Apr 7, 2007

Japan 1


The first signs of civilization on the Japanese Archipelago appeared around 10,000 BCE with the Jomon culture, characterized by a Mesolithic to Neolithic semi-sedentary hunter-gatherer lifestyle of pit dwelling and a rudimentary form of agriculture. Decorated clay vessels from this period, often with plaited patterns, are some of the oldest surviving examples of pottery in the world. This Jomon culture continued to 400 BC, one of the enigmatic figurines they left us were the socalled Dogū produced towards the end of the Jomon culture. The purpose of the Dogū remains unclear, but most likely, the dogu acted as effigies of people, that manifested some kind of sympathetic magic. For example, it may have been believed that illnesses could be transferred into the Dogū, then destroyed, clearing the illness, or any other misfortune. There are other theories that state that the Dogu may be linked to extra-terresterials. The figures resemble 'space suits' complete with rivets and a helmet/face mask. The large eyes are also reminiscent of the traditional 'Grey' type alien.

Japan comprises over three thousand islands, the largest of which are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic, including Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji. Japan has the world's tenth largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.

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Vinyl San

Far East Family Band-NIPPONJIN ( Join Our Mental Phase Sound) (75)
Ondekoza - 3 (80)
Plastics - Welcome Back (81)
Various - Tokyo Mobile Music 1 (81)
Ippu-Do - Radio Fantasy (81)
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Far East Family Band-NIPPONJIN ( 75 Flac 305mb) - Join Our Mental Phase Sound

Far East Family Band spawned the careers of three guys. Their names being Fumio Miyashita (who often released his albums under simply the "Fumio" name), Akira Ito, and most of all, Masanori Takahashi. Maybe you might not know Masanori Takahashi by that name, but you know him as Kitaro, the prolific New Age artist of the 1980s and 1990s.

But what Far East Family Band did in the 1970s was not New Age at all, but mainly progressive rock, with the occasional Japanese influence. Nipponjin is the band's second album and contained remakes of songs from their previous album, The Cave - Down to the Earth (1975), and Far Out (1973), an album from Fumio Miyashita's previous band, Far Out. Klaus Schulze also produced Nipponjin, and you can hear some of his influence, particularly on "Undiscovered Northern Land". That piece mainly consists of droning, with some bamboo flute and Mellotron.

The album's real centerpiece is without a doubt, the title track. It starts off rather mellow, complete with electric sitar, with vocals (in English), but then the album kicks in with a killer guitar jam, eventually the band starts chanting "Om", as well as repeatedly chanting something in Japanese. Some of the mid-tempo parts of this song justifies why FEFB is regarded as the Japanese Pink Floyd. A totally amazing song! The next song, "The Cave" is the FEFB sound in a nutshell.

01 - Nipponjin (16:50)
02 - The Cave (8:37)
03 - Undiscovered Northern Land (2:54)
04 - Timeless (4:26)
05 - The God Of Water (2:06)
06 - River Of Soul (8:28)
07 - The God Of Wind (2:33)
08 - Movin' Lookin' (1:39)
09 - Yamato (0:48)
10 - Mystery Of Northern Space (5:57)

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Ondekoza - 3 ( 80 * 46mb)

From their base on remote Sado Island in the Sea of Japan, traditional Japanese taiko (drum) group Ondekoza have crisscrossed the world as virtual cultural ambassadors for Japan. Their unique crusade has spearheaded a revival of interest in the taiko at home, as well as stimulating a surge of interest that has led to the founding of taiko groups abroad . Formed in 1969, Ondekoza were the brainchild of Tagayasu Den. In communal life on Sado Island, Den subjected his apprentices to rigorous physical training in addition to technical training in the art of the mighty taiko. His goal was to produce a group whose mental toughness would be equal to the demands of the mighty drums and able to withstand the challenges of the road.
In 1975, Ondekoza made their American debut. In one noteworthy performance, the members performed a full set after completing the Boston Marathon. The group toured America, Europe and Japan to critical acclaim.

In 1981, largely in response to a movie project that was by all accounts a financial and artistic failure, members of Ondekoza broke off to form the group Kodo while Tagayasu kept the name and most of the company's drums.

A (16:00)
B (17:15)

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Plastics - Welcome Back ( 81 * 79mb)

Welcome Plastics (the first LP) and six songs from Origato Plastico (the second LP). THE PLASTICS were often compared to THE B-52’s. The upbeat music and quirky presentation were similar, but in many ways THE PLASTICS had a darker view of humanity. Smiling, and using its latest machines, they invented a wonderful pop-music which remains an impressive and original statement. In English, they critiqued society, experimented with new sounds, and had so much fun, that no one took offense. Here, in the U.S., most didn’t even notice.
These songs were re-recorded for U.S. release, (also released in Japan). I love the original versions, but believe every song was improved here. There’s a cleaner, fuller sound, and the vocals are more intense. This is a refined presentation of THE PLASTICS, and a great introduction to the band. They spent a lot of time in New York, and made a sincere attempt to break into the U.S. market. Why they weren’t able to, I don’t know. Their sound was probably just too unique, but their music inspired a lot of the more interesting Japanese bands that are playing today!

01 - Delicious (2:30)
02 - Diamond Head (3:35)
03 - Peace (3:05)
04 - Ignore (2:50)
05 - Cards (4:45)
06 - Top Secret Man (2:32)
07 - Copy (2:35)
08 - Good (3:20)
09 - Park (3:50)
10 - Robot (3:30)

Plastics @ Amazon

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VA - Tokyo Mobile Music 1 ( 81 * 63mb)

Conceived by David Claridge, who apparently traveled around Tokyo with a hand-held Sony cassette recorder (featured on the front of the album) and inserted snippets of ambient city sounds and overheard conversations between the cuts which provide the actual meat of the album.

Liner notes: "Collating the tracks for this album has not proved to be the easiest of tasks. However I hope these tracks will serve as a foretaste of what is to come from Japan in the future. The Mobile Suit Corporation will be focussing on the East and unearthing as much new talent as possible. David Claridge"

SFX Bullet Train Passing
01 - Hikashu - New Tribe
SFX Riding The Bullet Plus Announcement
02 - Akiko Yano - Rose Garden
SFX Bus Journey To Shibuya
03 - Earthling - You Go On Natural
SFX Pachinko Parlour In Shinjuku
04 - Yukihiro Takahashi - Mirrormanic
05 - Shoukichi Kina - Mimichiri Bozu
SFX Demonstration At Shibuya
06 - Lizard - Sa Ka Na
SFX Video Games In Ginza
07 - Hikashu - The Model
SFX Fire In Downtown Asakusa
08 - Salon Music - Hunting On Paris
SFX Indecisive Guy In McDonalds Shibuya
09 - Akiko Yano - Canton Boy

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Ippu-Do - Radio Fantasy (81 * 61mb)

Ippu-Do debuted in 1980 with the new wave-influenced Normal, on which the trio (Tsuchiya on vocals and guitar, Akira Mitake on keyboards, and Shoji Fujii on drums) sound a little like a Nipponese version of New Musik or Split Enz. The trio quickly followed this with Real, which was more of the same, but 1981's Radio Fantasy (the trio's first release outside of Japan) was almost completely electronic. The group went on hiatus after that release, with Tsuchiya beginning his solo career and his temporary membership in Japan (played guitar with Japan on the Asian tour documented on the live album Oil on Canvas). A best-of disc, Lunatic Menu, was released in 1982 in Japan and the U.K. YMO's Ryuichi Sakamoto collaborated with Tsuchiya on his 1982 solo album Rice Music.

When Ippu-Do reappeared in late 1983, they were reduced to a duo of Tsuchiya and Mitake. Supported by drummer Steve Jansen and keyboardist Richard Barbieri of Japan and American bassist Percy Jones, the duo recorded the danceable Night Mirage, a supple blend of Japan's crystalline sound with some surprising R&B and funk rhythms. A two-disc live set with this lineup, Live and Zen, came out in 1984, but Tuschiya returned to his solo career at that point, bidding farewell to Ippu-Do with a well-chosen compilation in 1985.

01 - Radio Cosmos (2:15)
02 - Time Of The Season (4:14)
03 - Radio Fantasy (2:44)
04 - Yomotolo-Waiya (1:43)
05 - China Step (2:41)
06 - Radio Japan (2:45)
07 - Imitation Cha Cha (2:59)
08 - Morning Menu (1:47)
09 - Magic Vox (4:46)
10 - Mission Impossible Theme (2:24)
11 - Dubling Radio (0:56)
12 - Listen To Me (4:23)
13 - I Need You (3:59)

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* All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !


Anonymous said...






mukuta said...

Just visited and discovered this blog
blogging is great so thanks for doing so
As it seems you are from japan
I have a question.once i heard a song ,called there goes the colored water ??? it was a very slow and fragile song i felt in love with it , but i didnt find it.
Ryuichi Sakamoto was involved ,but it was sung by a very fragile female voice .
Have you ever heard of this song???
is it published where who ??
I search for this song 20 years or more now ;)
Greetings from mukuta,holland

dacha said...

Any chance you can upload the Tokyo Mobile Music album again? I have this stored away somewhere and whilst I have the AKiko Yano and the Yukihiro Takahashi on CD it would be great to hear the album again including the atmospheric pieces. Thanks.

kamagra said...

A friend of mine recommended me this because he told me I can get terrific albums so I have some doubts because judging for the albums appearance I don't think they're good.m10m

Anonymous said...

I think the creator of 'Spongebob Squarepants' was inspired by the 'Radio Fantasy' cover. ;-))

carlo243 said...

Your Blog is so Great.Everytime I'm visiting it it's a great Pleasure.And Everytime I have a Wish.This Time I'd Like to have a Re Up of the Japan Stuff.Tokyo MObile Music would be great but all the others Too.

Rho said...

Hello Carlo, unfortunately the Japan series contained many vinyl rips and in ogg 7 , the back disks are non accessible currently. Not all is lost though, i do have all YMO and most Solo works on cd the rest including Tokyo mobile music alas not able to re-up currently

the saucer people said...

Don't know if Rho did a re-post but the Tokyo Mobile Music comp and the Ippo Du Radio Fantasy album are active so many thanks Rho - Every year or so I do a search to see if anyone has posted either of the two rare early 80s Earthling albums, which of course no-one has, but I did notice for the first time there was a track on the TMM comp which was a wonderful discovery, as was the Ippo Du album.

I'm a big fan of Japanese music like the releases from Vanity Records from the late 70s/early 80s and all the J.A. Caesar records from the seventies to name but a few, but I still know I have only barely scratched the surface of Japanese 70s/80s music and it is thanks to blogs like yours that my education continues.

Many thanks as always, Rho - going to check out more from your mammoth Japanese posts!