Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Seductive poses with synthesizers and Japanese covers of classic tunes

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016


A few months ago I posted some tracks from  イエローマジック歌謡曲 (Yellow Magic Popular Music), a collection showcasing tracks from Yellow Magic Orchestra associates. That album proved to be a revelation to me, and it served as a means for me to discover several other great Japanese electronic artists that I would’ve never known of otherwise, such as the wonderful Cosmic Intervention and the amazing Susan.


This week I made an even bigger score that I suspect will lead me down an even more comprehensive (and no doubt, expensive) rabbit hole of Japanese electronic music when I stumbled upon four compilations of late-70s/early-80s dance music. Each one focuses on a different record label, and there are apparently nine in total, with the ultimate chapter dedicated to Alfa Records, the home of YMO.


I was elated to find these CDs because up until now the overwhelming majority of 80s Japanese electronic albums I’ve discovered has been, in one way or another, related to YMO. Many were released by YMO’s own vanity label Yen Records, and even the ones that weren’t often featured various members of YMO performing on the albums. Sometimes YMO’s involvement was so strong that the albums were basically YMO albums in all but name, with the group serving as the backing band, producers and songwriters for various singers and idols of the era.


While YMO’s influence can be found on these records, with even individual members Sakamoto and Hosono getting a few tracks on a couple of the compilations, I was happy to discover that most of the music on them is from outside their influence. Don’t get me wrong, I am utterly obsessed with everything even remotely associated with YMO, but it was nice to finally branch out and discover some new stuff.


As you can probably expect, a lot of this stuff is lesser-known for a reason, and since I’m not interested in sharing tracks that are mediocre or bad without being interesting, I’m not going to share these records in full. However, I do suspect I’ll dip them from time to time to showcase any highlights I find from them, especially as I branch out and hunt down the other albums in the collection.


Anyways, I know that Japanese electronic music from the 80s is kind of a niche interest, so I thought I’d start out by sharing some remixes/covers of tracks you’ll no doubt recognize. I hope that you can enjoy them and that you stick around and give the more obscure and unknown tracks a chance when I share them as well.

Paul Hardcastle
Nineteen (Japanese Version Extended Remix)
So, some 400 words talking about obscure Japanese remixes and I start things off with a track by a Western artist. I know, I don’t always think these posts through.

Regardless, this is a hell of a thing, and something that I had no idea even existed until this Monday. In case you haven’t heard the original version of “19,” (which I suggest you do) the track is an odd hybrid of early-80s dance music and anti-war protest song, combining a catchy dance beat with a sampled news program detailing the effects of post traumatic stress disorder suffered by Vietnam vets. It was a big hit in Europe, but it didn’t catch on so much in the states outside of the dance charts.

The original version’s narration is comprised of samples from an American news program, but for this version, those samples are removed and replaced with original Japanese narration by newscaster Kango Kobayashi. Apparently Hardcastle did this for several countries in Europe, but Japan was the only Asian country to get a unique version.

Aside from the new narration, this mix is a little different than the original version (or the equally known “Destruction Mix”) and features some additional sound effects in the beginning.

Kenji Haga
The Neverending Story
I don’t know if The Neverending Story was a hit film in Japan. I would imagine it must’ve been though in order for this to happen, a completely translated version of the film’s hit theme song. Haga is no Limahl and the production pales to Moroder’s original, but it’s still a catchy tune nonetheless.

Far more interesting than this cover is the life of Kenji Haga, a half-Japanese/half-American entertainer who worked as a voice actor in the 90s and 2000s, even voicing Ken in the Street Fighter II: V animated series. Apparently he fell on hard times after that though, and in 2007 he was arrested for blackmail and is currently behind bars.

Limahl would’ve never done such things.

The Targets
E.T. Theme
Yes, a cover of the theme to E.T., because why not?

There are countless disco covers of John Williams themes thanks to Meco, but I think this might be the only synth-pop interpretations of one of this compositions. It features original lyrics, but they’re in Japanese and sung over a vocoder-effect, so don’t ask me.

The Targets are a rather mysterious band. They released just one album in the 1980s (this song is not on it) and apparently that was it. I’d love to find out more about them so if anyone has any info, pass it along please. They seemed pretty good.

Prom Night: Death By Disco (And An Axe To The Head)

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Yay the Amplitude Kickstarter hit its goal!

Oh shit I have to update this blog five days a week for a month. I didn’t think this through that well.

Actually, I did think this through. While there were some reasons for my lack of updating earlier this year (too busy, health issues, computer problems) now I have no excuse, and I just haven’t been writing as much because I’ve been lazy. So I’m glad that my gambit paid off, it’ll force me to sit down and actually write some shit again.

But notice that I said “a month” not “next month.” Between my backlog of stuff that I haven’t recorded yet and a sudden family visit due in the beginning of June, the five-day-a-week plan probably isn’t going to come to full fruition until July. It’s for the best tho, with a month to plan, those posts are going to be pretty damn great.

In the long-term, I hope this schedule gets me back in the habit of updating this site twice a week, and Mostly-Retro at least once every other week (I’m planning on some longform things that take time for that one).

But for now, here’s a disco-filled soundtrack to a horrifically bad horror film.


Prom Night – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Complete Album Download Link)

The hierarchy of Jamie Lee Curtis horror films (1978-1981):

  1. Halloween
  2. Roadgames
  3. The Fog
  4. Halloween II
  5. Terror Train
  6. Prom Night

No, I’m not overselling Terror Train. It’s a piece of shit. But that only goes to show you just how much of a piece of shit Prom Night is. In an era that was pumping out more forgettable slasher flicks than you can possibly imagine (And they were forgettable, anyone remember Tourist Trap, The Prowler or Slaughterhouse, just for starters? Didn’t think so.) Prom Night is one of the worst, with absolutely nothing to set it apart from the deluge of masked killer movies of the week aside from its somewhat interesting cast, which also includes Leslie Nielsen in one of his last “serious” roles. The killer in Prom Night is forgettable, the murder scenes are forgettable, the plot is forgettable. It’s the Deep Blue Something’s “Breakfast At Tiffanys” of slasher films.

About the only thing that makes the movie stand out at all, aside from its cast, is its wonderfully cheesy discotastic soundtrack, which actually comes to play in the only memorable scene in the film, an axe fight on the prom’s disco dance floor.

No doubt the movie’s disco-heavy soundtrack was created with commercial aspirations, but for some reason the soundtrack itself was never released in the states or in Canada (where the film was produced). Nope, the only country that was blessed enough to get a proper LP release of it was Japan – because if there’s one thing Japan loves, it’s horrible disco scores to shitty 80s slasher films.

Okay, that’s not true at all, I’m just trying to find some sort of rationale behind this.

The soundtrack was primarily the work of two people: Paul Zaza and Carl Zittrer. The two often worked together in the 80s, and either separately or combined created the scores to films such as Porky’s, Turk 182, A Christmas Story and even the theme song to Mr. Wizard’s World. On his own, Zaza also contributed to the scores of Prom Night II and III, making him probably the only continuous thread between those two films and the first (they have nothing in common from a narrative standpoint). Zittrer also worked as a music supervisor and editor, working as such in big name pictures like New Jack City and Moonstruck.

Oh, and Zaza also has a credit on a Kid Cudi album, but I’m going to guess that’s because of a sample.

Like I said, those two make up most of the soundtrack, but there are three tracks on the LP that are credited to a group called Blue Bazar, who I can find next to nothing about online. From what I can tell, Prom Night was the beginning and end of their musical output. So if anyone out there can shed some light on who they are or what they did afterward, I’d be very interested.

Anyways, as cheesy and silly as this music is, I do have to admit that I admire and respect it’s tenacity and upbeat feeling. This is made for the dance floor disco at its purest, silly and stupid. Don’t try to think about it too much and you might enjoy it a little.


Watch The Guys From Giant Bomb Look At Dumb Records I Sent Them

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

It’s been a weird year (of Luigi).

Skip to about five minutes in if you want to get to my package (heh, package).

Shameless self-plugging (ew).

Monday, September 30th, 2013

If you’re visiting this site for the first time because of my guest appearance on Retronauts, then you’re probably looking for some choice video game music, so here are some highlights from previous video game themed posts.

Beep! Video Game Discs
This is where you can find the dope remix of the Chase HQ theme I mentioned near the tail end of the podcast.

Dreamcast Vinyl Rips
Tracks taken from the weird white Dreamcast record that was an Australian pre-order exclusive.

Mindscape Flexi-Disc
More flexi-disc madness. This one is really out there.

I also have another site called Mostly-Retro, where I have talked about video game music on occasion.

Check out these pages about the Yars’ Revenge, Asteroids and Missile Command Kids Stuff records.

Then there was that time the dude who wrote Dream Weaver did a song about Dig Dug. For real.

I reviewed the Final Fantasy Vinvlys box set a few months back.

And finally, some goofy clips from discs with Red Book audio.

New post later this week! It may be video game related.

Oh It’s Such A Shame

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Jay Reatard
Oh It’s Such A Shame
Post with actual rare music tomorrow.

Yo! Wanna Buy Some More Records!?

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Here we go again, I’m looking to unload some of my massive collection of vinyl and CDs, and I thought I’d give you all first dibs.

In case you missed my first sale, here’s how this works:

1. Click here to check out what I’m selling.
2. Shoot me an email (lostturntable AT yahoo DOT com) with an offer, try to include “I WANT TO BUY” in the subject. I get so much spam it’s like woah.
3. Assuming we agree on a price, you I will then remove the items off my list.
4. You pay me within 48 hours.
5. I ship your records.

Any questions, also shoot me an email.

Happy bidding, new post with music tomorrow!


Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Let’s talk about anger.

Anger for me is fuel. Especially when I’m writing. If I love something and think it’s great, I have a hard time writing about it. I suspect a lot of critics have this problem, that’s why so many of us love to review bad works. It’s easier. It’s easier to shit all over something that sucks than heap praise upon praise over something that’s great. There’s probably something you could read into that about the negative nature of humanity and humankind’s eagerness to knock others down as well. But I’m pissed enough as it is, so I’d rather not dwell on that.

But that’s just one kind of anger, and I guess a better word for it would be outrage. When you see a social injustice and it upsets you, you’re not angry, you’re outraged – it’s anger + indignation. And I guess that’s a good thing. That’s how shit gets done, even if said shit is a mean review of North.

Outrage and anger can be productive. They can be motivators.

But then there’s blind fury, rage and frustration. The kind of feeling you get when you find out you locked yourself out of your car, or stubbed both your big toes at the same time.

Rage is…probably a bad thing. Too bad I’m really good at it.

Now, I’m not the Hulk (I wish I was the Hulk!) and I’m not the kind of person to unleash fists of fury on someone because they look at me the wrong way. No. I’m the kind of braindead idiot who will fly into a blind burst of fury because I hit my head on my desk one too many times while hooking up my new computer. Or I’ll lose it after I find 20 typos in a blog post that’s been up for three years. Most often, I go a bit apeshit when I find out that I’ve screwed up something all on my own, with no one else to blame but myself. I would never beat someone else up for their mistakes and fuck ups, but I’ll batter myself to death if I find out that I’ve washed my laundry on the wrong cycle.

Basically, I’m trapped in an abusive relationship with myself. Don’t worry, we’re thinking about seeking counselling.

Why do I say all this? Well, if you follow me on Twitter (and you should, it’s a real shitshow sometimes), then you know that earlier today I found out that I accidentally recorded several weeks of recordings in mono. Why? Because I got lazy and forgot to reset my settings after changing audio ports.

Now, keep in mind, this isn’t something that should be a fucking problem in the fucking first place. Fucking Windows should fucking remember my fucking audio settings from port to fucking port. And even if if fucking shouldn’t, then it shouldn’t FUCKING ASSUME THE FUCKING DEFAULT IS FUCKING MONO EVEN WHEN MY FUCKING DEFAULTS IN MY FUCKING RECORDING SOFTWARE ARE FUCKING STEREO. FUCK.

Okay, yeah…that’s the kind of rage I was talking about.

Anyways, now I have to re-record about 30 hours of audio. A blast huh?

But don’t worry, even in my fits of smashing rage, I think of other people first. And the first things I re-recorded after finding out about this royal clusterfuck was everything that I shared here. It’s pretty much the sole reason why I’m up right now, at 1am, so the few of you who do actually read the words with the posts know about this and can download proper versions of the songs you got earlier.

So if you’ve downloaded any of the following files, and you don’t want shitty mono versions, download these copies now.

And if you appreciate my efforts to make things right for my own idiotic mistakes, maybe check out my other site and show it to some friends via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, whatever? I’d appreciate it. Feelings of accomplishment make me rage less, I think.

Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These) (’91 Remix)
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These (Nightmare Mix)
I Need A Man (Macho Mix)
I Need A Man (Edit)
Beethoven (I Love To Listen To) (Dance Mix)
Beethoven (I Love To Listen To) (7″ Edit)

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Brides Of Frankenstein (Mix)
Brides Of Frankenstein (Dub)

Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Born To Run (Live)

Underneath The Radar (12″ Remix)

Frank Black & Teenage Fanclub – The Peel Sessions
The Man Who Was Too Loud
The Jacques Tati
Sister Isabel

Psychic TV
Joy (credited to DJ Doktor Megatrip with Luv Bass)
Thee Politics Ov Ecstasy (credited to Psychic TV & Jack The Tab)

Milk (D Mix)
Milk (Trance Mix)

Dead Or Alive
You Spin Me Round (Like  a Record)
Mighty Mix 2

Bonnie Tyler
Band of Gold (Extended Version)
Band of Gold (Dub)

Eple (Shakedown Remix)
Eple (Fatboy Slim Remix)

Porcelain (Torsten Stenzel’s Remix)
Porcelain (Force Mass Motion Remix)

Krust (Featuring Saul Williams)
Coded Language (Roni Size Desert Road Remix)
Coded Language (Roni Size Desert Road Instrumental)


Go check out my new site.

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

So I’m launching that new site….now.

Go check it out, it’s called Mostly Retro.

So what is it?

Well, that’s been one of the reasons why it’s taken me so long to launch it (aside from technical issues). Figuring out exactly what I wanted out of this secondary site was a bit challenging. I knew I didn’t want it to be just another MP3 blog. I already got one of those, obviously, and to be honest, I wanted to create something where I might be able to make some sort of money without worrying about the legal ramifications of selling ads and whatnot on a site that illegally hosts music. That’s not to say I’ll never post MP3s on the new site, but when I do they’ll be so obscure or random that I can’t imagine anyone associated with them would have any problem with me sharing them.

As the site name suggests, most of what I’ll be covering on it will be “retro” in nature. Older games, movies, music and such. However, not everything will be strictly nostalgic in nature. As you’ll see from going there, the first article is a guide to buying record sin Japan. As far as specifics, I’m still trying to work that out, to be honest. I’m shooting for something that’s fun and silly at times, but not afraid to have more serious or introspective content as well. Something between Dinosaur Dracula and Unwinnable is the tone I’m shooting for.

I already got some cool stuff lined up, at least I’d like to think so. Later this week you can expect a cool post on Kraftwerk and the first post in what I hope will be a recurring feature. Upcoming articles will include a multi-part post on Red Book audio in video games, a possible interview with an early synthesizer pioneer, and a marathon series of posts where I review every Tangerine Dream album from 1970 to 1990. Seriously.

I got a lot of stuff planned with this site, and I hope you all (and more) enjoy it. If you do, please share it with your friends. Tweet it, Facebook it, Google+ it. Whatever. Get the word out. The more people who read it, the more I’ll feel compelled to create content.

And finally, and this is the only time I will ever mention this, I have put up a “donate” button at the new site. People have asked me in the past about doing that here, and I’ve always been against it due to the nature of this site. But since Mostly-Retro is a different beast, I thought it would be more appropriate there. So if you like what I do and want to help me out…I won’t protest. But if you’re thinking “Pay? For articles I read for free? Fuck that!” hey, then that’s your prerogative and I’m not going to slight you for it.

Also, you might want to consider a career as a website editor.

One more thing, Mostly-Retro is still very much a huge work in progress. There are kinks I need to work out and some design issues I want to change. I know it’s not perfect. But I wanted to launch the damn thing already and I was going crazy trying to make it just right.

Anyways, I hope you like the new site. I’ll have a new post here tonight as well.

Remixes Of The Pier

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Stomach flu bad.

Remixes good.

Late Of The Pier
Best In Class (Soulwax Remix)
Blueberry (Simon Bookish Remix)
I bought this 12″ single because it had the words “Soulwax Remix” on the front cover in all caps. I didn’t even know who the original artist was when I picked it up. I’ve heard enough Soulwax remixes to know that when they take hold of a track it they own it so much that they practically own it. This one is no exception. I checked out the original version on YouTube and the remix sounds nothing like it at all, and it’s also way, way better. This is a hardcore club banger. Pulse-pounding beats to the nines, 808s coming at you in full effect, madness. Fucking love it. The Simon Bookish mix isn’t half bad either, but I keep coming back to the Soulwax mix just because it’s that damn great.

Who Is It? (Freestyle USA Club Mix)
Who Is It? (Who’s Dub Is It)
Who Is It? (Freestyle Radio Version)
Who Is It? (UK Club Mix)
Who Is It? (Bonus Beats)
Electro up in your face like…someone who would be all up in your face (look I’m writing this at 9:30 in the morning so my metaphor skills haven’t really kicked in yet).

This shit makes me want to breakdance, which is kind of unfortunate considering that I can’t dance, let alone breakdance. Maybe I should start that up. Big tall dude tearing it up at breakdancing competitions, that would be a sight I bet. I could team up with that six-year-old girl and we could set the world on fire. It would be dope.

What? Sorry, got sidetracked. These are great, great remixes of a great, great song. Nothing tops early Mantronix. Grab this shit.

Some choice records from Japan and Beijing

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

While my in-depth articles on buying records in Beijing and Tokyo are still  in the works, I thought some of you might like to see some of the stuff I snagged. So here you go. No music tonight, I’ll have something up tomorrow though.

YMO (Yellow Magic Ochestra) are an amazing synthpop act from Japan who have been around since the late 1970s. One of the members is Ryuichi Sakamoto, who would later go on to some American success as an Oscar-winning film composer for his work on The Last Emperor. They’ve served as a major international influence on electronic music, but most of their best albums aren’t available in the states, so I snatched up as many as I could while in Japan. I bought almost all of these CDs at Tower Records(!!!) while I got the LPs from a variety of stores. All great finds. The live CDs are especially good.


I also grabbed some YMO-related albums, mostly solo projects and spin-off groups from the band’s three members. Of the ones I’ve listened to so far, I like The Beatniks one the most. That Summer Nerves album by Sakamoto is some ultra-cheesy disco and I love/hate it.


Boom Boom Satellites are another one of my favorite Japanese bands. Only their first album was released on CD in America, and most of their others aren’t even available digitally, so I had to grab as many as I could. Turns out they’re one hell of a prolific group, with nine albums and countless singles to their credit All these records are great by the way, if you like 90s-style electronica or electronic-rock ala Garbage then I highly recommend them. Their newest record, Embrace, is excellent.


One of my big goals in this trip was to find some X Japan on vinyl, but this proved much harder than I thought it would be. The only proper X Japan LP I could find was this picture disc of their last studio release, Dahlia, and it set me back about $50. I found a picture disc of one of their singles, but the store was asking (a fair) $200 for it and I passed.


I did find some cool X Japan-related material though, including their late guitar player Hide’s debut CD Hide Your Face (in deluxe packaging) and a copy of the band’s massive 2CD live album “On The Verge of Destruction.” The real treat, however, was that black box you see there. That’s not a CD nor an LP, it’s, in fact, a USB drive shaped like a heart!


Inside is the complete Hide discography in high quality MP3, including all his studio releases, both his live albums, and all his singles. Even better? I got it used for $40 at a camera store! Score!


Time for some wacky soundtracks. Of course I had to pick up some Godzilla LPs.


A selection of anime film scores.


The requisite Gundman BGM collections (spoiler: Japan LOVES Gundam)


And a nice assortment of Lupin The 3rd soundtracks. That one on the bottom right is especially interesting. It’s a two-LP set, and the front and back cover of one of the sleeves are pairs of interlaced images. On their own they look like a scrambled mess.


But when you slide the outer sleeve over them and adjust it accordingly, the real images become clear.

Simple but cool.


I really wanted to get some video game soundtracks on vinyl when I was in Japan, but this proved to be a near impossibility. In fact, I only found one but it’s a goodie. You can expect that on here soon.


While I couldn’t get much in the way of video game vinyl, I did end up snagging a good deal of game soundtracks on CD. Got some good stuff including some Sega and Nintendo greatest hits. The Bare Knuckle (Streets Of Rage) CD was a real find, and cost accordingly.


Some other great soundtracks. Breakin’ 2 and Warlock, together at last!


Got some great soundtracks on CD as well. That 2CD set of The Fog is a real nice find.


Of course, coming across this one made me really happy. I think I scared some clerks with my yelling. Or maybe it was because I’m 6’6″ tall?


I was hoping to pick up some Nirvana when I was there, and thankfully the local stores didn’t disappoint. All of these are first printings, and all look flawless. Definitely stoked to pick these up. On a related note, I now own six different versions of Nevermind on CD and vinyl, and four different versions of Incesticide. No, I don’t have a problem. I can stop anytime I want to.


You know who’s big in Japan? Japan.


Public Image Ltd. is also apparently big in Japan, if the wealth of PiL vinyl I saw was any indication.


Also got this pretty radical CD box set.

Who likes brit-pop singles box sets?




Wow again! I now own the America, German and Japanese pressings of this record. No wonder I’m running out of shelf space for my LPs.


I’ve never seen so much 90s vinyl in my life as I did in Japan.


Came across a lot of Dinosaur Jr. and Dinosaur Jr. related records while I was in Tokyo as well, I don’t know why. I sure bought a lot of it though.


Some random silliness.


Random silliness continues. Once I bought one I had to get the other.


Some lovely nostalgia. Seeing The Muppet Show soundtrack made me squee with joy, while I picked up the Saturday Morning Cartoons compilation just for fun, I bought that CD the week it came out, it has some of my favorite tracks from the era (Sponge’s take on “Speed Racer,” The Ramones tearing up the theme to “Spider-Man”).


If there’s a more appropriate record to pick up in Japan I don’t know what it is. Thank you very much Mr. Roboto.

Of course, there was plenty more where that came from, but I don’t want to ruin all the surprises!

Hoped you like this, stay tuned for a lot of music this week!