Archive for the ‘Ryuichi Sakamoto’ Category

Music For Dangerous Times

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

I always find it interesting how my own tastes in music (and media as a whole for that matter) change whenever I’m faced with some serious cause for anxiety and stress. I remember a long time ago, after getting dumped particularly hard, I just repeatedly watched High Fidelity up to the point where John Cusack got it on with Lisa Bonet.

We all cope with heartbreak in different ways I suppose.

I’ve actually written about this quite a bit. Right around the time I moved to Tokyo I faced a serious bout of depression and anxiety brought on by becoming “woke” to the urgent nature of the climate change crisis. I found a lot of ways to cope with that, one of them being repeated listening of Yes. I still don’t entirely understand how that worked, but whatever, it did so I’m grateful.

I also wrote about how I’ve turned my back on “serious” horror as of late. As the world has become a far more horrifying place in recent years, turning to media to be horrified seems like an exercise in masochism. I highly suspect that’s why The Walking Dead’s ratings are finally starting to plummet (that and it’s a horrible show).

Now, faced with the terrifying prospect of a Trump presidency, I’m finding my musical and film tastes changing even more in an attempt to shield my psyche from the worst of it. In terms of films, that means it’s nothing but pure comedy and/or escapism in my house for a while. A solid dose of undying optimism doesn’t hurt either. Basically, I’ve been watching a lot of The Muppets.

In terms of music, I don’t think it’s effected me all that much. At least not in in terms of what I’m listening to. It’s more effected me in what I’m not listening to, if that makes any sense at all.

I bought two new albums this month. The Sleigh Bells’ latest, Jessica Rabbit, and the new Metallica album Hardwired to Self Destruct. Both are very, very good records. Of the two, I probably like the Metallica one more. It’s a tight collection of songs, and a good balance of their classic thrash sound, their more epic-guitar solo driven stuff and even some of their more mainstream work. I really recommend it.

I’ve listened to the whole thing twice.

Look, I just can’t deal with Metallica right now. I can’t deal with an album whose title literally could be the title for a thesis about the current global political climate. It’s just too much.

The new Sleigh Bells, on the other hand, has a good mixture of love songs (both of the optimistic and dark varieties), a few good bangers about fucking shit up, and plenty of poetic and abstract tracks whose true meanings are beyond me. Calling it escapism would be doing it a disservice, but it’s allowing me a chance to escape in another world, and I’m jumping at it.

I usually just can’t listen to “feel good” music. It always sounds fake and phony, like the lead singer is trying to convince him or herself that everything is going to be alright and even they don’t believe it. I think the only two “happy” songs that can actually cheer me up are Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” and that cover of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.

And “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit The Frog. Because Muppets.

So, instead, right now I’ve been listening to an album that I’m pretty sure is mostly about death. But it’s really pretty.

darkened

Virginia Astley
Some Small Hope
A Father
Tree Top Club
I discovered this LP on a fluke, it was stuck in the Shibuya HMV’s YMO section. I thought it was a mistake, until I flipped it and saw on the back cover that Ryuichi Sakamoto produced the album. So I bought it on the spot. Such decisions have proven disastrous in the past (Sakamoto has a penchant for jazz) but it paid off in spades here. Within seconds of dropping the needle on the record I knew I was in for something special.

Every track on this record, which has the amazing title Hope In A Darkened Heart, has an ethereal feeling to it, very reminiscent of Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush or Bat For Lashes. It oozes beauty and a dreamlike quality, with Astley’s childlike delivery serving as constant centerpiece to each song’s wonderfulness.

It’s all so beautiful that it took me at least five listens to realize that almost every single track on this album is about death and/or sadness. The cheery-sounding “Tree Top Club” is a sad journey about the futility of nostalgia. “A Father” sounds like a lovely and twee nursing rhyme, but it’s about abandonment. And the duet with Japan’s David Sylvian, “Some Small Hope,” well, I think that’s literally about death. A lot of this album is about death.

It’s also really, really pretty! Like, the prettiest. Its ridiculous how pretty it is. And it does feel like a dream. It takes me away to another place, a better one (despite all the death). Sakamoto’s production is top-notch on this, it’s minimal and electronic, but its still organic and breaths life throughout. And the relative lack of instrumentation make Astley’s unreal voice stand out even more. Brilliant all around.

So of course it’s out of print. Even in Japan, the only place where it was apparently popular at all, it’s out of print. And while in the past that would mean I would share the record in its entirety, I’m trying to cut down on that. Because, I really believe damn near everything goes back into print eventually, and I would hate to steal some sales from an artist like this, who desperately deserves them.

Instead, here are a few highlights. If you enjoy, do your best to track the album down. Maybe even pay for it!

And don’t focus too much on albums about death, even if they are really pretty. Listen to some disco or something. I recommend Sylvester.

Here are some songs that make me happy

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Because that’s what I need right now.

Yuko Sakaitsukasa – Computer Obaachan
Cosmic Invention – Computer Obaachan
This song is about a grandmother who is a computer. Literally. It was written by Ryuicihi Sakamoto because, I assume, he was like “fuck it, I can make stupid fucking pop music as good as the next guy.”

I’m not going to say it’s the greatest song ever written in the history of the world, but I’m not going to not say it either.

I don’t know which one of these versions came first, but it doesn’t really matter. Both are amazing. I prefer the Sakaitsukasa take on it though just because it’s a bit more fast-paced and frantic.

If you want more “Computer Obaachan” in your life, and why the fuck wouldn’t you, there’s this video of the song being performed with English subtitles. And there’s this version by Polysics, which is probably my favorite because it sounds like it was performed by chipmunks on meth.

Jan Hammer
Miami Vice Theme (Extended Remix)
Miami Vice Theme (Remix)
In case you haven’t figured it out already, with my repeated posts featuring covers of the themes to Airwolf and Knight Rider, synthesizer-heavy TV theme songs from the 1980s are like opiates to me. And now, with me posting these remixes, I think I’ve hit the holy trinity of electronic 80s TV theme music tunes. If anyone out there wants to share some lesser-known 80s theme tunes that they think are rad, please do so in the comments. Just don’t post the theme to Streethawk, I did that years ago. I’m a trendesetter like that.

Quantize (Feautring Jackie Lowry)
Because The Night (Extended)
WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS MORE HI-NRG COVERS OF 80s POP SONGS. Hurry. Someone do a Hi-NRG cover of…

*frantically combs through my iTunes library for a funny yet oddly appropriate suggestion*

…”Bette Davis Eyes!”

Get on it people. The world needs you.

Japan Loves Disco and AOR

Sunday, 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.

 

Another Post With Synthpop From Two Different Continents

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Been busy! Mostly the good busy! And I wrote a lot of shit on my other site. I finished my guide to YMO’s albums, which took me far too long so I hope you all read it, share it and enjoy it. Then I did a write-up on the Mario Anniversary Celebration that I went to. I still haven’t seen much English language coverage of that, so if you know anyone who would be interested in reading such an article please pass it along to them. Same goes for my review of the Mario Anniversary music CD.

Basically, I’m asking you all to read my shit and pass my shit along to others who might enjoy it and do the same. Because sometimes validation via readership feels nice.

Lots of music tonight! Shit, lots of words tonight!

Berlin
Masquerade (Extended Version)
Like Flames (Extended Version)
Dancing In Berlin (Dance Remix)
You Don’t Know (Extended Remix)
The Metro (Remix)
No More Words (Dance Remix)
These are all of the Dancing In Berlin remix EP, which only came out in Japan. And if you think that the only reason that I moved to Japan was so that I’d have a chance of finding rare out-of-print CDs like this in budget racks for less than five bucks you’d be…not entirely off mark.

Seriously though, I was pretty excited to come across this one today. I already had most of these tracks as vinyl rips, but most of them were still kind of scratchy despite my best efforts to clean them up. And these remixes of “Masquerade” and “Like Flames” are entirely new to me.

If you’re reading this blog then you’re probably in agreement with me that Berlin is totally one of the best bands of the 80s. If you’re not, well then, why the hell are you reading this blog? All their albums are good, even Information, which doesn’t feature Terri Nunn. I’m partial to the last “classic” album Count Three & Pray though, thanks largely to the inclusion of “Pink And Velvet” which is an achingly beautiful tragic ballad about junkies that just happens to feature one of the best guitar solos that David Gilmour (yes, that David Gilmour) ever put on wax.

That album also features Ted Nugent. So if you want to stump your friends on trivia night with “What album features David Gilmour and Ted Nugent?” then you’re welcome.

By the by, I didn’t include the extended version of “Sex (I’m A…)” because you can get that on the CD and digital editions of Pleasure Victim.

Akiko Yano
Tong Poo
Tong Poo (Welcome To Jupiter Version)
Tong Poo (Naked Jupiter Version)
Zai Kung Tong Boy (在広東少年) (Original Version)
Zai Kung Tong Boy (在広東少年) (Tobashite Yukuyo Version)
Zai Kung Tong Boy (在広東少年) (Live Version with Ryuicihi Sakamoto)
Akiko Yano is a pianist singer-songwriter who came to prominence in Japan during the 80s due to her relationship with YMO (which was more than professional, she was married to Ryuichi Sakamoto for a bit). I put some of her stuff on here ages ago, including the first version of “Tong Poo” that I’m including here again tonight.

The other two version of “Tong Poo” (which I keep typing as “Tony Poo” for some reason) are new. I mean that literally, they’re on her new album, Welcome To Jupiter, which just came out this week. I know I usually don’t post music you can get legally but I do realize that the overwhelming majority of you all reading this don’t live in Japan, so your options for picking this up by legal means are relatively limited. Because record companies don’t understand how digital distribution works.

The Welcome To Jupiter version is an interesting take that combines acoustic instruments with some oddball electronic sound effects. I don’t know if I like everything it does (but waterdrop sound effect is a bit much) but I do appreciate its eccentricity. The “Naked Jupiter” version is an instrumental that’s included as a bonus version of the deluxe edition of the album.

“Zai Kung Tong Boy” is a great song with a really interesting lineage. It was written by Sakamoto and included on Yano’s album Dinner Is Waiting, which was co-produced by Sakamoto as well and features contributions with the rest of YMO. The song was also frequently performed live during YMO concerts, with Yano still on vocals as she was one of their touring keyboardists at the time. It was apparently also performed often at Sakamoto solo shows. The second version is taken from one such show, included as a bonus track on a Sakmoto box set I purchased last year. This version is over seven minutes long and features some SICK shredding.

The final version was taken from Yano’s 2014 album  Tobashite Yukuyo, which featured Yano working with several prominent Japanese producers (a trend she repeats on Welcome To Jupiter). In this case, the producer is Yoshinori Sunahara, formerly of Denki Groove, who has also done remix work for Cornelius and Yukihiro Takahashi of YMO. That same album also features a collaboration with Boom Boom Satellites, and I’ll try to share that sometime soon.

 

YMOMG

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

 

I recently bought a 3CD set entitled イエローマジック歌謡曲, which according to my boyfriend translates to Yellow Magic Popular Music. It’s a compilation from a few years back that collects various pop tracks from the 70s and 80s that members of Yellow Magic Orchestra were involved with in some degree or another.

With 55 songs in total, it’s all over the place tonally, and includes everything from 80s J-pop, experimental electronic music and even some traditional Enka tunes. It’s a weird collection, and while it is a little uneven at times, I’m still incredibly happy that I was able to find a copy (and a cheap one at that), as I feel that it’s exposed me to a treasure trove of obscure pop acts from the 80s that I must unearth.

Tonight’s tracks were all taken from said compilation. I hope you enjoy them, especially since I plan on posting a lot more Japanese electronic pop in the coming weeks, from this compilation and elsewhere.

Koharu Kisaragi
Neo-Plant (12″ Version)
On the CD this track is credited solely to Kisaragi, but the truth is that it’s a collaboration between her and Ryuichi Sakamoto, something I could gleam even just by listening to the track. It sounds very similar to many of the best tracks on Sakamoto’s Futurist Bastard, an album that came out the same year. Both are heavily rooted in sampling technology and at times incredibly manic, seemingly drawing upon both the same technological and philosophical influences that The Art Of Noise were pulling from. Neeless to say, if you like Art of Noise or late-era YMO, this track should be right up your alley.

As for the woman who is credited with performing it, I really can’t find out all that much about her. She only released one album, Tokai No Seikatsu, which also came out in 1986. It’s never been re-issued and damn near impossible to find now. I did score a copy online though, and you can do the same here if you’re so inclined. It’s not bad, albeit a little uneven.

Cosmic Invention
Cosmic Surfing
The same blog I linked to above also has a page on this band, which also has a download link to their sole album, which came out in 1981. Outside of the information that page, I can find very little on this group. They were apparently a trio, they worked with Sakamoto at some point, and were able to score a couple hit singles before vanishing in the pop ether. This single, which is not on their album, is a cover of the YMO song of the same name. This was already a poppy tune, the jacked-up production and the cheery vocals make it even more upbeat. I need to add this to my jogging mix.

Susan
Ah! Soka!
サマルカンド大通り
Thanks to her incredibly generic stage name, it’s pretty hard to find information (especially in English) for this one. From what I can gather, mostly from Discogs information and an incredibly sloppy Wiki entry, Susan is a Japanese/French singer-songwriter who worked with YMO’s Yukihiro Takahashi to release two LPs and several singles in the early 80s. Sadly, nothing she ever put out really set Japan on fire, and it would appear that she hasn’t released much since. She does have a webpage, but I don’t think it’s been updated since 2007, so I don’t know if she’s really all that active today.

Too bad though, because these two songs are fantastic. Her voice has a squeaky-yet-haunting quality to it ala Kate Bush, and the fast-paced, energetic production is complex and layered enough to avoid sounding too terribly dated. There was a compilation released in 2005 that collected everything she ever released, I hope I can find that somewhere, I really want to hear more from her.

Obscure Remixes By Oscar Winners

Friday, February 13th, 2015

High-caliber talent tonight.

12 Rounds
Pleasant Smell (Rethought By Trent Reznor, Keith Hillebrandt and Clint Mansell)
Pleasant Smell (Rethought By Charlie Clouser)
Pleasant Smell (Sniper’s Rit n Run Vocal Mix)
Pleasant Smell (Rethought By Clint Mansell And Keith Hillebrandt)
Pleasant Smell (Sniper’s Regular Specials Dub)
12 Rounds is a lesser-known industrial rock act from the mid-90s. They released two albums, Jitter Juice in 1996, and My Big Hero in 1998. That second album was on Trent Reznor’s Nothing Records and in fact the group went into the studio to record a third album, which was to be produced by Reznor, but it was never released.

I should probably point out at this time that 12 Rounds is singer Claudia Sarne and Atticus Ross, the latter of whom you may recognize as a frequent Trent Reznor collaborator. He produced/programmed every Nine Inch Nails album since With Teeth; was a member of Reznor’s side-project How To Destroy Angels; and served as co-composer with Reznor for the Academy Award winning score to The Social Network, as well as the scores to Gone Girl and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Pretty big step up from “dude in a band that opened for Sneaker Pimps.”

It’s funny that two of these remixes feature Clint Mansell, who also was a member of a lesser-known rock/industrial act (Pop Will Eat Itself) before abandoning the pop world and becoming an incredibly successful composer who has worked on films such as Requiem For A Dream, Black Swan, Moon and, um Doom. I sincerely believe it’s just a matter of time before he wins an Oscar as well, which will definitely make that remix the only alt-rock/industrial track featuring the work of three Academy Award winners.

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Heartbeat (Dance Mix)
Heartbeat (Tainai Kaiki II) – Returning To The Womb
Heartbeat (Ambiant Mix)
I’ll be honest, I’m just including these remixes tonight so I can say that this post has not one, not two, but three Academy Award winning composers (Sakamoto won for The Last Emperor). Also, that last track name isn’t a typo, it’s “ambiant.” I don’t know why.

 

Prince San

Friday, January 16th, 2015

I bought another Hulk Hogan album. At least, he’s on the picture disc. Stay tuned for the horrors I might find within.

Prince
Mountains (Extended Version)
Alexa De Paris
Whenever I buy a Prince single I end up being entirely blown away by the everything of everything on it. I really need to buy more Prince albums.

This remix of “Mountains” is ten freaking minutes long. That’s 10 minutes of Prince at peak funk. Be careful while listening to it, that much Prince peak funk has been known to cause injuries.

“Alexa De Paris” is a guitar solo by Prince. If you need more information that to download it then I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you.

Ryuichi Sakamoto & Robin Scott
The Left Bank
The Arrangement
Just About Enough
Once In A Lifetime
I’ve talked at length about Sakamoto on this blog before, so I’m not going to say anymore about him. But I assume most of you don’t know who Robin Scott is. At least, you probably don’t know him by his actual name.

Robin Scott is the dude behind the group M, meaning he is the person who brought us “Pop Music.” And now that song is stuck in your head and I apologize.

I don’t know how this collaborative effort with Sakamoto came to be, but I do know that it birthed a complete album, and not just the 12″ single from which I grabbed these tracks. I’ll have to find that sometime, as these songs are quite good. They kind of sound like mid-era Japan, which is not surprising at all, as Scott is doing his damnedest David Sylvian/David Bowie impression on these tracks.

Trepidation and Italian Manifestos

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Today was very long, monotonous, fun, grueling, thrilling, boring and potentially exciting.

I must sleep. But here are two songs that are ruling my life at the moment.

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Broadway Boogie Woogie
I know I just posted some Sakamoto in my last post, but I just discovered this song a few days ago and I would feel remiss if I didn’t post it immediately. The song is from his 1986 album 未来派野郎. According to Discogs and other sites, the English title of it is Futurista, however, according to one of my Japanese co-workers (and the coolest person I met in Japan yet) the direct translation is Futurist Bastard.

Not only is that a way cooler title, it’s also far more descriptive of the album’s overall sound, as it takes elements from the Italian futurist movement of the early 20th century and, well, bastardizes them to fit into a contemporary pop landscape. If that sounds familiar it’s because Art Of Noise did the same thing just a few years earlier. It’s also what Sakamoto compatriot Tachibana did with his insane and utterly brilliant 1984 album Mr. Techie & Miss Kipple.  If you’re curious as to what the hell futurist music really is, wiki that shit. It’s crazy.

While Sakamoto wasn’t the first to incorporate futurist themes into a sample-filled pop landscape, he was the first to build a futurist pop song primarily out of samples from Blade Runner and a radical sax solo that would make that guy from Lost Boys blush, so that’s something.

Pet Shop Boys
It’s Alright (Extended Dance Mix)
And reset the “Number of Days since a Pet Shop Boys Remix was Posted on Lost Turntable” counter back to zero.

It’s actually been four months exactly. Eerie. Even eerier, it’s almost a year to the day since my last post of Pet Shop Boys music that wasn’t a repost. Fucking trippy.

This remix is from a 10″ single, and is not the same as the 12″ dance remix. It’s actually a bit longer than that one.

坂本龍一 リミックス

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

In complete and total shit news, Ryuichi Sakamoto has been diagnosed with throat cancer.

As you probably know, Sakamoto is one of my favorite composers/performers/songwriters/people alive. As the keyboardist of Yellow Magic Orchestra, he is responsible for some of the greatest synthpop of all time, and as a solo composer he created some of the most hauntingly beautiful music I’ve ever heard, including the Oscar-winning score for The Last Emperor.

Here’s hoping that devil cancer was caught early enough so that the treatment is effective in slaying the fucker and getting Sakamoto back to full health as soon as possible.

Here’s some rare Sakamoto I’ve never posted before.

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Behind The Mask
Risky (Untitled Remix)
Risky (Remix)
Risky (Ultimix Edit)
This version of “Behind The Mask” is drastically different than the original version by YMO, featuring an entirely new arrangement and vocals written by Michael Jackson. How the hell did that happen? Well, I wrote about it a while ago for my other blog Mostly-Retro, so head over there and check it out for the full story!

As for “Risky,” the original version of that track first appeared on Sakamoto’s album Neo Geo, which I think was the closest he ever go to mainstream solo success in the states (which is to say not that close). The track was a superstar collaboration of sorts, featuring music co-written by producer/songwriter/bass player extraordinaire Bill Laswell (of Material fame) and lyrics/vocals by the legendary Iggy Pop. At least, I think that’s him.

Okay, well I know it’s him on the latter two mixes, but on that untitled remix, which is taken from the “Behind The Mask” single, it really doesn’t sound like Iggy Pop. However, there is no vocalist credited in the linear notes, so I have no idea as to who it might be. Anyone out there know?

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Behind The Mask (SEIKO Quartz CM Version)
This is the original version of “Behind The Mask,” recorded for the a watch commercial. This makes “Behind The Mask” the most successful commercial jingle of all time I think. Yes, even more than “Convoy.”

Lost Turntable: Now with 43% less migraines

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

You may notice a slight color change here! Why? Well, it’s a long story. Seriously, it goes back like six years.

When I first started this blog in 2006, I was still using an old-fashioned CRT monitor. Now, if you recall, back with CRTs, it was much easier to read white text on a black background than it was to read black text on a white background. Well, flash forward six years and several flat-screen monitors with increasing contrast later and oh my god reading plain white text on a pure black background makes my eyes want to pop out of my head.

So I was bored today and decided to finally give it a go at fixing it. I’m not super-happy with the results, but I do think it makes the site a bit easier on the eyes. What do you think? I know it’s not the prettiest color layout in the world, but hell, neither was hot pink and black. So whatever.

Now for a bit of shameless self-promotion. Over at my other site I wrote up a quick thing on this odd David Bowie record I found. And I also did a review of Death Waltz’s incredible Fog release. Read ’em. Love ’em. Share ’em. Make me happy. Repeat. And if you like reviews of hard-to-find and ridiculously expensive vinyl releases then check back at Mostly-Retro later this week and into the next for a review of the deluxe edition of Franz Ferdinand’s excellent new LP, as well as a look at a ridiculously rare record from a psych-rock band you’ve probably never heard of.

Cuz that’s the shit that really brings in the hits.

Information Society
Make It Funkier (Boot It Up Vocal)
Walking Away (SMD Mix)
Walking Away (House Dub)
Been a while since I posted any Information Society (or as the kids call them, InSoc). “Walking Away” was the second single from their debut album. It’s a solid tune, but let’s be honest here, it’s no “What’s On Your Mind (Pure Enegery).”

I don’t know what the fuck/funk “Make It Funkier” is, but it sure as hell ain’t funky.

Ryuichi Sakamoto
You Do Me (The Justin Strauss Remix)
You Do Me (Froggy Mix)
You Do Me (Just Right Dub)
You Do Me (7″ Mix)
I think I managed to go a whole month without posting some Sakamoto! Let me check to be sure…

Okay, so a few weeks ago I posted those Akiko Yano songs that he produced, co-wrote and performed on, but technically speaking they weren’t Sakamoto tunes, so I’m sticking by that. “You Do Me” is less disgusting than its title suggests, but it’s still not the best track. I like it for what it is, but when I get the Sakamoto itch (ew) I tend to go towards his work with YMO or even his classical stuff more often than this, it’s just a bit annoying if you ask me.