Chee Shimizu - Obscure Sound (a music book)

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Does anyone out there have a copy of this book by any chance? It's basically a list of interesting-looking LPs that may well have just been beamed from a dream of imaginary records. Subdivided into the following sections, I think there are about 50 records in each:

- Organic
- Ethnic
- Psychedelic
- Spiritual
- Experimental
- Cosmic
- Meditative
- Tropical
- Floating
- Mellow
- Pensive
- Groovy

I would absolutely love a complete list of records from it if anyone is willing and able?

plp will eat itself (NickB), Thursday, 27 July 2017 18:58 (three years ago) link

Published in 2013 in Japan btw.

There's a flick through its pages right here:

plp will eat itself (NickB), Thursday, 27 July 2017 18:59 (three years ago) link

Someone has also made a Discogs list of the first two chapters here:

plp will eat itself (NickB), Thursday, 27 July 2017 19:00 (three years ago) link

ooh this looks like a "cool" version of John Corbett's Vinyl Freak anthology

sleeve, Thursday, 27 July 2017 19:00 (three years ago) link

only copy i can find to buy is $207.00 US

plp will eat itself (NickB), Thursday, 27 July 2017 19:02 (three years ago) link

His instagram is quite nice to follow btw, a lot of his posts are of things he's sourced for his record store, and maybe half of it is rubbish who knows? but gosh there are so many intriguing and mysterious album covers on this our planet

plp will eat itself (NickB), Thursday, 27 July 2017 19:13 (three years ago) link

yeah there's probably a thread to be had on "record geek Instagram accounts" but I have not gone down that rabbit hole.

sleeve, Thursday, 27 July 2017 19:14 (three years ago) link

ha yes, 75% of the accounts I follow!

plp will eat itself (NickB), Thursday, 27 July 2017 19:21 (three years ago) link

this looks dope as hell!!

brimstead, Thursday, 27 July 2017 23:26 (three years ago) link

Oh man, after reading the Playing Favourites feature on him that Resident Advisor did, I desperately sought out the book, checking all sorts of Japanese sites. No luck, sadly.

Would love to see what else is in it, if someone has a copy (or easy access to one). One of those new record geek outlets (e.g., Record Magazine, Dust and Grooves) should republish it. Or one of these reissue labels.I would totally contribute to a kickstarter for it.

I would totally also nerd out on an instagram accounts thread. I think the closest thing was the dj's and their living rooms thread from a while back, which was a nice and weirdly satisfying one to follow.

Federico Boswarlos, Thursday, 27 July 2017 23:41 (three years ago) link

yeah that RA feature is great! maybe someone somewhere is working on a translation of the book, who knows?

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 28 July 2017 06:50 (three years ago) link

I have it but a bit too mammoth a task to list all the records. Next time I have insomnia maybe I'll do it though.

stirmonster, Friday, 28 July 2017 09:13 (three years ago) link

one record a week for the next 10 years plz

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 28 July 2017 09:17 (three years ago) link

would actually be a good listening club idea tbh

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 28 July 2017 09:18 (three years ago) link

just jokes btw but anytime you want to flag up a few select titles that would be awesome

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 28 July 2017 09:19 (three years ago) link

Keep hoping that this might come out in Eigo, I love the More Better Days compilation he curated last year, some fantastic music on there.

MaresNest, Friday, 28 July 2017 09:23 (three years ago) link

when i have some time, i will do. there is so much amazing music in it that it definitely needs to be shared more widely.

stirmonster, Friday, 28 July 2017 09:25 (three years ago) link

I had a total meltdown in the Books dept of Disc Union in Shinjuku a few years ago, so many amazing looking reference books that I'll never be able to read and that will never be translated.

MaresNest, Friday, 28 July 2017 09:26 (three years ago) link

Here is two from it that I had before I got a copy that I absolutely adore.

Michael O'Shea - Michael O'Shea -

林英哲 ‎– 風の使者 -林英哲-風の使者/master/636582

stirmonster, Friday, 28 July 2017 09:28 (three years ago) link

It was a potent mixture of option paralysis and total regret at throwing my entire life away by never going to University and moving to Japan when i was twenty so I could read books about Japanese music.

MaresNest, Friday, 28 July 2017 09:28 (three years ago) link

oooh i know that michael o'shea, came out on wire's label. beautiful record! thank you stirmonster!

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 28 July 2017 09:30 (three years ago) link

maresnest i hear u and i heart u

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 28 July 2017 09:31 (three years ago) link

And two I discovered from the book -

Música Esporádica ‎– Música Esporádica -úsica-Esporádica-Música-Esporádica/release/2659986

Takashi Toyoda - Big Bang -

away for the weekend but will post some more next week.

stirmonster, Friday, 28 July 2017 09:35 (three years ago) link

my man! thank you!

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 28 July 2017 09:36 (three years ago) link

I never even knew that Dome put out other people's records, but I'm sure I must have known that at one point.

MaresNest, Friday, 28 July 2017 09:40 (three years ago) link

Just that, the A.C. Marias 7" and also the highly recommended Desmond Simmons "Alone On Penguin Island" album.

stirmonster, Friday, 28 July 2017 10:08 (three years ago) link

would actually be a good listening club idea tbh

― plp will eat itself (NickB), vrijdag 28 juli 2017 9:18 (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I'd totally be up for this.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 28 July 2017 11:19 (three years ago) link

we could do that if people are keen? not sure how many are on spotify / youtube but definitely some of them are

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 28 July 2017 13:12 (three years ago) link

Awesome, thanks for sharing these stirmonster, will also check these out!

Federico Boswarlos, Friday, 28 July 2017 14:23 (three years ago) link


brimstead, Friday, 28 July 2017 15:04 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

So there is a copy that just came up for $100 on Amazon's marketplace which, despite my better judgment, I am so tempted to buy....

Federico Boswarlos, Wednesday, 6 September 2017 18:55 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Going to try and revive this one - anyone actually want to try out the listening club idea? Or even just individually post interesting otherwise unknown discoveries from it? Could start with ones featured in the discogs list upthread. Even if it's the few of us, it would be a good excuse - for me at least - to finally try and seek some of these albums out and get around to listening to them!

Federico Boswarlos, Thursday, 2 November 2017 15:49 (two years ago) link

i totally forgot about this. i'll post some records from it. will try and make some of them ones i don't know so it motivates me to check them out too.

stirmonster, Thursday, 2 November 2017 17:27 (two years ago) link

I frame stepped through part of the Vimeo of the dude flipping through it... was able to grab some titles that way

Yes I am pathetic

brimstead, Thursday, 2 November 2017 18:56 (two years ago) link

Thanks stirmonster

brimstead, Thursday, 2 November 2017 18:56 (two years ago) link

Yeah, thanks Stirmonster. Let's get this show on the road.

Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 2 November 2017 23:31 (two years ago) link

Here's 5 from the "Floating" chapter (picked at random). If the whole album isn't on Youtube you'll find some tracks on the Discogs links. I'll also give the number the record has in the book and the genre Chee assigned to it.

1) Harmonia - Deluxe (Germany, 1975) 441 Rock

I'm guessing there is no need to link this one.

2) D-Day - Grape Iris (Japan, 1986) 449 New Wave

I have this one. Comes as a picture disc inside a normal album sleeve. It's an album of two halves so worth listening right through as it is quite a schizophrenic album and the first few tracks in particular are radically different from my personal favourites on the album - "Sweet Sultan", "Dust", "Ki-Ra-I" and "Float A Bort" which could all have made up an imaginary legendary EP on mid 80s 4AD.

3) Hiroshi Yoshimura - Surround (Japan, 1986) 459 Ambient

A holy grail record for me; been after this forever and hoping it will eventually see a reissue. Probably the most "floating" of these. Ecstatic ambient.

4) Litto Nebbia ‎– Canciones Para Cada Uno Vol.1 (Argentina, 1978) 464 Rock

I know nothing about this one. Haven't heard it yet.

5) Roberto Musci / Giovanni Venosta ‎– Water Messages On Desert Sand (UK, 1985) 475 Experimental

Released on Recommended Records. I haven't heard this one. Only thing I know by him is "Tower Of Silence' which Music From Memory put out last year. I'm pretty sure Music From Memory have taken inspiration from this book.

stirmonster, Friday, 3 November 2017 01:25 (two years ago) link

Oops. Hiroshi Yoshimura Youtube link in wrong place but i'm sure you can navigate your way through anyway.

stirmonster, Friday, 3 November 2017 01:27 (two years ago) link

I love the Musci/Venosta records, they were on Mutantsounds for a while

sleeve, Friday, 3 November 2017 01:31 (two years ago) link

this is terrific, thank you stirmonster!

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 3 November 2017 07:03 (two years ago) link

I'm mostly going to be away the next few weeks so here's another 5 to keep you going.

From the "Spiritual" chapter.

Amaia Zubiria, Pascal Gaigne - Egun Argi Hartan (Spain, 1985) 183 World

Codona (Colin Walcot, Don Cherry, Naná Vasconcelos) - Codona 3 (Germany, 1987) 187 Jazz

Eitetsu Hayashi - Kaze No Shisha (Japan, 1983) 190 Contemporary林英哲-風の使者/release/3232319

This is the only one of these I have. I adore this record which is in a similar vein to some Yas-Kaz or Geinoh Yamashirogumi. I can't find any Youtube videos for this but one of the tracks can be heard at 45 mins here -

Ivory Playground - Scattered Clouds (Germany, 1986) 200 Contemporary

Naná Vasconcelos ‎– Zumbi (Brazil, 1983) 210 Worldá-Vasconcelos-Zumbi/release/1853826

stirmonster, Friday, 3 November 2017 13:21 (two years ago) link

not sure why a couple of those links don't work. you'll have to cut and paste and actually, the Eitetsu Hayashi track starts at 40 minutes on that mix.

stirmonster, Friday, 3 November 2017 13:25 (two years ago) link

Have spent the morning listening to the Yoshimura. Halfway through the weather shifted and a breeze must have picked up because all the old leaves on the big sycamore outside my window started floating down to the ground

Just saw that the first Yoshimura is being reissued next month btw:

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 3 November 2017 13:26 (two years ago) link

The label says more Yoshimura reissues are on the way.

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 3 November 2017 13:28 (two years ago) link

Hooray, thanks again stirmonster! I'm going to start with the Yoshimura as well. Yes, perfect music for the Fall weather.

Also thanks for reposting about the reissues NickB, it didn't even come across my radar at the time. Going to seek them out!

Federico Boswarlos, Friday, 3 November 2017 13:42 (two years ago) link

yes, and Yoshimura's "Pier & Loft" recently got a vinyl issue for the first time.

stirmonster, Friday, 3 November 2017 13:46 (two years ago) link

oh man, there's one song on that Naná Vasconcelos that I love, it's basically just vocals and drums.

brimstead, Friday, 3 November 2017 14:25 (two years ago) link

Yes, saw that - from Mr. Shimizu himself, it seems! I pre-ordered the Music for Nine Postcards and am excited about what else of his they may be putting out.

Onto D-Day and am feeling those 4AD vibes. This is great stuff, thanks for posting it.

Federico Boswarlos, Friday, 3 November 2017 18:38 (two years ago) link

Pepe Maina ‎– Il Canto Dell'Arpa E Del Flauto

this is by far the best record i've gleaned from the book so far... eclectic rhythmic ambient instrumental space folk.. an absolute joy

brimstead, Saturday, 4 November 2017 00:21 (two years ago) link

That's what I understood as well. I got a nice reply back and have a copy reserved for February 2020.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 29 November 2019 09:54 (eleven months ago) link

Same here. Thanks for the heads up.

stirmonster, Friday, 29 November 2019 13:55 (eleven months ago) link

one month passes...

I am going to check out his record store in Tokyo in March. Excited! Anyone been?

dsb, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 19:40 (nine months ago) link

wow, plz report back!

subway Stalinist (sleeve), Wednesday, 8 January 2020 19:52 (nine months ago) link

Have not visited the store but he posts new arrivals regularly on his IG. Looks like a stellar shop.

Yelploaf, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 21:36 (nine months ago) link

one month passes...

Shipping now!

stirmonster, Friday, 14 February 2020 06:42 (eight months ago) link

"+ tape" it said in the mail! That'll be the "special gift" then? Stoked.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 14 February 2020 07:45 (eight months ago) link

sure looks like it

budo jeru, Friday, 14 February 2020 15:34 (eight months ago) link



sleeve, Friday, 14 February 2020 15:35 (eight months ago) link

Can't wait for this.

bamboohouses, Friday, 14 February 2020 17:01 (eight months ago) link

two weeks pass...

My copy has arrived! With cassette. Such a beautiful book, and the new chapters (on Yasuaki Shimizu, ECM, Japanese ambient etc) seem pretty bang on with what I want to listen to right now...

Anyone want to do a cover-to-cover listening thread?

bamboohouses, Sunday, 1 March 2020 08:35 (seven months ago) link

BTW, I think some selections from the previous edition have been removed - the Mellow, Groovy, Tropical chapters are gone, and at a quick glance, Frida's Something's Going On has been removed...

bamboohouses, Sunday, 1 March 2020 08:42 (seven months ago) link

ah i keep forgetting to order this! thanks for the reminder, when i get my copy i would be happy to embark upon a listening odyssey

adam, Sunday, 1 March 2020 12:51 (seven months ago) link

still waiting......

stirmonster, Sunday, 1 March 2020 17:46 (seven months ago) link

^^ same.

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 2 March 2020 08:29 (seven months ago) link

i was late with my order and then i never heard back from chee, so i've ended up ordering from

also ordered this at the same time cos it looks like fun:,204,203,200_.jpg

ymo sumac (NickB), Monday, 2 March 2020 13:28 (seven months ago) link

This guide book features various albums recorded & produced in Japan, ranged from Easy Listening, Mood Music, New Age, Ambient, Pops, Rock, Disco, New Wave, Movie OST till Cartoon OST. Under the supervision of Shotaro Matsumoto who is a famous store manager of Coconut Disc record shop, 10 writers introduce about 600 discs."Walearic" is a word coined by Matsumoto, connecting "Wa"(means "Japanese" in Japanese) and "Balearic" club music established in Ibiza, Spain through '00s. As a matter of fact, Walearic is not exactly the same as Balearic. Matsumto was inspired by the vague concept of Balearic which crossovers any genres, and coined the new genre Walearic under his own aesthetics. As you may know, the demand for Japanese vinyls recorded in 70s & 80s has been rising among the collectors worldwide. This guide book will be the ultimate tool for them to dig the discs.

ymo sumac (NickB), Monday, 2 March 2020 13:30 (seven months ago) link

oh sweet just threw that in my cdjapan order. lotta porn on that website.

adam, Monday, 2 March 2020 15:22 (seven months ago) link

it came !!!

budo jeru, Friday, 13 March 2020 03:59 (seven months ago) link

I've got a copy too - so good! It's kind of nice that it'll take a million years to read it with Google Lens. Also cool that the tape comes with a download.

cooldix, Friday, 13 March 2020 04:34 (seven months ago) link

Is that Walearic book all in Japanese? Guessing it is but wanted to confirm as this seems right up my street.

Hopefully my Obscure Sounds arrives soon as well.

Thebunk, Friday, 13 March 2020 11:52 (seven months ago) link

the walearic book is also in japanese and roughly the same format as obscure sound

ysi that tape? mine didn't come with one

adam, Friday, 13 March 2020 13:49 (seven months ago) link

Mine came too. I am currently bereft of opportunity to listen to the tape so second the ysi request. Will happily send some Obscure Sound music i have in return. T

stirmonster, Friday, 13 March 2020 18:44 (seven months ago) link

Totally delving into it tonight.

stirmonster, Friday, 13 March 2020 18:44 (seven months ago) link

Send me an email via my profile if you want to have a listen to the mix.

bamboohouses, Saturday, 14 March 2020 07:55 (seven months ago) link

I hope mine comes with a cassette. Don’t recall even seeing an option when I was emailed though an option of with or without a cassette. Is it just being sent randomly?

Thebunk, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 11:47 (seven months ago) link

My cassette is numbered 189/200, so looks like I got lucky. Reminds me I really must give it another listen.

cooldix, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 12:31 (seven months ago) link

i now have my Obscure Sounds! and my Walearic Disc Guide! really looking forward to digging through those with youtube accompaniment once my job stops being a whirlwind of panic

ymo sumac (NickB), Tuesday, 17 March 2020 12:41 (seven months ago) link

thank you so much bamboohouses! now all I need is a trackless, I expect it will pop up on Discogs soon enough

when I was looking for it I realized that Chee Shimizu has some other, older mixes as well

sleeve, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 14:51 (seven months ago) link

ffs trackLIST

sleeve, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 14:51 (seven months ago) link

Got my book delivered on Friday with the cassette (181/200). Haven’t had a chance to dig into either with my 4yo son bouncing off the walls due to COVID induced cabin fever. Hopefully soon.

Thebunk, Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:29 (seven months ago) link

few days ago a friend dropped off a tape deck, so i was finally able to hear the mix — it’s good !

it'll take a million years to read it with Google Lens.

not sure exactly what this is but will look into if that means having a rough translation of the blurbs. as is i’ve been enjoying paging through at random and then digging around on youtube or wherever to find a sound clip

budo jeru, Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:35 (seven months ago) link

How are you all reading this? Am I the only person who doesn't read Japanese? Want this book very badly but not to look at pictures.

Paul Ponzi, Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:40 (seven months ago) link

Using the Google Lens app, you can get surprisingly decent translations by hovering your phone camera over the text. Might be a bit hard to read it cover to cover this way, but good for individual listings. Check it out!

cooldix, Monday, 23 March 2020 00:33 (seven months ago) link

Thanks for the tip cooldix. Never even realized this was a thing. Also I have the Wa-learic book onroute so this will be extremely handy for both books. Cheers!

Thebunk, Monday, 23 March 2020 10:41 (seven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

OK, I just made my first random purchase based on this, and it's amazing (thanks Facebook vinyl trading group). Morgan Fisher - 'Flow Overflow'. Former Mott the Hoople (!) keyboardist moves to Tokyo and makes ambient/environmental/TV commercial music not unlike Yoshimura and co. I'll have to make a vinyl rip cos the only online I could find is from an uptight Soulseeker doing FLAC trade-only. His 'Water Music' is on social media and also quite lovely.

Anyone else made any discoveries?

cooldix, Saturday, 11 April 2020 14:07 (six months ago) link

Social media... I mean, streaming services.

cooldix, Saturday, 11 April 2020 14:08 (six months ago) link

I still dig the Glen Velez and Per Tjernberg records I discovered through that Spotify playlist

the mixtape is up on Discogs now, but with no tracklist - get to work, trainspotters!

sleeve, Saturday, 11 April 2020 16:04 (six months ago) link

I'd love to hear the morgan fisher record if you ever get around to ripping it. Water music is nice.

Deflatormouse, Sunday, 12 April 2020 20:42 (six months ago) link

Hey Deflatormouse (and anyone interested), I've made a vinyl rip of the Morgan Fisher record. Not sure the best way to share?

cooldix, Saturday, 18 April 2020 11:51 (six months ago) link

three months pass...

Some five months later but it arrived today and I love it! Seriously impressed with all obscure Dutch releases I've never even heard of.

Google translate lens app actually works, though it's tiresome to read the whole book in one go like that. The blurbs have a nice bitsize though. Looking forward to starting with the ambient section first. Will have to make sure slsk has enough feul in the tank to help me track some of this stuff down!

Scampidocio (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 24 July 2020 16:34 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

this Priscilla Ermel retrospective is really hitting the "obscure sound" sweet spot for me atm

sleeve, Tuesday, 1 September 2020 18:26 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

i finally got round to listening to Chee's tape that comes with the book.


i got about two thirds through side 1. he's trolling with this, isn't he?

stirmonster, Monday, 12 October 2020 17:10 (two weeks ago) link

how so?? The tape is on my Discogs wantlist but of course it never turns up

Paul Ponzi, Monday, 12 October 2020 17:38 (two weeks ago) link

lotta smooth acoustic guitars? that’s the impression I got surfing through the albums in the book

brimstead, Monday, 12 October 2020 17:39 (two weeks ago) link

xp that was a legit q, haven’t heard it myself

brimstead, Monday, 12 October 2020 17:40 (two weeks ago) link

it is the opposite of smooth acoustic guitars. more musique concrete head frying collage with the odd lapse into pleasant percussion before some more ganrly spoken word bit kicks in again. It slightly reminded me of early Current 93 type sound collages which I like just fine but wasn't really expecting here.

stirmonster, Monday, 12 October 2020 18:17 (two weeks ago) link


stirmonster, Monday, 12 October 2020 18:17 (two weeks ago) link

as I noted on the Discogs page, I would love to see even a partial tracklist of this cuz I have no fuckin clue

sleeve, Monday, 12 October 2020 18:48 (two weeks ago) link

Side 2 is something else entirely. I would also love a tracklist of this side.

stirmonster, Saturday, 17 October 2020 17:45 (one week ago) link

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