japan-band-rock

I Miss You Badly
  • I Miss You Badly
  • Kenichi Arakawa
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Sound Castle 1 (PC-8801), 1991
Kenichi Arakawa

Rusty maestro Kenichi Arakawa was pretty involved in the music disk scene (usually under his alias THOMAS BROWN), just like co-composer and PMD author Masahiro Kajihara, although a lot less of his work seems to have been dumped and preserved. You know you’re in for a treat when you find one of his disks, though. I adore this man.

Comments from Mr. Arakawa and Yam-Yam:

B’zに影響を受けてるかもしれない
です。B’zのアルバムはどれも「買
い」だ!!!
11月にでる新しいフルアルバムが待
ちどうしいです。
(Yam-Yamの一言)
ラムネスのLD「買い」(笑)

Not the first time I have seen the ridiculously popular (in Japan) rock band B’z mentioned on a disk. The new album they were anticipating at the time these comments were written seems to be this, which would put the release of this disk at some time in the first three-quarters of 1991. The most reliable method of dating Japanese text from the 90′s: by what B’z album was coming out soon.

Japan “Assemblage” 1981. A compilation album of Japan’s early recordings. I picked this up fairly recently; I’ve never really listened to Japan but see them cited frequently as influencers to many bands I’m into. (I also remember seeing a lot of Japan records in the 80′s and liking David Sylvian’s new romantic/new wave hair.) Assemblage is a mix of art rock, post-punk and new wave. “Communist China” has lots of crazy experimental effects and vocal acrobatics. “Rhodesia” has a laid-back reggae flavor, the synth’s organ button turned up high. “Life in Tokyo” and “Quiet Life” are disco-y new wave (and probably my favorite tracks as they remind me of early Duran Duran big time, most especially “Planet Earth” and “Hold Back the Rain”). Two covers also appear on Assemblage:  Velvet Underground’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties” and Smokey Robinson’s “I Second That Emotion.” Both are almost unrecognizable, the former with its upfront beat and saxophone via keyboards, the latter because of the vocal delivery and the way it sounds like it was recorded underwater and through a big squishy pillow.

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Beat back Monday blues with this summer release from Deerhoof, “San Francisco-based superquartet known for its schizophrenic sound and mind-blowing live performances” that has “electrified audiences” for 16 years and counting (Interview Magazine).

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