TOP 10 JAPANESE RELEASES AND PRE-ORDERS

Last updated: Friday 26th July

1

Zombie-Chang – “Petit Petit Petit”

Excellent first international release from Japanese musician Meirin Yung AKA Zombie-Chang.

The 10 track album is the second release on Toothpaste Records, the U.K.-based label that focuses on international releases of the cream of the Japanese indie scene. It follows the release of the critically-acclaimed and fan-praised
international debut album from Tentenko in 2018.

Zombie-Chang is the moniker of 25 year-old Tokyo-based singer and songwriter Meirin Yung. “Petit Petit Petit” is written and produced by Meirin, and performed with help from the rhythm section of another act based in the
Japanese capital, Never Young Beach. The addition of drummer Kento Suzuki and bassist Keigo Tatsumi for these recordings has further developed the Zombie-Chang sound. Having already morphed from her Moldy Peaches-
inspired anti-folk first recordings to the embrace of electronic sounds and synthpop (which Meirin called “anti-EDM”) on 2016’s “Zombie-Change” and 2017’s “Gang!”, “Petit Petit Petit” introduced the sound of a cohesive band to
perfectly frame Meirin’s strongest batch of songs yet.

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2

“Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR and Boogie 1976-86”

“Pacific Breeze” documents  Japan’s blast into the stratosphere. By the 1960s, the nation had achieved a postwar miracle, soaring to become the world’s second largest economy.

Japan’s financial buoyancy also permeated its popular culture, birthing an audio analog called City Pop, an amalgam of AOR, R&B, Jazz Fusion, Funk, Boogie and Disco.

Includes classics from Taeko Ohnuki, Hiroshi Sato and the ever-present genius of Haruomi Hosono.

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3

“Kankyo Ongaku – Japanese Ambient, Environmental And New Age Music 1980-1990”

Excellent overview of ambient and new age music from Japan in the 1980s including tracks from YMO’s Haruomi Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto alongside other ambient masters such as Hiroshi Yoshimura, Yoshio Ojima and Satoshi Ashikawa and experimental jazz genius Yasuaki Shimizu. Compiled by Spencer Doran of Visible Cloaks for Light In The Attic, it’s available as a 3LP or 2CD with book.

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4

Kikagaku Moyo – “Masana Temples”

AVAILABLE AGAIN!!

The 4th album from the Japanese psychedelic rock band and one of the finest albums released in 2018.

The band continue to improve with every release since their eponymous 2013 debut, culminating in this exceptional, texturally varied but consistent magnum opus. Recommended.

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5

Chai – “Punk”

2nd album from the brilliant Chai on Heavenly, following 2018’s “Pink”.
“ ’PUNK’ for us, of course, is not the genre of music, ‘PUNK’ to us is to overturn the worn-out values associated with ‘kawaii’ or ‘cute’ created up until this point. ‘PUNK’ is a word that expresses a strong sense of self. To be yourself more, to become the person you truly want to be, to believe in yourself in every instance!” says the band.

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6

Minami Deutsch – “Can’t Get There EP”

Listening to this, the second Minami Deutsch release on HNR, you get the feeling of leaving half your brain in a Volkswagen down an endless Autobahn in 1972, and one-half lost in the astral plane as boundless light, above space and time. On this EP, you hear all that you love and miss from the 70’s krautrock bands plus a cover of cult band Index’s song “Israeli Blues” from 1968. Also on this record are two remixes of the title track by Jamie Paton and Mythologen.

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7

Yasuaki Shimizu – “Kakashi”

STILL SELLING!

Astonishing album of experimental Japanese jazz-rock fusion from master saxophonist and leader of the band Mariah, Yasuaki Shimizu.
Originally released in 1982, “Kakashi”‘s cult status increases every year, leading to this re-issue (and first time available outside Japan) in 2017.

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8

Akiko Yano – “Iroha Ni Konpeitou”

The third album in the We Want Sounds Akiko Yano re-issue program is her 2nd album, and one of her finest “Iroha Ni Konpeitou”.
Originally released in 1977 and recorded in Tokyo and New York City it features the ever-present genius Haruomi Hosono on bass, Tatsuo Hayashi on drums, Shigeru Suzuki on guitar and Hideki Matsutake AKA Logic System on synths.
2 Hosono compositions are featured on the album, “Ai Ai Gasa” which he recorded on his 1973 landmark debut “Hosono House” and “Hourou” originally recorded in 75 by singer and musician Chu Kosaka.

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9

Haru Nemuri – “Haru To Shura”

Haru Nemuri’s debut full-length LP and first international release after 2 Japan-only EPs.
Mixing elements of alternative rock, post rock, (post) hardcore, spoken word and rap, she created a unique, forward thinking experimental version of modern music, a dense fusion of the quirky qualities of J-Pop, the intensity of post-hardcore and everything in between all at the same time.

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10

Ryuichi Sakamoto & Taylor Dupree – “Live In London”

Trailblazing Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto is joined by revered electronic musician Taylor Deupree on this live recording, documenting their collaboration at St John-at-Hackney Church in 2014 – part of Thirty Three Thirty Three’s flagship concert series ‘St John Sessions’. The two musicians develop a kinetic understanding over the recording, entering a sparse musical dialogue – flourishes of prepared piano give way to bursts of noise and sculpted synths. Totally improvised, the performance follows their collaborations on record – as a duo on 2013’s “Disappearance”, and in a trio with Illuha on 2014’s “Perpetual”.

Originally released in 2015.

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