Unfortunately Named Japanese Bands and Bambi Remixes

Lots of updates and news to get out of the way first!

Firstly, I was offered to be interviewed on a Japanese TV show and talk about my love of Japanese record stores and Japanese music! How exciting, right?

Well, I turned them down. Go to my other blog to find out why. Spoiler: it sucks.

Also, I’ve had a few comments recently both here and on Twitter regarding my health, as I complain about that a lot. Figured I should mention that a bit and say that, thankfully, I’m starting to feel moderately human once more. I had a bad combination of some kind of lung infection, a major fibromyalgia flare-up, and aggravated herniated disc. All of these problems are beginning to subside and I’m starting to feel like my old self again, slowly but surely. Of course, I’m sure I’ll catch the flu that everyone in Tokyo seems to have at the moment, but until then, I feel super(ish), thanks for asking.

Colored Music
Colored Music
A few months ago picked up the compilation More Better Days, which collects some of the highlights that could be found on the Better Days label. I’ve heard Better Days described as an “avant pop” label, which I guess is good enough. They were very jazzy, but understand that Japanese jazz (especially from the 80s) was a bit more on the wild side than you’d probably guess. Don’t forget that the entire Japanese synthpop scene was born out of the jazz scene of the late-70s! So when I say that the music on More Better Days has a jazz feel to it, understand that it also travels into punk, new wave, ambient, electronic and pop territories, sometimes all on the same song.

Anyways, More Better Days is like 90% bangers, and is 100% worth you time to pick up. Be warned though, that it may set you down a rabbit hole of hard-to-find and exceptionally out-of-print obscure Japanese music that’ll cost you an arm and a leg.

Example: Colored Music, who have two tracks featured on that LP. Their music is damn hard to describe. The track I’m sharing tonight reminds me heavily of Talking Heads or Material, new wave with a disco groove you can dance to. But its off-kilter in a way that neither of those bands ever were. Like, the breakdown halfway through is odd enough, but the way that segues into a Fripp-eqsue feedback-laden solo? What the hell is that? This shit is dope as fuck. Thankfully CD copies of Colored Music aren’t impossible to come by. You can find it online for about $40 or $50 new. That sounds like a lot, but CDs retail for nearly $30 in Japan, so you’re not really paying all that much of a mark-up when you think about it.

Anyways, however you want to get it, get it. I won’t judge you. This shit needs to be heard by more people.

Hajime Tachibana
Bambi (Fashion Photograph Mix)
Bonus Bambi Groove
XP (I Love You Mix)
Bonus Whistle Groove
I had no idea that Tachibana went full electronic house in the early-90s, even going as far as to collaborate with Towa Tei for a few tracks. These are from the 12″ single to “Bambi,” the title track from the 1991 album of the same name. These don’t sound like the Tachibana songs I know. They’re decidedly less insane and have things like a recognizable song structure and melody, but they’re groovy as hell. They really feel more like Towa Tei tracks, to be honest. And that’s not really a bad thing let’s be real here.

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