Sunday, September 15, 2013

P050: Cabeza de Vaca – Japanese house

Not so many notes necessary to accompany this weeks Japanese house special on Cabeza de Vaca and Scanner FM .

Firstly a quick aplogy as this week I was very tired doing the show after a couple of 12 hour days and then a late night midweek to see Alfonso (Monkey Bar), Svreca (Semantica) and Eduardo de la Calle (Analog Solutions) at Razzmatazz. They also made me learn Ableton Live in the last minutes before starting to record so I was a bit unfocussed this week. For this reason I forgot to congratulate Tokyo on winning the Olympic Games bid. Congratulations!


One thing I didn’t mention either in the show is the recent crackdowns that have been reported against some of Japan’s clubs and dancers which at one stage seemed like it would threaten the potential of the club scene as a whole in Japan at a moment when it seems to be reaching a critical juncture, with wider exposure for festivals like Labyrinth, with Sonar and RA translating and translocating themselves into Japan/ese and a lot of exceptional artists steadily coming to the fore. It is not clear how much of a problem this is today, but it is clearly an important cultural issue that will need to addressed.

Resident Advisor

Time Out

The Guardian

Perhaps the biggest news is that we look like going up to four shows on Japanese electronica instead of three. The reason for this is a late influx of tracks following a couple of emails so now I can rearrange the surplus tracks with the new ones and build up to four. So next week will be all techno and the final show will be more experimental and IDM sounds.

Susumu Yokota opens the show with a track from one of his earliest albums which was one of my introductions to his work just as he began to peak with ambient and experimental works like “Image”, “Magic thread” and the legendary “Sakura”. The later certainly broke in to the public consciousness in a big way and got glowing reviews everywhere and anywhere just as it deserved. Since then it has been a bit more mixed in the public eye for him though. Certainly with 27 albums the quality cannot always be high, but his last albums “Dreamer” (2012) and “Kaleidoscope” (2010) were very diverse and satisfying, mixing dub techno, house and ambient and experimental interludes. It would be nice to see Yokota-san back in the limelight a bit more, but since is getting up towards two years since his last album, we might see something more from him soon?

There are a couple more veterans on the show, but without the same level of oeuvre as Yokota. Hiroshi Watanabe is a strong contender, but perhaps by spreading his work between his own name and his better known Kaito alias he has down played his influence slightly. As well, his Kompkat discography is impressive, but somewhat diluted down with the beatless versions of the albums. “Special life” subsequently came out as “Special love” whereas “A hundred million light years” also came out as the beatless “A hundred million love years”. This is not to take away from his productions. “Everlasting” is still one of the best Kompakt tracks ever released and still gives me shivers every time I play it. We wait with baited breath for the new album “Until the end of time”  due in October.

On the other hand the discography of Takuya Yamashita has been harder to verify. Discogs says “Japanese Techno DJ and producer, born in 1969 in Kobe” Which makes him a couple of years older than even me, but with almost no release information. Souncloud reveals an upcoming 12” on Cadenza

Beatport gives a bit more information about what he has been up to, but the details of the releases by his other aliases are hidden somewhere on the internet! We shall keep our eyes peeled for new information nonetheless. I am also intrigued to see a 40 year old man opening his account as a techno producer suggesting that there is no limit where there is will.

As for the younger producers, a couple of them coincidentally have some new release out.

Ryo Murakami has the album “Depth of decay” (see a previous post for details about the other Ryo Murakami ) with design by Stereociti!

Kez YM also has the “Late night blue sound” EP on City Fly

And a recent mix for them as well:

Not to be outdonce, Stereociti also posted a nice mix from the start of the year too:

Susumu Yokota
Mushroom girl
Sublime Records
Kez YM
Ragrange Records
Plug Research
Ryo Murakami
Late fall
Argumento Music Group
Takuya Yamashita
Outpost Recordings
Behind my life
Kuniyuki Takahashi
Get up with you (featuring Fumio Itabashi)
Mule Musiq

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