TOP 10 JAPANESE RELEASES AND PRE-ORDERS

Last updated: Friday 5th April

1

Chai – “Punk”

Second release from the Nagoya quartet. Available on CD now, and you can pre-order the limited white LP (out 3rd May).

 

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2

Akiko Yano – “Japanese Girl”

First ever release outside Japan for the excellent debut album from Akiko Yano, originally released in 1976.

Features musical contributions from Haruomi Hosono and Lowell George and Little Feat.

 

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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

Mariah – “Utakata No Hibi”

Apparently the last repress of the final Mariah album , released in 1983 in Japan and issued for the first time in the west via Palto Flats in 2015.

Pick it up now while you still can.

 

 

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5

Yasuaki Shimizu – “Kakashi”

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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6

Visible Cloaks with Yoshio Ojima and Satsuki Shibano – “FRKWYS Vol 15: Serenitatem”

The 15th volume of FRKWYS, RVNG Intl.’s collaboration series pairing intergenerational artists in creative conversation.
In this volume, two trailblazers of the Japanese avant-garde music and visual arts scenes of the 1980s and 90s pair with Portland’s Visible Cloaks.
Recorded in Tokyo in 2017 at the end of Visible Cloaks’ first Japanese tour with percussion from Midori Takada.

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7

Tentenko – “Tentenko”

Endlessly fun album from a former member of Japan’s punk Idol group BiS and the first release on a new label bringing Japanese artists to international attention, Toothpaste Records.

Contains the techno-kayo classic “Goodbye, Good Girl”, the Devo-esque pop freakout of “Hokago Sympathy” and the Shintaro Sakamoto-penned “Nantonaku Abenai”…every track is a winner.

On pink translucent vinyl with lyrics in English and Japanese.

 

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8

“Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk And Rock 1969-1973”

There was something in the air in the urban corners of late ‘60s Japan. Student protests and a rising youth culture gave way to the angura (short for “underground) movement that thrived on subverting traditions of the post-war years. Rejection of the Beatlemania-inspired Group Sounds and the squeaky clean College Folk movements led the rise of what came to be known in Japan as “New Music,” where authenticity mattered more than replicating the sounds of their idols. Some of the most influential figures in Japanese pop music emerged from this vital period, yet very little of their work has ever been released or heard outside of Japan, until now. Light In The Attic is thrilled to present Even a Tree Can Shed Tears, the inaugural release in the label’s Japan Archival Series. This is the first-ever, fully licensed collection of essential Japanese folk and rock songs from the peak years of the angura movement to reach Western audiences.

 

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9

Ex Confusion – “I Remember When”

Sixth album from Tokyo’s Atsuhito Omori, 5 years since 2014’s “Flow”.
Omori has been doing this type of minimalist modern compositional ambient for nearly a decade but never has it
sounded so focused in its conception.
Includes a recent collaboration with Thomas Meluch’s Benoit Pioulard pseudonym which further adds to the faded photograph characteristics of “I Remember When.”

 

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10

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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