Tag / japan

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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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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These are the things that surprise sometimes. I went into researching some background story behind Hajime Mizoguchi’s deeply affecting Halfinch Dessert and wound up uncovering that their is some meaning behind this album. Hajime Mizoguchi was born and raised in Tokyo. By the age of eleven he had chosen to educate himself in the ways […]

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What’s with Japanese session bass players? Yoshio Suzuki, Tsugutoshi Goto, Hirobumi Suzuki, etc. and now Motohiko Hamase, all at one point or another decide to show the world that they can do more than lay down a tasty bass line. #Notes of Forestry shows exactly how fascinating their own ideas can be when they’re given […]

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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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When conceiving my latest mix all I could think about was the works of master Impressionist painters. Where other painters try to highlight the contours and contrasts shapes, objects, and environments have between each other, these Impressionists tried to understand connections found among still and moving life. It’s an understanding of the beauty of gradients […]

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/ July 7, 2017 / Comments Off on Takashi Toyoda: Big Bang (1985)

Takashi Toyoda: Big Bang (1985)

Takashi Toyoda’s Big Bang promises in the back cover “total spiritual stability and stress relief” through 40-odd minutes of Japanese New Age music. What really stands out, though, is the word “BIG BANG” in the album title. Attempting to provide some respite from a stark external world, Takashi tries to create the first 1/f fluctuation […]

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/ June 29, 2017 / Comments Off on Akira Ito: Marine Flower (Science Fantasy) (1986)

Akira Ito: Marine Flower (Science Fantasy) (1986)

There is a time in any good musician’s life when they absolutely nail down whatever they had to place. Akira Ito, one time keyboardist for influential Japanese psych rock outfit The Far East Band, could have stayed with that group rehashing “out there” musical troupes – variations on psychedelia with The FABs or Kitaro-like, Jean-Michel […]

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/ June 16, 2017 / Comments Off on Mich Live: Plant Planet’s (1988)

Mich Live: Plant Planet’s (1988)

Let’s try a little tenderness from Mitsuru Sawamura, otherwise known as Mich Live, one-time member of Japanese band Interior (with whom he wrote songs like “Luft” and “Park“) and brilliant session musician for others like Yukihiro Takahashi, Hajime Tachibana, Pierre Barouh, and Mari Iijima. In 1988, Mitsuru released under the Newsic label (home of Yoshio Ojima) something that straddles […]

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/ June 13, 2017 / Comments Off on Morgan Fisher: Look At Life (1984)

Morgan Fisher: Look At Life (1984)

I’m truly thankful I live in a world where circumstances led Londoner Morgan Fisher to visit Japan, fall in love with country, and proceed to sell nearly all of his life’s work to make his living there. Some would say it was a foolhardy move but it’s a move that proved essential to his reinvention […]

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