for nice packaging, I felt there was a definite problem balancing Izumi Okawara's medium sized vocals with all sorts of busy quasi-ska stuff going on.
(*)1985 Moonchild / Alfa Moon, Inc.
Jerry Leibowitz: A sometimes interesting solo electronic offering from Ra (who's appearance strongly resembles a young Sakamoto,) who takes credits for both producer and engineer. The work is a bit reminiscent of Hosono's early post YMO noodlings, but, at its best, sounds akin to Paul Schutze's early industrial work.
nick archetectural note: he's in front of a slide of the ceiling of the Guggenheim Museum
1984 Invitation lp: VIH-28201
Keiichi Suzuki produced. Lots of Shi-Shonen members play. Instrumentals. Great art direction and witty titles. Nice but nothing special synthesizer-wise.
1985 Invitation lp: VIH-28232
These albums are packaged superbly and are well made but aren't very interesting to me musically.
1987 Invitation lp: VIH-28283
98.8.22 WEA cd: WPC6 8493
This is a sound effects disc of electro acoustic sounds from the 1960s animated series by Tezuka. Its credited to Matsuo Ono. Very nice packaging. Oddly the recording date is 1975 instead of the 60s, so I'm not sure when the actual sounds originate.
1994 Origins (France) OR 898 356269000186 ('97 reissue)
Rousseau is a French synthesist who was technical advisor/assistant to Vangelis when he lived in Paris in the 80s and 90s. Much of the album was done at Vangelis' Epsilon studio. The album's theme is old Japan and done with synthesizers and traditional vocals and instruments. Some very impressive music though I feel some of the tracks with Enigma style beats are already regrettably already dated sounding especially considering some of the non-pop tracks are quite impressive. Nice graphics. Hard to find, even in Paris (when I looked in 1999). Rousseau's website. FWIW, shopping on the web seems to be the way to go for his work.
Compilation Album No.1
2004 Moroheiya MORO-005 licensed from expoi (expoi-008cd)
As the name implies Rubyorla is creating sample based sort of avant pop music with some guests like yabemilk from childisc records, moyunijumo, GEBO.meteor, YuReMi.
thanks: Yoichi Ito
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