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You can always hear music in Steve Hiett’s photography. You can definitely hear the music on the cover of his solo debut, Down On The Road By The Beach. Heavily saturated with color, mesmerizingly flash-lit, and warmly off-center, this image was like an Edgar Degas painting come to life – albeit one fashioned with Miami’s […]

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/ September 1, 2017 / Comments Off on The Milky Way: Summertime Love Song (1979)

The Milky Way: Summertime Love Song (1979)

Pull out your surfboard, put some sangria on ice, and really enjoy this one. A surprisingly unknown masterpiece, and a rare, rare, rare one at that, of Japanese City Pop, J-AOR, or light mellow, no matter what you call The Milky Way’s Summertime Love Song, one thing you can’t say it is is uninspired. Released […]

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/ August 11, 2017 / Comments Off on Kunio Muramatsu: Green Water (1983)

Kunio Muramatsu: Green Water (1983)

I so had another post in mind for today, but Kunio Muramatsu’s Green Water spoke to me and said: “hold that powder for some other day, the sun’s still shining!”. From the first song on it’s not hard to see why. A flooring collection of meticulously crafted Pop songs screaming “SUMMER!” merit, at least this […]

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/ August 9, 2017 / Comments Off on Katsutoshi Morizono: 4:17 p.m. (1985)

Katsutoshi Morizono: 4:17 p.m. (1985)

There’s an appeal to Katsutoshi Morizono’s 4:17 p.m. that can only be heightened, or fully appreciated, during summer, our current time of the year. Cycling from truly elegant compositions – a frequent, recurring theme lately on the blog – 4:17 p.m. mixes jazz fusion, post-bossanova, reggae, light mellow/City Pop, and even experimental bits of New Age […]

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/ July 21, 2017 / Comments Off on Mike Francis: Let’s Not Talk About It (1984)

Mike Francis: Let’s Not Talk About It (1984)

Now this, this right here, is the promised boogie wonderland. The late Michele Francesco Puccioni’s (aka Mike Francis) 1984 debut is that unheralded statement piece of funk and R&B music that once you have your chance to get your hands on you’ll never forget. Let’s Not Talk About It was the product of some hard-earned […]

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Power can manifest itself in many ways. Power isn’t always in the density of something but in the lightness of it. Kenji Omura’s spirited take on funk, sophisticated pop, and so many other smooth genres comes together into one powerful album: Gaijin Heaven. The late, great Kenji Omura, one time or some time YMO guitarist, […]

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/ May 16, 2017 / Comments Off on Sonia Rosa: Samba Amour (1979)

Sonia Rosa: Samba Amour (1979)

Heady, windswept, gauzy saudade that could only come from someone like Sonia Angelica De Carvalho Rosa, are things that don’t quite reveal themselves when you hear Samba Amour. Sonia Rosa had an unlikely musical career. Although she was born in São Paulo, Brazil it wasn’t there where’d she stake her claim to fame. A precocious child, she taught herself Joao Gilberto’s songs when […]

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/ March 6, 2017 / Comments Off on Marju Kuut & Uku Kuut: Zuke (1992)

Marju Kuut & Uku Kuut: Zuke (1992)

Funk can sometimes come from the unlikeliest of places. Take for example: Hollywood. Hollywood, and America’s West Coast one could argue, has always been a haven for all sorts of groove maestros…but Tallinn, Estonia? Estonia, that’s where the creators of Zuke hail from. From an ex-Soviet country that barely has a record industry one would be hard-pressed to […]

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/ February 1, 2017 / Comments Off on Mario Acquaviva: Mario Acquaviva EP (1983)

Mario Acquaviva: Mario Acquaviva EP (1983)

ven in the dead of the winter, this sunlit EP of Italian Pop can break through any forecast. One of my favorite finds of the year was this brief, but spectacular, EP by Bolognese musician Mario Acquaviva. What’s in Mario Acquaviva? Its eighteen masterful minutes of ruminative springtime Mediterranean piano pop mixed with all sorts of found […]

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/ December 12, 2016 / Comments Off on Akira Terao: Atmosphere (1983)

Akira Terao: Atmosphere (1983)

It’s not often you hear someone split the difference between Boz Scaggs, Bryan Ferry, and Nick Cave. It’s not often that you find quite a character like Yokohama-native Akira Terao, and music quite like Atmosphere. Before Mark Hollis discovered Coltrane, before Paul Buchanan decided to soundtrack the sight of Glasgow at 4 a.m., in the year that […]

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