My Name is Prince! And I’m Jazz Fusion!

October 24th, 2016

Really quick, I wrote about (and shared) a hella stupid sex record on my other blog. Check it out if you like worthless cultural ephemera from the 1970s.

Also, in absolutely horrible news, Michiyuki Kawashima, the lead singer of Boom Boom Satellites, has passed away. He was 47 years old and leaves behind a wife and two children. His music touched me in a way that little else has. I already wrote two soliloquies on his band back when they had to call it quits due to his condition, one here and one at Mostly-Retro, and I feel that if I wrote more I’d just be repeating myself. I’ll just say that he’ll be missed, his music was a gift to this planet, and I hope you get the pleasure to hear it if you have the chance.

Moving on.

Some big music geek news this week, Warner Bros. announced that they were going to “open the Prince vault” and for a new release.

When I saw headlines for this, I was stoked. What were they going to include? Lost Camille tracks? Cuts from the original Dream Factory sessions? The Undertaker album? Any tracks from the numerous live albums that Prince recorded and never released?

Nah, instead they cobbled together another greatest hits compilation and stuck one unreleased track on it. Because in a world that has The Hits 1, The Hits 2, The Very Best of Prince and Ultimate Prince, what we really needed was another damn greatest hits album.

I get that they wanted to put something together for the holiday shopping season. I mean, it’s crass, unnecessary and kind of insulting, but I get it. But did they have to be so damn lazy about it? If they didn’t want to go through the bother of digging through unreleased material, the least they could’ve done is thrown in some more out-of-print B-sides or remixes to tide over the die-hards. A disc of “the hits” and a disc of rare tracks seems like it would’ve been a best of both worlds. We already have two, 2-disc Prince compilations. We don’t need a third.

We need funky jazz instead!

10 (The Perfect Mix)
(The Perfect) 10
Ten And A Half
6 (End Of The World Mix)
6 And A Half
As I said when I first wrote about Madhouse back in 2013, this group is one of three Prince associate acts that was more-or-less just Prince, the others being The Family and Mazarati. Unlike those acts though, which are very much pop groups, Madhouse was jazz fusion/funk. As such, and with Prince’s involvement in them not made obvious on the album jackets, no one bought them.

That includes me, I’ve never heard a Madhouse album proper. All I have are these two singles, which feature a handful of album tracks from the first album, a few remixes, and a couple b-sides (the “half” tracks). Madhouse tracks didn’t have names, just numbers, by the way.

While a lot of (deserved) attention has been placed on the unreleased Prince stuff out there, like I wrote back when Prince first passed away, I really wish Warner Bros. would get their shit together and put stuff like this back in print too. A best-case scenario would be some kind of Madhouse box set that includes both their albums, the b-sides and singles, and both versions of the unreleased third album, 24. However, I’d be happy with just the original albums back in print. So would a lot of other people, I assume.

Fucking Warner Bros., no wonder they drove Prince crazy.

Tokyo Record Stores and Forgotten Funk

October 6th, 2016




I finished my guide to record stores in Tokyo. It took me seven plus months and is something like 15,000 words. It’s easily the biggest thing I’ve ever written and is the most work I’ve ever put into something. I know it’s not perfect, but I am really proud of it so if you ever read this blog and thing “man, that Lost Turntable guy is dope I wish I could show him how much I appreciate him” then you can do that by sharing that thing.

Okay, done groveling, here’s B-grade 80s funk.

Mico Wave
Star Search (Shep Pettibone Mix)
Star Search (Edit)
Star Search (Instrumental)
Star Search (Acappella)
Mico Wave is a Bootsy Collins protege who released his sole album, Cooking From The Inside Out, in 1987.

(I really appreciate his commitment to the whole microwave pun.)

I know at one point I owned that album, but I can’t seem to find it physically or digitally, and that’s a real bummer. It’s not a lost classic, but it’s pretty damn good. This track, a failed single that didn’t chart, is Mico at his best. And by “his best” I mean “fully ripping off Prince.” Although I guess that’s not entirely fair. This track in particular is much more in the Zapp camp than in the Prince, embracing electro far more than the Purple One typically did. Makes sense that Mico would also spend part of the 80s working with Herbie Hancock during his electro phase.

Speaking of which…

Herbie Hancock
Vibe Alive (Edit)
I really wanted to share the 12″ version of this, but that’s on Amazon and iTunes now, so if you want that you’ll have to actually pay money. Consider this now out-of-print 7″ version a sampler of the main course.  Mico Wave co-wrote this one, alongside Hancock and Bill Laswell. Considering the caliber of those two giants, I wonder how the hell he got that gig. Did Bootsy have dirt on Herbie or something? I mean, Mico appeared to be a more-than-talented musician and songwriter, but going from “failed Prince rip-off” to “co-writer on a Herbie Hancock album” is a hell of a jump forward. Good for him, I hope he made that money while the getting was good, as he’s seemed to have completely vanished off the face of the earth. His last credit was in 1996, on an album by some group called The Devotees. I can’t find anything online about them, which is a real bummer considering that album featured appearances by Bernie Worrell, John Popper, Vernon Reid of Living Colour and Trey Gunn of King Crimson. Anyone got any info on that one? Sounds like something else.

Greg Hawkes To Save The Future

September 23rd, 2016

The world is a garbage fire of misery and despair! Let’s listen to obscure 80s music until we don’t feel anything anymore!

Greg Hawkes
Niagara Falls
Twenty-Seven Shirts
Modern Lunch
Backseat Waltz
I’m still ridiculously busy as of late so I don’t have the time to organize a well thought out together post, or even a haphazardly thought together one, so I think I’ll be sticking to some old-school, single artist highlights for a while.

Greg Hawkes is the keyboardist for The Cars. In 1983 he released Niagara Falls, a solo record comprised almost entirely of instrumental synth jams. It is the most dope shit you have never heard. Frighteningly ahead of its time in many ways, all while hearkening back to some of the best krautrock had to offer. It’s moody and introspective at times, while fun and upbeat at others. It’s one of the best instrumental electronic albums of its day and deserving of a second look. So of course it’s out of print.

For a while I was just going to share the album outright, it being out of print and all. But I’d rather start doing that less for albums that have any chance at all of being put back in print. And if the solo album by Elliot Easton can get a re-issue (with bonus tracks no less) I can’t see why Greg Hawkes’ won’t at some point in the future.

So, instead of just sharing the whole thing, here are a few cuts from him. The first two, “Niagara Falls,” and “Twenty-Seven Shirts” are two of my favorite tracks off of the album. They showcase the album’s moodier and darker side very well, and have some solid grooves and riffs. If some asshole in an ironic jean jacket put this out today, it would be called a synthwave classic and Pitchfork would give it an 8.3.

The other two are a little bit different, and are taken from the 12″ single to “Jet Lag,” the only single from the record (and probably the worst song on it). These are not on the album, and instead were taken from the soundtrack to the short film Citizen X, which I know nothing about so don’t ask. “Backseat Waltz” was co-written by Ocasek, making it the only Greg Hawkes solo tune to share a co-writing credit. Sadly, it is not the “Moving In Stereo” of Greg Hawkes songs, but it’s a solid track.

Holiday from my Holiday

September 14th, 2016

I’m not dead! I feel happy!

Eh, well, I feel okay I guess. Got some allergy shit going on and my leg is acting weird.

I’ve been gone for over a fucking month! Shit! That sucks. I really sorry about that. The first couple of weeks in August were busy as hell, and then the rest of the month (as well as the first week in September) were spent on vacation back in the states. Usually I find some time during my trips to set aside for writing, but that just couldn’t happen this time around. This vacation I saw family and friends in five states, took my boyfriend to about half a dozen or more museums, celebrated about seven birthdays (including my own) and got drunk on bloody marys more times than I’d like to admit. Sometimes life gets in the way of me posting random crap on the internet, and for that I apologize.

I’m still actually disgustingly busy now that I’m back in Tokyo and I have to make up for a month off, but I really wanted to get something up here. Luckily, I happened to find a holy grail single when I was in the states, so I hope this will help make up for my time away.


Holiday (Extended Remix)
Over And Over (Extended Remix)
In 1987 Madonna released You Can Dance, one of the very first remix albums. It’s comprised of extended remixes from her first three albums, as well as one new track, “Spotlight.” The mixes themselves are mixed into a continuous mix (save for when you have to flip the record). That makes for a fun, party-friendly, listening experience, but if you just want to listen to one of the tracks it’s kind of a bummer, as they get cut off suddenly mid-transition. A (very rare) promo CD did get out that features unmixed versions, but those versions were single edits, not the extended versions found on the album proper.

Only two of the remixes from You Can Dance have been released unmixed, and these are it. They were only made available on a promo release that featured them alongside the unmixed dub versions as well (which you can now find on the You Can Dance CD and digital version).

I’ve been looking for this promo for FUCKING AGES. I saw one in Tokyo once, but it was for well over $100. And while I love me some Madonna, I got my limits. Thankfully, I was at home last month (home being Jerry’s Records in Pittsburgh, PA) and he somehow had a copy buried in his Madonna section for a steal of a price. I even told him that it was priced too low, but he gave me the deal anyways, because Jerry is dope. Thank Jerry for his dope kindness by swinging by his store the next time you’re in the greater Pittsburgh area, and enjoy these insanely hard to find mixes.

I really, really hope to have something more substantial in the coming days and weeks. Things will definitely calm down come next month at the latest. Thanks to all for your continued patience.

Remixes Of Popular Artists You Might Have Heard Of (And Some Random Dance Act)

August 5th, 2016

Now we turn to the future, with optimism and DJ-only remixes of 80s synthpop.

Gangster (FBI Mix)
Let’s rank the New Order off-shoots/spin-offs. Because it’s Friday night, and I’m procrastinating.

I think it’s not a bold statement to proclaim the worst to be Peter Hook and The Light. That’s just a cheap cover band playing New Order and Joy Division songs so Hook can make a quick buck and not be bothered to create new material. The lazy refuge of a creatively-bankrupt sourpuss. In terms of proper groups though, I’d have to call Bad Lieutenant the worst of the bunch. I mean, that album they put out is dreadfully awful, and considering that group is Bernard Sumner and Phil Cunningham, that’s quite the accomplishment. Not a memorable hook or melody on that one. It’s a record that’s so unequivocally awful that I was downright motherfucking flabbergasted that New Order’s latest, Music Complete, was as great as it was. I thought for sure that it was the mark of Sumner losing it.

And then there’s Freebass, who only rank higher than Bad Lieutenant because who the fuck cares about Freebass.

With those acts out of the way we can talk about groups who actually put together a few solid tunes, if forgettable records. I would put Monaco and Revenge on the same level, although I bet that’s an unpopular opinion. Both wrote strong singles, just weak albums. I guess the same goes for The Other Two, but I rank them a little higher mostly because I really like Gillian’s voice and I find their band name to be one of the most painfully honest side-project band names of all time. That would be like Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam releasing a solo album with the title Not Mike McCready.

Obviously, that leaves Electronic. While my lack of disdain for Revenge might place me in the minority, I feel that my acclaim for Electronic is firmly within the zeitgeist of New Order aficionados. I mean, they had “Getting Away With It.” That pretty much makes them a lock for number one, right? That song is fucking classic.

This one less so. Which is why I wrote 300 or so words about subjects only tangentially related to it instead of writing about it proper.

Oh L’amour
Sin (Strange Thrill Mix)
Here’s a group you’ve never heard of. But give it a chance, because it’s a pretty dope track.

I honestly had never heard of these guys until I gave this record a spin, and I instantly liked it, despite its somewhat goofy nature and lyrics (“If loving you is a crime I’m guilty all the time.”) It really has a strange vibe, part late-70s disco, part early-80s hi-NRG, and part late-80s synthpop. And after I did some digging to discover the people behind the group, that all suddenly made sense. Sin is Ken Kessie and Morey Goldstein. Now, you’ve probably never heard those names before, but if you fancy yourself a fan of late-70s to early-80s dance tracks, then you’ve definitely heard their music before. Both of them were associates of hi-NRG god Patrick Cowley and his partner-in-fabulousness Sylvester, performing on several of Sylvester’s tracks in the early 80s. The duo also recorded music under the name Modern Rocketry, who gave us the greatest gay club anthems of the early 80s with “Homosexuality” and “Thank God For Men.”

This track is significantly less gay than those flamboyant bangers, but it’s still a quality tune.

Debbie Harry
Sweet And Low (Cha Cha Cha Mix)
Oh, Debbie Harry solo songs why do you have to be so bland and boring? It’s such a drag. How does someone star in Videodrome and then go on to make some of the most generic music of the decade? I maintain that she really should’ve used that movie as a stepping stone and based her entire aesthetic around it. We needed a pop song called “Long Live The New Flesh.” Oh well.

Japan Loves Disco and AOR

July 24th, 2016

Let’s bury our sorrows in Japanese covers of forgotten 70s tracks.

Ryuichi Sakamoto
You’re Friend To Me
This is a cover of the Sister Sledge song “You’re A Friend To Me.” Note that the absence of an “A” is not a typo on my part, that’s how the song is listed on the official album liner notes.

Hey, articles are hard.

Anyways, this track is from Sakamoto’s 1979 album Summer Nerves, which is a strange record. Mostly because it’s not all that strange.

The album before this was one was his 1978 debut, A Thousand Knives Of. That record is a revolutionary recording that in many ways set the groundwork for what electronic music was in the 1980s. The album after it is 1980’s B-2 Unit, an uncompromising masterpiece that combines industrial music, electro, classical and undefinable experimental elements wrapped in a pop sheen, all while sounding strangely ominous (in case you can’t tell, it’s a really hard record to actually describe). It’s probably one of the strangest and bravest albums ever released.

But between those two albums we got Summer Nerves, and it’s a stupid disco record with some jazz overtones.

I’m willing to bet that album wasn’t planned as a Sakamoto solo release, and that his name only got pushed to the forefront thanks to his breakout solo success a year prior. In fact, something called “The Kakutougi Session” shares top billing with him, leading me to believe that was how the album was supposed to be billed in the first place.

So who is the Kakutougi Session? Well, it’s mostly names that should be familiar to any Sakmoto or YMO fan. Yukihiro Takahashi is here on drums, and he’s joined by former YMO guitarists Kazumi Watanabe and Kenji Omura. While Hosono is MIA, his bandmate from Happy End, Shigeru Suzuki, shows up for a bit, as does Akiko Yano on backup vocals.

But again, while the YMO regulars are present and this is supposedly a Sakamoto solo album, don’t go into this track expecting much that would signal these people would later go onto to perform on some of the most influential and important synthpop tracks of all-time. About the only thing that makes this even the least bit representative of Sakmoto’s later work is the heavy use of vocoder effects on the verses, and that’s it (and even that’s a stretch).

But hey, you know what’s a great song? “You’re A Friend To Me.” And this version is good.

Kenji Omura
Rikki Don’t Lose That Number
Gaijin Heaven
The fact that YMO’s guitarist covered Steely Dan on one of his solo albums really cements my whole “YMO really likes jazz” theory, I think.

Not a bad cover, but it’s still a cover of a Steely Dan song, so don’t get your hopes up. The real gem of the two tacks I’m posting tonight is the second one, “Gaijin Heaven,” which served as the cover track to his great 1983 solo record. For those of you who are unaware, “Gaijin” is Japanese for “foreigner.” Some people consider it almost a racial slur, but in my experience as a gaijin, it’s really not the word itself that’s racist, but how it’s said. If someone mutter “gaijin” at me under their breath, then I know they’re a motherfucker.

The song is great, and one of the only pieces of Japanese pop culture I’ve ever come across that attempts to convey what it’s like to be a foreigner in Japan, even going as far as covering issues with immigration and the fact that no matter how long you’re here you’re never “one of them.” It’s also incredibly catchy and features some damn good guitar work and vocals by the late, great Omura-san. Dig it.


Parenthetical Aside (Not Aside)

July 13th, 2016

It’s been a rough month or so hasn’t it? Here’s some silly remixes.

Was (Not Was)
(Stuck Inside Of Detroit With The) Out Come the Freaks (Again) (The Mighty Mook Mix)
(Stuck Inside Of Detroit With The) Out Come The Freaks (Again) (The Bobby Maggot Mix)
Those are far too many parenthesis.

While I love living in Japan, and the record stores here are the best in the world, I do feel that most of them fall short in my bread and butter, which is obscure 12″ singles to B-tier 80s and 90s pop acts. Yeah, I can find a MSFL pressing of Dark Side Of The Moon ($800) or a mint mono copy of The Velvet Underground and Nico with the original front and back cover both in tact (I didn’t even look) but 12″ singles to Big Audio Dynamite, Yaz, Pop Will Eat Itself or Adam Ant are slim in supply it seems. So I get pretty stoked when I can come across a few. Scored these remixes at Recofan last week, along with another set of remixes to the same track that I’m not sharing because they’re available on Amazon legally.

“Out Come The Freaks” is no “Hello Operator…I Mean Dad…I Mean Police…I Can’t Even Remember Who I Am” but it’s pretty good.

Adam Ant
Apollo 9 (Extended Re-Mix Version)
Yes, I realize that I just said I can’t get Adam Ant singles in Japan. I bought this in America last year so shut up.

Speaking of America (oh God why would anyone do that) I’m going to America next month, so expect plenty of updates regarding pizza, record stores and a general state of malaise and unending depression.

Soviet Synth

June 30th, 2016



Alexander Katenin – Alone In The Maze Of Rhythms
I’ve been trying to write about this one for a few weeks now. First I was distracted by the horrible Boom Boom Satellites news and then work. But to be honest, most of the delay in posting this came not from external forces, but simply from the fact that this album is so weird that I’m kind of a loss of words as to what to say about it.

This is Alone In The Maze of Rhythm. It’s a synthesizer covers album. There’s nothing entirely unique or weird about that. There were a ton of these in the wake of Wendy Carlos’ seminal 1968 masterwork Switch-On Bach, “let’s take some classical and pop tunes and play them on Moog” was practically a genre in the early 70s. I have quite a few of them. All Moog Hair? Got it. Wanna hear Gershwin on Moog? How about Handel, Beethoven or even the theme to Flesh Gordon? Guess what, a Moog version of it probably exists.

But Alone In The Maze of Rhythm is unique, and just downright weird, for a few reasons. Firstly, while most Moog covers albums were released in the late-60s to mid-70s, this one came later. It came way later. It came 1986 later.

That’s weird. You see, the Moog covers album craze was mostly born out of the fact that most people had never even heard a synthesizer before, and that their sound was so alien that you could record damn near anything on them and someone would want to hear it, at least once. But by 1986, that just wasn’t true. Synthesizers had won. Shit, not only had the world become accustomed to synthesizers, but they were quickly becoming played out. By 1986, most of the innovation that the synthesizer brought to the pop world had been sullied and watered down to the point of banality. We weren’t getting “Cars” anymore, we were getting “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight.” Synthpop was on its last legs.

I guess no one told the Soviet Union though, because that’s where Alone In The Maze Of Rhythm comes from.


Yes, from behind the Iron Curtain comes Alexander Katenin, a man who…I know absolutely zilch about. Turns out there isn’t a lot of English information on the web about mid-80s electronic covers albums from the Soviet Union. Everything I know about the guy I dug up on Discogs. He released two albums a solo artist, both synthesizer-focused cover records, and one as a part of a duo by the name of…Гоги И Гия Бешитаишвили.

Yeah, I don’t know how to say that. You’re on your own.

So what we have here is a synthesizer-covers album composed in 1986 in Soviet Russia. And yet, we still haven’t reached the actual weird parts of this record.

One of them is the instrumentation behind the record. Not all synthesizer covers albums used Moog synthesizers, but an overwhelming majority of them did, so much that for some, Moog is shorthand for synthesizer. But there are all kinds of synthesizers out there, and this was especially the case in the 80s, with the rise of digital synthesizers like the Synclavier and the Fairlight CMI, two machines that literally defined the very sound of the 80s.

But Katenin didn’t use those. No. He chose the Farfisa Syntaccordion. That’s an accordion/synthesizer combo unit. Now, I don’t know how much of a synthesizer it really is. No way it has the range or capabilities that you might find in a Moog or Fairlight unit, but it was definitely advertised as a synthesizer, as this ad from Retro Synth Ads proves. And the album certainly has a synthesizer feel to it, far more than than an accordion one to be honest.

And so if you were ever thinking “I hope one day I can hear Frank Stallone’s ‘Far From Over’ performed on a strange accordion/synthesizer hybrid,” well then you’re in luck! Ditto if you were ever hoping to hear Soviet-electronica interpretations of Elton John’s “Your Song,” “Gloria” by Laura Branigan, and the theme to “Flashdance,” among others.


This album has an incredibly strange tracklisting, one that I can’t 100% verify, as the liner notes and record label are just straight-up wrong, with tracks in the wrong order and credited to the wrong songwriters. I did my best to fix them on my MP3s, but a few tracks, specifically “Theme d’Avril,” “In Search Of” and “Cappuccino” could still be wrong. So if you give them a listen and know what their real names/point of origins are, please inform me in the comments.

So it’s a weird record with a weird point-of-origin, a weird instrument of choice and a weird tracklisting, but is it any good? Well, I mean…no? It’s cheesy as hell. The cover of “Just The Way You Are” sounds like it was taken out of a compilation of elevator music. But it does have it’s charm. “Gloria” is a dope track that’s hard to fuck up regardless, and the tracks that I can’t properly identify are legit good. “Theme d’Avril” features an absolutely haunting vocal track that sounds all the more unreal when matched up to the cheesy beats coming out of the syntaccordion. And then there’s “Cappucino” which features a rad proto-acid house grimey bass-line paired up with odd, slightly creepy vocalizing that wouldn’t be out of place on a Goblin record.

Give it a listen. And remember that in Soviet Russia, records listen to you.

Hey, I’ve been writing about 1980s Soviet pop culture for the past two hours, I’m allowed one Yakov Smirnoff reference.


June 22nd, 2016

Today marks the release of Lay Your Hands On Me, the final release from Boom Boom Satellites. In case you missed the horrible news (which received next-to-zero press in Western media), the group had to disband earlier this year due to another brain tumor relapse suffered by lead singer/guitarist Michiyuki Kawashima, which has sadly left him partially paralyzed.

I wrote about it on my other blog, how tragic this news is and how upset it has made me, and I encourage you to go read that. This post is like a part 2 of that.

I’m used to liking bands that no one else care about. I guess it’s my thing. And I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve come to accept that the bands I like, the bands who I think should stand head and shoulders above the rest and reign supreme as pop gods the world over, that they’re all doomed for second-tier status or less. I get it. The music business is tough, random and evil. Cream rarely rises

But fuck, man. Boom Boom Satellites? They should’ve been huge. They should’ve been the first Japanese rock act to break international. And definitely the first Japanese rock band to break into the states. They sing in English. Their music (especially their later stuff) is tailor-made for the mainstream, designed to kick a stadium’s ass. They sound 100% original, but still accessible and fun. There’s no pretension, no reason to issue a warning with the recommendation i.e. “they take a bit getting used to, but…”. One minute into their 2006 masterpiece On, and the opening track “Kick It Out” commences a full-throttle assault on your senses, pounding you to pieces with a wholly unique combination of balls-to-the-wall rock and frenetic electronic beats that should’ve had people all around the world buying the album in droves.

Why not? Why the fuck didn’t they take? Their first album was released in the states and probably did decent enough. I remember seeing the videos for it on MTV and they even toured with Moby. But for whatever reason that was it, their second album was never released in the states, and only a few since have been, and then only digitally. Maybe the band didn’t wan to put in the effort to breakthrough overseas. Maybe the label (which won’t even stream their videos on YouTube in the states) didn’t want to devote the resources. It’s hard to say.

I would guess that the band had it sights on breaking through into the states as recently as 2010, when the attempted to remix “Kick It Out” to appeal to a Western audience. This, of course, means that it was a complete disaster, featuring vocals by B-level former child star and wannabe club singer Tahj Mowry and even a disastrous rap by Flo Rida, which is phoned in and lazy even by his low standards. That monstrosity rightfully tanked and probably dashed any future plans for American domination.

Yet another thing I can hate Flo Rida for. Great.

But what really tears my heart apart is that more people didn’t get to see the group live. As I said in my other post, Boom Boom Satellites live was a revelation. A lightening bolt of pure energy. Just totally non-stop, always on and ready to kick ass. Every time I was fortunate enough to see them, whether as an opening act, as part of a festival line-up or as headliners to their own gig, they fucking owned the stage.

While their Japanese label has made it inexplicably impossible to watch their videos proper on YouTube, thankfully many fans have uploaded live concert footage, much of it taken from the multitudes of live releases the band put out over of the years. I cannot implore you enough, go on YouTube and check those clips out. This user has quite a few on his YouTube page, all of which I recommend.

Then, if you like what you hear, please please please please buy what you can. Their new EP is on iTunes! You can buy it! You should do that! You can also get their greatest hits on iTunes in the states. I recommend starting there (it’s the only way you can get the real version of “Kick It Out” in the states. If you dig that, then move onto Embrace, their 2013 release, followed by their 2007 album Exposed. Their 1999 debut is also available digitally in the states, I recommend that last. It’s a great record, but it is not indicative of their more recent or live sound. However, if you dig 90s electronica, it’s a stunning example of that.

After that, if you want more and can afford it, then bite the bullet and pay the import prices for the rest of their stuff. The one that’s most worth the dough is On, that’s where you’ll find “Kick It Out” and 11 other high-velocity rock tracks that will refuse to let you take a breather for its 50 minute running time. From there, I suggest moving to the follow-up To The Loveless, which is very similar to On, and then skipping ahead to their final full-length Shine Like A Billion Suns (the albums between To The Loveless and this one are on iTunes). Shine is a bit more sedate than the albums that preceded it, but in it’s more mellow groove there’s a beauty that you can’t find on their other albums.

From there I recommend their least accessible full-length releases, the insane jazz/dub hybrid 2001 album Umbra, and its follow-up, 2002’s Photon, which is good meeting point between their more experimental sound from the album before that and the mainstream rock that followed.

Finally, go after their EPs, Joyride and Push Eject. Both are early releases by the group (the former actually being their debut) so they’re more in the dub and electronic arena than the rock one, but they’re still solid. I also obviously recommend their live releases, Experienced and Experienced II.

You should buy their music, it’s in print. That’s why I’m sharing anything from their records proper tonight. I’m only sharing audio rips from video releases that are well out-of-print, or from Blu-rays that go for over $100 online. That seems like the right thing to do. Not only that, these tracks are my favorites from the group, the ones I think of when I remember them, and I feel are the best representation of their amazing live shows.

Boom Boom Satellites are over. Let’s not let them get forgotten.

Back On My Feet 
Dress Like An Angel
Kick It Out
Dig The New Breed
Easy Action
Rise And Fall


Disco Funk Techno Beats

June 9th, 2016

Country disco, Japanese synth-pop and 90s hip-hop. I’m not going to be satisfied until I can somehow mish-mash jazz, classical, digital hardcore and calypso on this blog.

Dolly Parton
Baby I’m Burning (Disco Mix)
This song has an undeniable groove that is catchy as hell. I wish more disco crossover tracks from the 70s were this good.

The fact that none of the gay clubs I’ve been to have ever played this song really piss me off, I bet this was the shit back in the day. Makes me wish gay clubs in Tokyo had throwback nights. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some good Rihanna and Lady Gaga when I’m in the club, but would it kill a place to kick it old school once in a while and play some Donna Summer, Thelma Houston or Slyvester? I have a feeling that I went up to the DJ at my local club and dropped a request for “Do You Wanna Funk,” the single-greatest Hi-NRG track of all-time, he’d give me a look like I asked him to play Bach.

Basically what I’m saying is you punk kids and your music.

I Like The City
I posted a track by these guys a few months back, here’s the other one I have. The Targets were a Japanese synth-pop act in the early 80s who released one album and then promptly vanished off the face of the Earth. The two members credited on Discogs apparently never released anything ever again, and the album has never even been reprinted on CD. The only reason I have two songs by them at all is because they were on a a compilation I got. The vocals here aren’t great, I know that, but the proto-acid sequencer backbeat is totally radical and sounds like nothing else from that era.

Ken Ishii
Echo Exit (Boom Boom Satellites remix)
In case you missed the absolutely horrible news, Boom Boom Satellites are no more, their lead singer being forced to retire due to complications resulting from surgery to remove a brain tumor.

This news completely devastated me. I wrote a brief thing about it on my other site and I don’t have much more to say about it at the moment. I do plan on putting something else together soon though, hopefully to coincide with the release date of their upcoming (final) release, which is due out on the 22nd.

Until then, I thought I’d share this track they remixed, which is by Japanese electronic artist Ken Ishii, a totally rad Japanese DJ and producer who has been laying down dope techno in Japan for over 20 years. Gamers might know him thank to his work on the soundtrack to the seminal rhythm game/acid trip Rez. If you’re a fan of hard techno with a Detroit edge, you’ll probably dig damn near everything he’s ever put out. This track is from a CD single I picked up last night at the greatest record store in Tokyo. A place I’ll tell you more about when I finish my record store guide, which should be sometime next month.

Naughty By Nature
O.P.P. (Ultamix Remix)
O.P.P. (Charming Radio Mix)
O.P.P. (DBM Remix)
O.P.P. (Out Of Mind Version)
Yeah. You know me. Actually no, fuck that. I love my boyfriend.

One thing I never noticed about this song until today is at one point the crowd refrain shouts that “everyone in this party” is down with O.P.P. That means, unless I’m mistaken as to what O.P.P. actually is, that everyone in that party is up for cheating on their significant other or fucking someone else’s significant other. Damn skippy indeed.