Archive for the ‘remixes’ Category

Filibuster with Synthesizers

Friday, February 17th, 2017

I managed to write a post comprised entirely of electronic music and didn’t mention a Japanese artist once! I’m surprised too.

Depeche Mode
Wrong (Magdas Scallop Funk Remix)
Wrong (Frankie’s Bromantic Club Mix)
Wrong (DIM vs Boys Noize Remix)
I’m not going to say much about this song, I feel as if I’ve probably written about this song before. I like this song. Good song. These are good remixes to a good song. Okay, now let’s move on.

Have you heard the new Depeche Mode song, “Where’s The Revolution?” It’s fucking great. The vocals by Gahan are on point and the production finds a nice middle-ground between vintage Mode and a more modern take on synthpop.

But the best thing about it? The lyrics. It’s like someone drilled a hole in my head and extracted my exacts thoughts on the current state of the world. There’s so little good political music these days, who’d of thought we’d get an incendiary political track from motherfucking Depeche Mode?

I think the only other political Depeche Mode track I can think of is “John The Revelator.” That was the first Depeche Mode single I heard as an adult that really go me into the group. So maybe I’m just biased towards the group being political. Regardless, I hope “Where’s The Revolution” gets some dope remixes. We need more politics on the dancefloor.

Mito
Droid
Mito is a pseudonym for Stefano Secchi, an Italian musician and producer who has over two hundred releases under his belt. Don’t know anything about him other than what Discogs tell me. What I do know is that this song is some dope shit. Classic Italian electro disco at its finest. Listening to this track puts me in a real headspace. I imagine a 1980s vision of what a 2020s nightclulb would look like, with everyone decked out in neon fringe and Mylar clothes. Robot bartenders serve glowing drinks and everyone has a jetpack for no reason.

I’m gonna run for President and that mental image is going to be my campaign. Vote For Lost Turntable – Neon and Jet Packs for Everyone!

If this song installs similar optimistic feels of a retro-future and you want more, then you’re in luck, you can grab several other mixes of this track on iTunes!

Telex
Moskow Diskow (1985 Version)
Moskow Diskow (French Version)
Moskow Diskow (English Version)
I posted a version of “Moskow Diskow” six years ago. In my continuing adventures of reading old posts of my own blog, let’s see what I was talking about on June 6th, 2012.

Hm. Nothing really all that special I guess. Just a call out for questions about recording vinyl. I must’ve been in a good mood that week. In fact, browsing that whole month I seemed to be rather content and chill. I guess that was the start of my run-up to my Japan visit, so I was probably focused on that. Good times.

But yeah, “Moskow Diskow.” None of these versions are the same as the version I shared all those years ago, they’re taken from a different 12″ single entirely. Telex is dope.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Techno

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Want a Life In Japan story? Feels like I haven’t told one of them in a while Have I talked about Valentine’s Day in Japan?

Valentine’s Day in Japan is kind of stupid.

So, in Japan Valentine’s Day is all about the dudes. Women are not supposed to get gifts on Valentine’s Day. For real. Instead, women are supposed to give chocolate to men. Then, men are supposed to return the favor a month later on March 14tth. That day is called White Day, and on White Day men have to go out and give chocolate to any woman who gifted them chocolate the month prior.

I’m not one to besmirch another culture’s traditions or customs, but it’s hella complex and confusing to anyone who hasn’t grown up with it. And a lot of Japanese people I know aren’t particularly fond of it. I’ve heard men use the term “Chocolate Abuse” to talk about women gifting them large amounts of chocolate only because they want to force the man’s hand and make him gift them a similar gift a month later. It’s not gifting out of love, it’s gifting out of obligation.

But that’s not why Valentine’s Day in Japan bothers me. No, Valentine’s Day in Japan bothers me because there’s not protocol for what us gays are supposed to do. My boyfriend and I both agreed to celebrate Valentine’s Day and tell White Day to fuck right off. And that’s all well and good, but that means that every February 13th I’m the only dude in candy store, surrounded by women who look at my giant white ass with bemusement wondering if I’m just an idiot gaijin who doesn’t know better or, y’know, the correct assumption.

Anyways, gender stereotypes aside, I love giving my boyfriend chocolate because every year he acts surprised and it’s just the cutest shit. So I guess I can’t complain too much.

Here’s some techno. Happy Valentine’s Day.

808 State
Lift (7 Inch Mix)
Lift (12 Inch Mix)
Lift (Justin Strauss Remix)
Lift (Metro Mix)
Lift (Lift Up Dub)
Open Your Mind (Sound Garden Mix)
Open Your Mind (Open Mix)
I originally posted these tracks on January 13th of 2010. Let’s look back at that post to see what I was rambling about at the time…

Boy, I was really angry about Jay Leno. Seems like so long ago (probably because it was.) Anyways, venting and petitioning for my favorite late night talk show to stay on the air sure seems mighty quaint now, doesn’t it? Nothing like the sudden and brutal rise of fascism to really put things in perspective.

But where was I? Oh yeah, “Lift.” Bought this single in Kichijoji a few weeks back, totally not realizing that I already had a copy back in the states. Oh well, saves me the trouble of trying to bring my original copy here and it also gave me the chance to re-record it with much better equipment than I had back in 2010.

Ken Ishii
Pneuma
Twist Of Space
Low
I wanted to share more of this man’s amazing work, but shockingly enough a lot of it is in print and easily available (and cheap) on iTunes in the states! So if you like what you hear here I really recommend you check out some of his albums proper. Future In Light and Jelly Tones are two solid picks to start with.

Techno for smashing fascists

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

I get that in times of strife and hardship, distractions are important. They’ve certainly served me well this week. In light of all the horrible ills that have befallen us all, I find a great source of escapism in film. The boyfriend and I recent purchased an amazing Hammer Films box set, so I’ve been drowning my sorrows in copious amounts of Peter Cushing being a bad motherfucker.

I also have been absorbing a shitton of Giant Bomb content right now. They’ve seemingly always been there for me. When I went through a horribly painful fit of depression three years ago, the Bombcast was always a three-hour block where I could for sure keep away the demons and darkness.

So please, right now, do your best to stay sane. While it’s important to fight the good fight in any way you can, it’s important to take time to collect yourself as well. Whether it be video games, movies, music or just talking a nice long walk. Find something that can distract you, and hold onto it when needed.

Just don’t expect that thing to be this blog. Because fuck that orange assclown with a rusty crowbar.

Seriously, could someone do that? I’m sure Pence would like to watch.

The Art Of Noise
Instruments Of Darkness (All Of Us Are One People) (The Prodigy Mix)
Sometimes you stumble upon a track at just the right time. Right when I first read that Trump was instituting his curb-stomp earning racist ban on legal immigration, I was listening to this song for the very first time. An aggressive acid house track with a chorus consisting of nothing but the platitude of “all of us are one people” may be over simplistic and a bit on the nose, but it sure hit the spot for how I felt at that exact minute.

Nine Inch Nails
Capital G (Switch Remix)
The Hand That Feeds (Photek Ruff Mix)
Neither of these remixes are as good as the album versions. But they’re still quality, and good soundtracks to breaking shit and spray painting graffiti of Trump with a tiny dick and a klan hood on.

I mean, if you wanna do that.

Cross Continental Divas

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Happy new year!

Let’s all work together to make this year less shitty than 2016. I know it’s going to be an uphill battle. But don’t worry, I have Japanese covers of classic TV theme songs to help us get through it.

Jun Togawa
Femme Fatale
Rawhide
I’M GOING TO SEE JUN TOGAWA LIVE THIS FRIDAY I’M FUCKING STOKED.

STOKED.

Ahem. Sorry. I’m a little excited.

I was taken completely by surprise by the fact that Jun Togawa released a new CD over the holidays, the amazing Watashi Ga Na Kou Hototogisu. It’s a covers album of sorts, featuring the legendary singer performing new versions of some of her best-known tracks. Usually, that’s the kind of thing that bores me to tears, but this record is special. Because the new arrangements were in part composed and performed by the Japanese post-rock/metal band Vampillia, and they really take the tracks to some crazy new places. “Suki Suki Daisuki” in particular is completely reworked, transformed into a heavy and dark nightmare that treat the song’s morbid humor with dire sincerity. It’s amazing.

But I’m not sharing that, because you can buy it on iTunes in America! So you should do that!

So instead, I’m sharing these two fairly rare covers that are on the singer’s three-disc greatest hits and rarities set. Yes, the second one is a cover of the TV theme song.

It’s great.

Eartha Kitt
I Love Men (Dance Remix)
I Love Men (Dance Remix Instrumental)
So I’m listening to this and I immediately think, “well, this must’ve been a hit in the gay clubs back in the day.” And while there’s no “gay club top 10” Billboard chart, there is the Billboard Dance Chart, which is pretty much the same thing. This track made it to number seven on that chart, which pretty much confirmed my suspicions.

I suspect this track was made specifically with gay clubs in mind. The fact that it was produced and co-written by Village People producer Jacques Morali and so-gay-he’s-made-of-rainbows writer/comedian Bruce Vilanch, I think my suspicions are entirely spot-on.

Everything about this track is great, from the by then retro disco production to the “vampire cat lady” vocal styling of the legendary Kitt. A hell of a dance classic that is ripe for rediscovery. It’s songs like this that make me almost want to seriously become a club DJ. Because if I’m not going to drop these banging tracks into the club, then who the hell will?

Happy New Year, let us never speak of 2016 again

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

I hope you all had a merry little Christmas. I mean, 2016 even managed to make Christmas shit by killing George Michael, but I hope you tried your best. My boyfriend and I went to a special museum showcase of vintage boomboxes! That was pretty fucking dope. Expect a write-up soon!

Gary Numan
Music For Chameleons (Extended Version)
This version of Numan’s single from his 1982 album I, Assassin is approximately 50 seconds longer than the original album version. I feel that, in this case, calling it “extended” is really false advertising. There needs to be another word for it. Maybe “elongated?” No, that sounds stupid. I don’t know. I’m open to suggestions from the peanut gallery for this one.

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Rydeen (Instrumental) (Remixed by YAMADA)
You’ve Got To Help Yourself (POPbanana trap’mix)
These two remixes are from the vinyl edition of the YMO Remixes Technopolis 2000-00. It’s not the best compilation, as most remixes of YMO tracks are downright awful. However, these two takes, which didn’t make it on the CD version, are light years better than nearly every other track on the album, which is odd. Of course, “Rydeen” is a hard song to fuck up, but the remix of “You’ve Got To Help Yourself” is surprisingly great considering that’s not one of YMO’s best tunes. This version has a really rad bassline and some happy fun beeps that sound like something out of a Willian Orbit track, so I can really get behind it.

Fantasia Stupidia

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

How’s everyone doing?

After three weeks of excessive drinking (not non-stop, just on my days off) I’ve decided I need to stop drowning my sorrows and anxieties in booze and try to find a more healthy coping mechanism. For now, that’s buying obscure game music on vinyl. It’s working out for my liver okay, but my wallet is a little pissed.

Additionally, stupid music has been a lifesaver during this time of strife. So to the person who shared the YouTube links of the Hi-NRG versions of “Bette Davis Eyes” in the comments section of my last post, I say thank you. Don’t suppose you have Hi-NRG versions of “Rainbow Connection?”

Moving on, I updated the massive Tokyo record store guide! Now it’s even bigger. A new store opened up in Shinjuku that I thought was worth incorporating because it’s damn good. If you find yourself in Tokyo anytime soon you must make your way to the Shinjuku HMV, the place is a palace of vinyl.

Now let’s dance.

Carmen Electra
Fantasia Erotica (Indecent Proposal Mix) (Radio Edit)
Fantasia Erotica (Erotic Groove Mix)
Fantasia Erotica (Sex Drive Dub)
Fantasia Erotica (Xtra Sex Dub)
Fantasia Erotica (He Dances Instead)
Fantasia Erotica (Double Deep House Mix)
Let me just get this out of the way right now, for those who are wondering why the hell I’m sharing Carmen Electra remixes; this song was produced by Prince.

Does it make sense now?

Oh but don’t worry, your initial thought upon seeing Carmen Electra’s name was correct, this song is quite awful. Even Prince had his fair share of misses. I don’t think these tracks are going to get re-issued via some Prince Vault special edition re-release campaign anytime soon.

Of course, I hope they do. No matter how bad the song is, I hope that eventually everything that Prince ever put his hand on is made available, in-print and easy to purchase either digitally or physically. Because that’s how music should be.

But I hope that they get to re-releasing The Family album before they dig this bad boy up again. This song has the line, “Oh, speak American? No speak Carmanese!”

What the fuck does that even mean? Oi.

Donna Summer
I Feel Love (Mega Mix)
I Feel Love (Edit Mix)
I’m kind of bending my “never share legally available music” rule tonight, because while you can get at least one of these mixes on a legally available CD, it sure as hell isn’t easy.

For those wondering, these are two of the “I Feel Love” mixes that were remixed by the legendary Patrick Cowley, the man who brought us Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and singled-handedly invented Hi-NRG disco.

You can get the “Mega Mix” on at least two compilations. One is the two-disc edition of Donna Summer’s greatest hits album The Journey, and other on a hard-to-find remix compilation series that I have forgotten the name of. Regardless, you can’t buy it on Amazon or iTunes digitally, and you sure as hell ain’t going to find it at your local record store (if you still have one of those, I keep forgetting that most people live in cities that aren’t Tokyo) so I don’t feel too bad for sharing it. Also, I’m fairly certain that the version on The Journey is a straight-up vinyl rip. Mine sounds better (in my opinion).

As for the “Edit Mix,” shit, I don’t know where the hell you can find that. I’m sure it’s been on CD at some point, but that point was probably a long time ago, so I feel safe in sharing it now. I actually like that version a bit more than the full “Mega Mix.” Fifteen minutes of sequencers is a bit much, y’know?

Depeche Mode
I Feel Loved (Danny Tenaglia’s Labor of Love Radio Edit)
I just really wanted to share a remix of “I Feel Love” and “I Feel Loved” in the same post and then have an internal debate about the grammatical differences between the two. These are the kind of things that English teachers think about. It’s a sickness, really.

And for those keeping count at home, it has been approximately 13 months since the last time I posted Depeche Mode.

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

Monday, 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!

Madhouse
10 (The Perfect Mix)
(The Perfect) 10
Ten And A Half
2
6 (End Of The World Mix)
6
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.

Holiday from my Holiday

Wednesday, 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

Madonna
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.

Parenthetical Aside (Not Aside)

Wednesday, 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.

Disco Funk Techno Beats

Thursday, 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.

Targets
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.