Haruomi Hosono

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Before he was in YMO, he made some solo records. Is there any that you'd especially recommend?

Daniel, Monday, 19 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

no

bob, Wednesday, 21 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

hey don't get us bobs mixed up now. i'd be interested to know about hosono & his happy end (not that godawful female beass band who went by the same name). fuck what that alan minter-face lopez woman has done to "firecracker" by YMO , though, i mean MOST pointless woman with a fat arse and a boxer's face in the world or what. faecal smearge on her part. whay can't she stay home instead of going to the studio with her lackeys?

bob snoom, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...
Of his '70s albums, Bon Voyage Co., Tropical Dandy, Pacific, and Cochin Moon are all pretty great exotic pop albums. 'Hosono House,' his first album from 1973 is the only one that isn't very interesting. Overall, my favorite album of his is 'Omni Sight Seeing' from 1989, which Miharu Koshi plays on. It has a great Eastern (like Arab) vibe.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 12 May 2005 03:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Miharu Koshi—a Hosono protege—is fantastic, I love all her 80s albums. Autoportrait is a good compilation.

I'd highly recommend Hosono's Monad Box, a collection of three of his instrumental and ambient records from the early 80s. My favourite of the discs included is Coincidental Music, which is short pieces made for advertising and promotional films. Sort of electronic Satie. Rather more delicate and strange than Sakamoto's work of the period.

Hosono's best solo song album is S-F-X, a Fairlight-heavy opus from 1984. There's a clip of one track here. And here are some pictures of Hosono, who's now a bit fatter, plays in Sketch Show, and runs the Daisyworld label.

Momus (Momus), Thursday, 12 May 2005 17:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I have Bon Voyage and Tropical Dandy and love them to death. (a friend of mine pointed out that a few tunes on these are practically randy newman progressions, which I never noticed). are the "tin pan alley" ones on par with those?

Unfortunately, getting any of this in the US is near impossible. the only other thing i've managed to track down (through dusty groove) was this bizarre early 80's record that he was apparently only partially involved with, which was a strange "top of the pops" sort of medley of about 15 60's-70's pop/disco standards and a few mediocre jazz-fusion originals.

b'angelo, Thursday, 12 May 2005 17:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I want to hear these albums very badly, especially Cochin Moon. They're close to impossible to find here.

'More delicate and strange' than early 80's Sakamoto is quite a teaser. Sakamoto's B-2 Unit and Esperanto are already fairly strange (if not delicate) records, but those were the odd ones out.

milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 12 May 2005 18:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

As a big YMO fan, who indeed hasn't indeed gotten to the bottom of their own back catalogue, are there any websites or articles that explains the YMO family tree and recommends any further listening?

mzui (mzui), Thursday, 12 May 2005 18:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Most of Hosono's albums are very easy to find in Japan, especially his '70s ones. The only one I own, though, is 'S-F-X'. But your best bet is www.cdjapan.co.jp I make a lot of orders from there.

I agree with Momus--Miharu Koshi is one of the greatest, most underrated Japanese artists of the '80s. She evolved from an insiginifant pop idol in the late '70s to a completely original synth-pop artist. Since the late '80s she's become a bit too idiosyncratic for my tastes ('Chanson Solaire' from '95 is probably her best from that era), but her albums are still beautifuI and I have the highest respect for her. She's due for a new album soon. I think 'Boy Soprano' from '85 is her best album--a perfect combination of her early synth-pop work and later chanson stuff. Unfortunately, her stuff is very hard to find, even in Japan. Her albums pop up on ebay, but they're always quite expensive. 'Boy Soprano' is probably the easiest to find.

One of my favorite Hosono-related bands is Chakra. They put out only three albums in the early '80s, and Hosono produced their second. They're all utterly essential exotic pop albums. Makoto Yano (Akiko Yano's first husband) produced their first album. The singer, Mishio Ogawa, put out four solo albums too, and they're also essential (especially her s/t). The last three were just reissued a few weeks ago actually, and I had never heard them beforehand. So I'm excited about those...they're very good.

Now that I'm talking about Japanese synth-pop, I'll make a few more recommendations. I recently discovered Taeko Onuki (or Ohnuki) and am completely in love. She started in the mid '70s, making more fusion-oriented pop albums, and then she teamed up with Ryuichi Sakamoto in the late '70s and started churning out one amazing pop album after the next. 'Adventure' (1981) is probably my favorite, but I have a lot that I've yet to hear!

Moon Riders are another of my favorites. They've been around since the '70s as well and, in my opinion, reached their peak in the early '80s with 'Mania Maniera' and 'Tokyo wa...'. They've spanned a lot of different style, but never put out a bad album.

Perhaps my favorite is Masami Tsuchiya's 'Rice Music' album (1982) and his follwing Ippu-Do album 'Night Mirage' (1983). Members of the band Japan assist on those two albums, as well as the fretless great Percy Jones. Bowie-esque vocals, experimental, angular guitar work (plus Bill Nelson doing his e-bow thing), completely out of control bass playing, steel drums, layers of synths, etc. Basically it's a hilariously awesome rhythm section with great songs too. I couldn't recommend these two albums more. It's too bad that 'Night Mirage' was never released on CD and 'Rice Music' is impossible to find on CD.....

Oh, and P-Model is another synth-pop great.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 12 May 2005 19:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

And, addressing that last question, these two sites are by far the best out there on Japanese synth-pop.

http://park10.wakwak.com/~techno/

http://www.artcontext.com/music/artskool/jem

That second one appears to be currently down for some reason....

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 12 May 2005 19:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I just listend to Cochin Moon today!

Dominique (dleone), Thursday, 12 May 2005 19:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hey Leone, I was going to send you an email earlier about how I appreciated you Wha-ha-ha review. In the review you said the singer goes by Mishio...well that's Mishio Ogawa that I was talking about up there. Check out Chakra! You should dig them. I much prefer them to Wha-ha-ha, who are a bit too off the wall for my tastes.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 12 May 2005 19:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

By the way, if anybody wants any of the stuff I recommended (or any other J synth-pop that I might have) just send me an email and I can hook you up.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 12 May 2005 19:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think I must do that

I love Wha-ha-ha

milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 12 May 2005 20:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I still can't get over how those Wha-ha-ha albums are getting this much (though minute in the scheme of things) attention. I mean they're good, but they're just so obscure. I can think of so many things that should logically receive attention before those. I'm not criticizing anything, I just find it odd. Is there some connection to this band that I'm missing? Any non-Japanese players on it?

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 04:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

ReR put out a Wha-ha-ha compilation in the 80s that exposed them to Westerners (albeit ones into avant-prog and experimental music). I haven't really seen a lot of other reviews for them, but I'm guessing that some people just remember that LP.

Also, apparently Mishio was in Killing Time, so I need to check her out.

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 13 May 2005 11:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Ah okay.

Yes, I've been looking for Killing Time for a long time. Please let me know if you get a hold of their stuff.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 11:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

There's also an album by Love, Peace & Trance from the '90s. Mishio is "Trance," two women I'm unfamiliar with are the "Love" and "Peace" and Haruomi Hosono is the "&". The cover is kind of funny in that way. It's from '94 I think and kind of worldy...a bit more ambient too. Worth checking out.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 11:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Bon Voyage and Tropical Dandy thirded or whatever. yes the Randy Newman progressions, but they also remind me of James Taylor or something equally soft. which may be a compliment since Don Cornelius called him the funkiest white man ever.
and yes to Cochin Moon (placed it on my Pitchfork list of the 70s), but it's completely different. never familiarized myself with YMO though.

Beta (abeta), Friday, 13 May 2005 15:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, there is definitely a strange smooth singer/songwriter vibe to them- for some reason I kept thinking Van Morrison, but that might be more vocal style/phrasing than anything else. How would you characterize Cochin Moon as different? curious because it is one of the few things hypothetically US-available, albeit w/a $40+ price tag

b'angelo, Friday, 13 May 2005 15:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Cochin Moon is about the furthest possible thing from a singer-songwriter vibe: imagine a tropical space world where all matter flows in and out of states, and everyone uses Tangerine Dream's keyboards. "It's a trip."

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 13 May 2005 15:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

sounds like a good place to be, then. Is that the one that tadanori yokoo had some sort of involvement with?

b'angelo, Friday, 13 May 2005 16:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yes, apparently the cover design was yokoo's. Check it out:

http://www.sonymusicshop.jp/smdr/sms/img/goods/L/KICS-1139.jpg

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 13 May 2005 16:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

where do you find it for $40?

Beta (abeta), Friday, 13 May 2005 19:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

making out a yesasia order for Cochin Moon todays. not sure whether to order the 2nd or 3rd album or a copy of S-F-X... are the 2nd and 3rd albums very similar to the first?

Patrick; Dleone's correct about the ReR connection, I grew up as a Recommended Records fanboy, buying anything they'd put out... Though I didn't finally hear Wha-Ha-Ha until researching backwards from the first Haniwa All-Stars record, which blew my mind in the early 90's. My interest in Senba's early Haniwa records & Wha-Ha-Ha is precisely because they're so eccentric & hard to figure out. I don't imagine they're particularly representative of early 80's JPop.

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 13 May 2005 19:37 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Milton, I NEED those Haniwa albums!! Is there any way I can get a hold of those from you? Please let me know. I can hook you up with the Chakra albums or whatever else you need.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 23:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

milton.parker@gmail.com -- I've got all four of them and would love to trade for Chakra, solo Mishio, anything else

the yesasia site is listing this album in hosono searches, the title is killing me... have you heard it?

http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=FHCF-2344

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 13 May 2005 23:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, I have that one. Though it's probably not as "bizarre" as you'd think. Moon Riders are fairly accessible by our standards. Their earlier albums are superior in my opinion. I'm a huge fan, and have most of their albums ('Amateur Academy' from 1984 is the one I really need). I'll email you.

The easiest way for me to get this stuff to you is through Soulseek. My name on their is Magazine, so message me if you use that program. The only other way I can think of is YSI, which will take a little while (though it's not too much trouble really).

B'angelo has some requests too. Whatever you guys request, I'll get it to you some time this weekend (or now if you have slsk).

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 23:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Basically, the ideal music for me is early '80s exotic Japanese synth-pop with fretless bass and steel drums.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Friday, 13 May 2005 23:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Cochin Moon recently has been reissued on CD in Japan. When I was in Tokyo in April, Tower had at least a half dozen copies. Don't sleep--this is an all-time classic of next-level exotica, abounding with bizarre synth tones and textures.

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Saturday, 14 May 2005 00:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Has he done any more stuff along the lines of SFX? I enjoyed that very much...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 17 June 2005 17:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Reissue of Cochin Moon sounds great btw.

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 17 June 2005 18:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

still need to hear SFX, but thanks again to patrick for setting me up with that massive trade.

Cochin Moon, way closer to mid-70's Cluster than I would have ever expected (though I do prefer Cluster). A surprise, even given Dominque's Tangerine Dream reference -- definitely in the 70's trance/synth records pantheon.

Bon Voyage & Tropical Dandy much more tin-pan-alley than electronic, but Paraiso is off-kilter, lays the way out for the first YMO. Omni Sight Seeing, thumbs up if you like late YMO. I like Hosono's solo mainstream pop records much more than Sakamoto's, no contest.

Miharu Koshi's Boy Soprano, wow.

And the Mishio Ogawa & Chakra stuff is eye-opening after a lifetime of Haniwa fandom. Chakra's much more straightforward / less quirky, but I'm very happy just to be able to place Haniwa in context with, well, _anything_.

Boy Soprano, the Mishio Ogawa debut, & Cochin Moon are the three I ordered online after hearing the mp3's.

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 17 June 2005 20:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
Cochin Moon is very enjoyable -- if not particularly immediate, which makes it perhaps a little odd how universally admired it appears to be (Best of the 70's lists and all). I confess it only really impacted me when I went through a heavy analog phase. Also, I'm only hearing the early Cluster '71 in the "Malabar Hotel" sections, really -- I do enjoy how mutilated all the vocals are, however...

Am I correct that this has Sakamoto on it?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 21 November 2005 03:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

yes

Dominique (dleone), Monday, 21 November 2005 15:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I did eventually get S-F-X, and I like it okay -- side one is his tin-pan-alley songwriting poured into super clunky mid-80's j-electro, and side two are abstract quiet instrumentals. 'Alternative 3' is a very disjointed cut-up track that sounds like where Holger Hiller ended up on As Is about six years later, and 'Androgena' is a duet with Miharu Koshi and I heart Miharu Koshi.

I dunno though... even though his pop is weirder than Sakamoto's, Sakamoto's pure experimental albums (B-2 Unit & Esperanto) are 1000% more bizarre and advanced than Hosono's, those albums are timeless.

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 21 November 2005 23:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

First time I heard Cochin Moon was while tripping on acid with members of Vas Deferens Organization. I wish I could freeze that moment in time forever; it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. I owe those guys a huge debt of gratitude for introducing me to that album and many other obscure psychedelic classics.

original plagiarist, Tuesday, 22 November 2005 01:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

hey dominique

http://us.yesasia.com/en/PrdDept.aspx/pid-1004088657/code-j/section-videos/

(this should probably go on the noise board's wha-ha-ha thread but too late)

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 01:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

oh hell they deserve their own thread anyways

Kiyohiko Senba and his Haniwa All Stars

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 02:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

SFX has some fantastic Fairlight stuff on it, though. And enough listens to Cochin Moon have at least motivated me to think he's every bit as advanced/sophisticated/whatever as Sakamoto.

BTW, what exactly did Andy Partridge do on B-2 Unit?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 28 November 2005 02:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

definitely the rhythm guitar on "6 o'clock News", and there are other little plucks & screeches on other tracks that could be him, maybe. If you listen to the Mr. Partridge Take Away solo album from around the same time you can hear his basic vocabulary of weird guitar sounds

I dunno Matthew, you heard Esperanto?

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 03:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

r. stevie moore's 1980 review of take away

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 03:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

definitely the rhythm guitar on "6 o'clock News"

You mean that electric guitar in the right-channel that's barely audible and sounds as if it's unplugged? If so, that's...odd.

I dunno Matthew, you heard Esperanto?

Most of it — I just re-listened again this morning (have about 6 tracks downloaded). Assuming they aren't remixes, I'd say it's good but no B-2 Unit — lots mallet-y textures and ambience. But if you think I'm missing something, maybe I should re-download to verify that I'm listening to the right tracks.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 28 November 2005 16:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

First time I heard Cochin Moon was while tripping on acid with members of Vas Deferens Organization

ha, I first heard it with "members of the Vas Deferens Organization" too. My member was Eric

news you can use: japanese CDs are too damned expensive

Dominique (dleone), Monday, 28 November 2005 18:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

track 1 of Esperanto should be called "a WONGGA dance song" and it's anything but ambient...

I am beginning to miss the days when people were relatively certain they were talking about the same record. A few days ago at a dinner party someone put on something interesting, and when I asked what it was he said it was the new Boards of Canada. He didn't believe me when I told him that it wasn't, he just brought over to his iPod to show me the tags.

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 19:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

brought me over etc. & I know you're not like that Matthew, I'm just feeling ancient

I put on Omni Sight Seeing last night, that is definitely my favorite Hosono pop album, every song...

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 28 November 2005 19:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

First time I heard Cochin Moon was while tripping on acid with members of Vas Deferens Organization

And I first read that as "tripping on acid with members of Van Der Graaf Generator.

I am beginning to miss the days when people were relatively certain they were talking about the same record.

No kidding — but I think Dom's "news you can use" is the culprit in this instance. And actually, that's one of the 2 tracks I don't have. Still, p2p's are great for finding rarities...

Is there a good Hosono comp, btw?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 28 November 2005 20:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

ha, I first heard it with "members of the Vas Deferens Organization" too. My member was Eric

I had both Matt and Eric in the room, with running commentary and interpretive facial expressions. THAT is a proper introduction to Cochin Moon, let me tell you.

original plagiarist (Da ve Segal), Tuesday, 29 November 2005 04:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

BTW, Jon -- since it was on a separate EP that was only added to CD issues of SFX, have you heard the Hosono track "Non-Standard Mixture"? Just askin', b/c it's a great little Fairlight jam, me thinks -- not the clunky electro to which you referred above...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 01:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

to the YSI machine then!

Beta (abeta), Wednesday, 30 November 2005 02:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

that thing that funk records do where they just jam on for 3-4 minutes after the song's over is the coolest thing, I wish more genres would try stuff like that

frogbs, Friday, 3 May 2019 14:31 (one month ago) Permalink

ha yes!

i really need to get on those friends of earth records don't i?

Br. Des Shadows (NickB), Friday, 3 May 2019 14:49 (one month ago) Permalink

At $45 it's stretching what I'd normally pay for a single lp, but I had to order the 'Seaside Lovers' LP as well ;_;

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 6 May 2019 09:34 (one month ago) Permalink

it's one of the three or so albums I'd actually pay that much for

frogbs, Monday, 6 May 2019 13:29 (one month ago) Permalink

https://www.forcedexposure.com/App_Themes/Default/Images/product_images/close_up/w/WWSCD018CD_CU.jpg

Akiko Yano's brilliant 'Irohani-Konpeitou' is being reissued! Always think of this record - though not her debut - as her 'The Kick Inside'. It's so brazen and playful, with melodies to melt away to.

And speaking of: that article mentioned the reissue of 'Tadaima' last year, and that completely passed me by. Anyone bought it? Is it good?

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 14 May 2019 19:24 (one month ago) Permalink

This album, Tadaima, Gohan Ga Deki Tayo and Ai Ga Nakuchane are all of them great, Great records. Buy 'em all.

Carly Jae Vespen (Capitaine Jay Vee), Tuesday, 14 May 2019 20:14 (one month ago) Permalink

there's some merit to that LBI - as far as I know, the songs on I-K were written before those on Japanese Girl

always felt this one was a bit weaker than the surrounding albums (though I love track 5 "Ike Yanagida"), still will probably buy it for the sleeve alone, one of my favorite album covers ever

btw Oesu Oesu is another good one - it took a bit to sink in but I've come to see it as one of her best and most representative albums. after that she kinda got mired in that cycle of dated production/back-to-basics, though shes always a joy to listen to

frogbs, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 20:37 (one month ago) Permalink

I actually like this album from 1986 best: https://www.discogs.com/Akiko-Yano-峠のわが家/master/254757

Definitely slick mid 80s rock production there. Steve Ferrone on drums!

brimstead, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 21:09 (one month ago) Permalink

I bought the Tadaima reissue. I'm really happy with it as the artwork and sound quality are spot on. I saw they did Japanese Girl a couple of months ago. I should pick that up.

I still have hope that someone will reissue some of the Miharu Koshi albums at some point. I saw a copy of Parallelisme come up on Discogs for $75 and I really was tempted.

kitchen person, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 21:48 (one month ago) Permalink

particularly Boy Soprano, which I think is about as good as anything else mentioned in this thread. the version of "Ave Maria" is such a stunner, I can't do anything while it's playing

frogbs, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 22:44 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm a huge fan of 'Honto No Kimochi', a latter-day Akiko Yano rekkid, very beautiful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHDUZMjnvs8

MaresNest, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 23:02 (one month ago) Permalink

there's some merit to that LBI - as far as I know, the songs on I-K were written before those on Japanese Girl

I did not know that.

Thanks for that vid MaresNest, I'm still to discover her latter day records, this sounds great.

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 12:30 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah this is really nice. I'm currently digging her '92 solo piano record "Super Folk Song", though I think a lot of those songs are covers. at least one of 'em I swear is a Moonriders tune, though Akiko sorta makes everything her own so it's hard to tell

poking around YT...she definitely returned to weirdo technopop at some point. I think is from 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlYe-p_XChU&list=RDXAbjxBtESs0

frogbs, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 16:14 (one month ago) Permalink

Listen, I like creative design and all, but LITA can fuck right off with this:

http://i.imgur.com/IND19Uj.jpg

Trying to read that circle one is anger inducing.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 16 May 2019 17:56 (one month ago) Permalink

I frequently realize that what I love about YMO+ is slightly adjacent to what you all love. You might find this record interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiGeyJeBXcc

I ran the description through Google Translate and it says that Hosono was an 'advisor' (mistranslation?) on this album. It has the mark of Hosono.

Hideki Matsutake, the 'unofficial' (crucial) 4th member of YMO, deserves his own S&D thread. That's a DEEP rabbit hole.

3×5, Thursday, 16 May 2019 20:18 (one month ago) Permalink

BTW the above record is from '82, not '84, putting it closer to YMO's glory days.

3×5, Thursday, 16 May 2019 20:19 (one month ago) Permalink

I frequently realize that what I love about YMO+ is slightly adjacent to what you all love

would be curious for your elaboration on this!

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Thursday, 16 May 2019 20:20 (one month ago) Permalink

also, i really like that last track

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Thursday, 16 May 2019 20:24 (one month ago) Permalink

I bought the first YMO record, on yellow vinyl, 25 years ago. I was 14 and that record changed my life. I knew, right away, the impact YMO had on Japanese music because I could hear it in SNES and Sega soundtracks.

Part of they key to that early YMO sound is extensive programming of the Roland Microcomposer, the first digital, programmable sequencer. So while YMO weren't the first electronic pop band, they were the first to release computer-programmed pop. They're not 'loopy' or repetitive like Kraftwerk or other contemporaries.

The YMO sound I love is loungy, self-referentially Japanese, and predates MIDI and sample-based drum machines. When ILX goes into YMO deep-dives, they tend to go further into the 80s, but all the great material, YMO and related, happens from '77 to '81.

3×5, Thursday, 16 May 2019 20:44 (one month ago) Permalink

A couple of years back some friends and myself made a little internet radio show of Japanese Music for a little internet station for a few years, we did almost 70 editions, went pretty deep down some rabbit holes during that period and I'm pretty sure there wasn't one episode that passed without having a member of YMO (including Yanno and Matsutake) having a hand in some track, particularly Hosono, it fast became a running joke.

MaresNest, Thursday, 16 May 2019 20:44 (one month ago) Permalink

A couple of years back some friends and myself made a little internet radio show of Japanese Music for a little internet station for a few years

there are no little internet radio shows, only little internet people

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Thursday, 16 May 2019 20:50 (one month ago) Permalink

Yep, lol, Maresnest + Monkey 47 Gin + ILM access = redundancy

MaresNest, Thursday, 16 May 2019 20:54 (one month ago) Permalink

that show was pretty great...discovered a lot of neat stuff through there

I remember a question on some message board about who would be the "Kevin Bacon" in the music biz, the one person you could connect to virtually any artist via a few steps...my answer was Ryuichi Sakamoto

amusingly, P-Model (Japan's OTHER great technopop band) appears to have no connection whatsoever

frogbs, Thursday, 16 May 2019 20:59 (one month ago) Permalink

No connection to YMO, at all? Hmmm damn

MaresNest, Thursday, 16 May 2019 21:02 (one month ago) Permalink

unless you wanna get really tenuous - the producer of In a Model Room was the keyboard player for Plastics, which later splintered into Melon, who did an album with Snakeman Show, which appeared on Xoo Multiplies

what have I been doing with my life

frogbs, Thursday, 16 May 2019 21:13 (one month ago) Permalink

I remember a question on some message board about who would be the "Kevin Bacon" in the music biz, the one person you could connect to virtually any artist via a few steps...my answer was Ryuichi Sakamoto

i always thought this might be brian eno. in sakamoto's case it would be

eno ----> bowie <---- sakamoto

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Thursday, 16 May 2019 21:34 (one month ago) Permalink

A couple of years back some friends and myself made a little internet radio show of Japanese Music for a little internet station for a few years

The interview you did with Chris Mosdell (YMO lyricist) was most revealing iirc.

Zeuhl Idol (Matt #2), Thursday, 16 May 2019 23:32 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm the dummy here probably but I need to ask: what show was it?!

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 16 May 2019 23:40 (one month ago) Permalink

Matt it was Peter Barakan! I should have tracked down Mosdell too actually

MaresNest, Friday, 17 May 2019 09:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Not at all LBI, it's all here - https://www.mixcloud.com/japanalternativesessions/

MaresNest, Friday, 17 May 2019 09:34 (one month ago) Permalink

Oh yeah sorry, anyway I enjoyed his YMO-arguing-in-the-studio stories very much!

Zeuhl Idol (Matt #2), Friday, 17 May 2019 10:28 (one month ago) Permalink

Thanks MaresNest, that looks amazing! I've got 69 episodes to enjoy :)

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 17 May 2019 11:38 (one month ago) Permalink

Ah, yr welcome, if there's anything in there you like but have trouble tracking down hmu.

MaresNest, Sunday, 19 May 2019 20:07 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Not sure if this has been mentioned previously, but Hosono still has a weekly radio show called Daisy Holiday every Sunday on Tokyo's InterFM. It's quite chatty (not so good for non-Japanese speakers like me) but it's pretty cheerful.

I've finally managed to jump through the various VPN hoops needed to stream Japanese radio outside Japan (most of the big stations stream through one site, Radiko, which is locked down unbelievably strongly) and have started recorded episodes and putting them into a Google Drive folder. I'm also recording Towa Tei's show on J-Wave, and will be recording Sakamoto's bi-monthly show there too.

If anyone wants access, send me an email through the board and I'll add you to the folder.

bamboohouses, Monday, 20 May 2019 06:31 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Also, would it be worth starting a new thread specifically for reissues of Japanese records and compilations? There's been a ton of them in the last year or so, with a load more on the way...

bamboohouses, Monday, 20 May 2019 06:38 (four weeks ago) Permalink

daisy holiday playlists

visiting, Monday, 20 May 2019 06:52 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Oh fantastic, thanks for this!

bamboohouses, Monday, 20 May 2019 08:25 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Also, would it be worth starting a new thread specifically for reissues of Japanese records and compilations? There's been a ton of them in the last year or so, with a load more on the way...

― bamboohouses

Seems warranted. RA have been repping yet another J-reissue today: Yutaka Hirose's "ambient cult classic", Soundscape 2: Nova

millmeister, Monday, 20 May 2019 13:14 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I'd be up for a Japanese reissue thread!

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 20 May 2019 13:53 (four weeks ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ywyx9x/haruomi-hosono-interview-hochono-house?utM_source=noiseyfbus&fbclid=IwAR2nE789niYK0st5S5kZEQEwIyv4VFowTWSj2HvRfDXkkHs357XtsQPBQoI

Are you still interested in experimenting with new technology? It does seem like this new album manages to inject these old-fashioned songs with a more modern edge.
Yeah, there are all kinds of things I want to do. With boogie-woogie now, I've been doing it for about 10 years. But I want to do something new again now, and I'm currently lining up the equipment for it.

Looking back on all the different kinds of music you’ve worked on over the years, what do you think you’re the most proud of?
Let's see, among my solo albums, I like Philharmony and omni Sight Seeing, and...let's see…I forgot the rest [laughs]. I've done too many things. I've been doing this for 50 years, so I don't think about my own work that much.

"doing something new again" is a pretty exciting phrase isn't it

frogbs, Wednesday, 12 June 2019 21:46 (five days ago) Permalink

Very exciting indeed!!

MaresNest, Thursday, 13 June 2019 11:06 (four days ago) Permalink

Thirded! Nice interview, he comes across as such a sweet man.

I clicked through on the YT link for 'Pacific' in that interview, and it's got more than 1m views! That's quite a lot isn't it? How did that one get to these numbers? (Philharmony is at 390.000-ish, Omni not even 200.000)

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 13 June 2019 11:49 (four days ago) Permalink

Japanese views, I guess, they were huge weren't they?

MaresNest, Thursday, 13 June 2019 11:51 (four days ago) Permalink

Well, yeah :) Suppose it's probably just that, was wondering it it had been used for something or other.

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 13 June 2019 12:06 (four days ago) Permalink

Sorry yeah, stating the obvious really :) I'd bet there are millions of middle-aged, natsukashii salarymen for whom YMO and its components are still completely beloved.

MaresNest, Thursday, 13 June 2019 13:17 (four days ago) Permalink

Pacific has 1100+ ratings on RYM, far more than any other album he was involved with. I think its sort of a "Plastic Love" situation (one comment even calls it "YouTube-core").

frogbs, Thursday, 13 June 2019 13:20 (four days ago) Permalink

I'm surprised that Pacific wasn't one of the albums that Light In The Attic chose to reissue last year. It does seem to be his most well known album.

kitchen person, Thursday, 13 June 2019 13:48 (four days ago) Permalink

well, its a split LP - Hosono only wrote 3 tracks for it. from the interview:

I have no recollection of it [laughs]. It was an album project by Sony that gathered a bunch of different people—I was only called in to do it. But I've never listened to it much after making it.

frogbs, Thursday, 13 June 2019 14:00 (four days ago) Permalink

I really hope LITA gets around to reissuing Tropical Dandy, imo the best of his exotica-era records.

J. Sam, Thursday, 13 June 2019 14:09 (four days ago) Permalink

I prefer Bon Voyage Co., if only for the ending of "Tokyo Shyness Boy" - Hosono's scat singing is one of the most (unintentionally?) hilarious things I've ever heard on an LP

https://youtu.be/F4bQLRO7WF4?t=1m50s

frogbs, Thursday, 13 June 2019 14:25 (four days ago) Permalink


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