Big Beat Beats To Beat Fascists To

August 20th, 2017

Sorry for the lack of updates for the past week or so. I was in the States visiting family. While I always plan on updating my blog when I’m away, that rarely happens. Usually because I get distracted with seeing my friends and family. While that was certainly the case this time around as well, the RAMPANT RISE OF VIOLENT WHITE NATIONALISM was also a bit of a distraction. Sorry.

How about some big beat techno?

Sparky Lightbourne – Let Me Out Of My Box
Chester Rockwell – Monsters Of Rock
Surreal Madrid – Girls Of The Nite (Elite Force Remix)
FLF – Let The Good Times Roll
Sniper – Suburban Hooligan
Crossfire –Here We Go
All of the above tracks were taken from a 1999 compilation called Big Beat Royale Revisited. I posted another track from this album a few weeks back, so I thought I’d share the rest (that are currently out-of-print) here tonight. If you want a look at the full tracklisting, check it here.

I usually break my posts up by song, writing about each individually. Couldn’t do that with these, there just isn’t much to say about most of these tunes. That’s not to suggest that they’re bad, I actually like most of them, but big beat isn’t exactly deep. All of these songs follow the classic big beat formula; dope beat, random vocal samples, repeat. Shallow and stupid for sure, but it still gets me going.

I’m surprised that big beat never made a comeback. Are we due for late-90s nostalgia yet? Maybe it still has a chance.

Of all these songs, my favorites are the first two; “Let Me Out Of My Box” and “Monsters Of Rock.” I really dig the groovy bassline on “Let Me Out Of My Box,” it straddles the line between acid house and techno in a way I really dig. The guitar lick is rad too, and the vocal sample comes in at just the right time. If you told me it was a lost Propellerheads track I’d believe you.

“Monsters Of Rock” is just a big song with a big sound that my big ass can really get behind. A fucking pounding beat that will just annihilate you, and the track wastes no time getting down to business with an extended explosion of crunching guitars and frantic record scratches. And then, out of nowhere, comes a sample of “Double Dutch Bus,” the exact same sample that Missy Elliot used three years later for her smash hit “Gossip Folk.” I mean, it’s literally the exact same sample. They both use the same part of the same song. I have to wonder if someone in Missy’s camp heard this track somehow.

Like I said, all these tracks are rad, but those two are just fucking spectacular. Get your groove on. And then go smash a fascist.

Puffy (Not That One) and Moby

August 4th, 2017

I wrote a thing about Death Wish. It’s probably not very good (both the movie and what I wrote).

In other news, I’m going to America next week oh God.

This will be a much shorter visit than my usual month-long transcontinental tours. I’m stopping off in Oregon to see my mom and then jetting back to Japan a week later. Hopefully ICE won’t send me to Mexico before then.

Assuming I’m not detained on trumped up (PUN) charges and sent to a CIA retention center, I do plan on doing some record shopping in Portland before heading back, so I hope to find some 12″ singles that seem to be a bit on the scarce side here. Until then, here’s some fucking ultra-rad J-pop and Moby being Moby.


愛のしるし (✪ Mix)
渚にまつわるエトセトラ (Take Me To The Disco)
アジアの純真 (Malcolm McLaren Mix)
パフィー De ルンバ (Watermelon Remix)
日曜日の娘 (Ultra Living Mix)
Have I ever discussed the idiotic backwards way I usually discover old bands? It’s really stupid.

While most people get into a band from a hit single, or an album recommendation from a friend and then maybe eventually work their way to the obscure 12″ single or remix, I start there and work my way up to the hits. It happened with Depeche Mode and Erasure, and now its happening with Japanese acts like this. I’ve never heard a Puffy (aka Puffy Amiyumi) track proper before buying this remix single. Still haven’t, to be honest, but I’m eating this shit up right now, so I can totally see myself buying some of their stuff in the immediate future.

So why did I buy this remix single? Well, I could say that it’s because I noticed Malcolm McLaren’s name on the tracklisting. But I’m going to be honest and say that I thought my boyfriend would giggle when he saw the package of the guy on the cover.

I was right, by the way.

These remixes are fucking rad, totally groovy disco-infused dance music that will get you in the mood to boogie. The best of the bunch is the second one, which is remixed by Fantastic Plastic Machine. It’s got that perfect storm combination of 90s electronic, 80s synthpop and 70s disco that gets me every damn time. Great hook that had me singing along even though I don’t speak the language…still.

Look, Japanese is really really hard.

James Bond Theme (Moby’s re-version) (Piet Blanc’s Da Bomb mix)
James Bond Theme (Moby’s re-version) (Danny Tenaglia’s Acetate dub)
James Bond Theme (Moby’s re-version) (Grooverider’s Jeep mix)
Japan-only maxi single exclusives woo living in this country totally continues to pay off. I walk into just about any CD store and find a Japan-only CD single I’ve been dying to get my hands on for years, and I have affordable health insurance. Totally a win-win.

I’m sure these remixes are on some US release, so don’t “actually…” me. But they’re not on my US CD or 12″ singles for this song, so I was very happy to find them on the Japanese version. Always been a big fan of Moby’s take on this classic.

Madonna Remixes and a request for you to listen to weird shit

July 30th, 2017

I wrote a thing about how George A. Romero nearly destroyed my life and how much I like his movies.

Also, Madonna.

Music (HQ2 club mix)
Music (Calderone Anthem mix)
Music (Deep Dish Dot Com remix)
Music (Groove Armada club mix)
Music (The Young Collective club mix)
Music (HQ2 radio mix)
Music (Calderone radio edit)
Music (Deep Dish Dot Com radio edit)
Music (Groove Armada 12″ mix)
Die Another Day (Calderone & Quayle Afterlife Mix)
Die Another Day (Calderone & Quayle Afterlife Dub)
I really have to work on purging my Madonna backlog from my queue. These tracks included, there are 45 Madonna remixes in my LostTurntable iTunes playlist, and many of them have been there for a while. I’m really sorry! It’s not like I don’t love Madonna (OMG I love Madonna) I just keep getting distracted by obscure Japanese electronic jazz-funk records. I’m sure you can all identify.

Or not, I don’t know.

I don’t have terribly much to say about these remixes. Most are good, a few aren’t. I posted a couple of the “Music” remixes a few years back, but those were taken from a 12″ single, these are from a proper CD single, so they sound much better.

As I don’t have a lot to say about these tracks, I thought I’d use this space to pontificate about the State Of Lost Turntable, as I do every so often.

If you’re and long-term/regular visitor to this blog you’ve probably noticed my recent change in focus regarding what I’m posting lately. Of my past 10 posts, only two have consisted of Western pop music. The rest were either focused on Japanese dance tracks, or incredibly obscure and strange Japanese electronic music from the 70s and 80s.

This actually has less to do with my taste in music and more to do the fact that it’s kind of hard to find decent 12″ singles from 80s acts here in Japan. I’ve been looking! Really, I have! But whenever I do find some seemingly-obscure 12″ remix by an 80s or 90s act y’all might’ve heard of, it turns out the tracks are either in print or I already posted them years ago. Hence the propensity for me to post and share tracks from out-there Japanese artists, they’re easier for me to find, and still routinely out-of-print (especially in the States and Europe, where most of you are).

I can tell my move to increase focus on Japanese artists isn’t exactly popular. Not because of negative comments (I’m not getting those – thanks for that) but from the complete lack of comments (and hits) that those posts generate.

I get that obscure Japanese jazz-funk might not be your thing. Same for a collection of 70s synthesizer covers of Beatles tracks, but if you only come here to download songs by artists you know or have heard of, and don’t give the Japanese stuff a fair shake, I beg you to reconsider. A lot of the Japanese stuff I’m posting is some of my favorite music as of late, it’s just so original and different when compared to, well, everything else I’ve ever listened to.

So, the next time you come here and you see some weird, obscure Japanese album or an all-synthesizer covers album and are about to close the tab or go somewhere else, why don’t you try giving the music a chance first? You got nothing to lose, shit’s free after all.

Finally, and I know this sounds kind of lame, but if you do like some of the more obtuse and bizarre shit I share, let me know by leaving a comment. It’s nice to know that I’m sharing this for at least a few appreciative people. And if I share something you really like, you could also share it yourself via Facebook, Twitter, or whatever. Again, I know that sounds a little bit like a desperate cry for more readers, but I just want the music I share to find an appreciative audience.

More people need to hear these crazy Beatles covers. Same goes for these synthesized remakes of sci-fi movie themes. And have you heard the soundtrack to the Golgo 13 movie? It’s great! What about this weird Japanese ambient record I found on cassette tape? Or this amazing album of avant-garde electronic funk/jazz? 

Look, I like Madonna as much as the next gay man, but expand your horizons people!

Okay, sorry for the rambling, enjoy the Madonna-rama.

Yutaka Mogi’s Digital Mystery Tour

July 28th, 2017

I’m fairly certain I’ve stated this before, but I’m really happy when I say “boy I wish I could find a copy of [insanely obscure record]” and then immediately find said record, randomly, in a record shop for a steal of a price. I feel as if that happens far more often than it should, statistically speaking. Maybe I should start saying that for other things. Let’s give it a try.

Boy, I wish I could find a formula that makes affordable cold fusion possible! And maybe that Trump pee tape too! That would be great.

Okay everyone, expect the energy crisis, and the American political nightmare, to be solved with a few weeks. You’re welcome. In the meantime, here’s a fucking amazing synthesizer covers album you need to download right this second.

Yutaka MogiDigital Mystery Tour
I mean, I literally found this album less than two weeks after publicly proclaiming my desire to buy it. Fucking rad.

This is Digital Mystery Tour by Yutaka Mogi, like its title suggests, a large portion of it is dedicated to reworking Magical Mystery Tour with digital instruments. As such, that means we get all-synth takes on the Beatles classics “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Flying,” “Your Mother Should Know,” “Blue Jay Way,” and “Fool On The Hill.”

All of the Beatles covers are utterly brilliant, and are absolutely not afraid to radically tear apart the originals if needed. “Your Mother Should Know” is transformed into some wacked out funk track, and “Blue Jay Way” is re-assembled to be almost a new age number (and stretched out to be nearly twice as long as the Beatles original). Mogi also goes the quiet route with “Fool On The Hill,” with ethereal faux-strings and a quiet piano giving the song a strange, almost choral quality. The opening “Magical Mystery Tour” is a relatively straightforward cover, but Mogi’s insistence of using heavily modulated and just downright bizarre synthesizer settings will work to give it an otherworldly feeling.

For whatever reason, only half of the album is dedicated to The Beatles. Side two is dedicated to re-imaginings of much older numbers and features “When You Wish Upon A Star,” “The Skaters Waltzes – The Blue Danube,” “Tea For Two,” “Star Dust – Moonlight Serenade” and “Dances Of The Swans.” The rather pedestrian selection might make you think that the second half is filler, but Mogi really tears through these numbers as well. Just like The Beatles’ tracks, Mogi does what he can to give these songs new life. And the arrangements are just so lush. Early synthesizer covers records were sparse and simple because they had to be, due to the limitations of the hardware. This album came out in 1978. By then, synthesizers had become largely polyphonic, and a hell of a lot easier to manipulate and use. Mogi takes advantage of this, pumping as much life into these numbers as possible via a seemingly unending array of audio trickery and bombastic sound effects.

I need to start cataloging and ranking the myriad of moog/synthesizer covers albums in my collection. Every time I discover a new one I think it stands head and shoulders above the rest. I think I bias myself towards the new finds simply because I get so excited when I stumble upon them. Still and yet, I really do think this one is special, a fantastic showcase of what the synthesizers of the era could do, all performed by a wonderful musician who more people need to know about. If you listen and like it, be sure to check out this post, which also features some amazing music by Mogi.

Beat The Heat With Cornelius

July 23rd, 2017

It is too fucking hot in Tokyo. Actually, let me clarify that a bit: it is too fucking humid in Tokyo. Today it was 84 degrees Fahrenheit. I mean, that’s hot, but not too bad. However, humidity was at 80% and I had to wear a shirt with a collar for work. Thank god we don’t have to wear ties in the summer or I would be a puddle of English instructor.

On days like this, you gotta take coolness as a state of mind, something that I carry even into the music I listen to on my commute. If I’m stuck in a crowded train on a hot and humid morning, the last thing I want to listen to is some fast-paced techno or heavy metal. I want to chill out and calm down, find ways to distract myself from my sweaty brow and heat-induced itches in the bad places.

So thanks to Cornelius’ latest release Mellow Waves, an album that certainly lives up to its title as some mellow mellowness. It’s helping me survive this brutal Tokyo sauna. Its not an ambient album, there are beats and lyrics, complete with choruses. These are proper pop tunes, just subdued and relaxed ones. It makes for the perfect soundtrack for when you’re trying your best not to scream at the top of your lungs and tear off your suit on a rush hour train to Shibuya.

You’ll have to trust me on that one.

Anyways, I won’t share Mellow Waves as its a new release that’s in-print even in America. But I want to hype Cornelius anyway I can, so here are some of his older remixes that are my favs.

Atomic Moog 2000 (Cornelius Remix)
This version has been on a few different albums and compilations over the years, in fact I have it twice over. I first discovered it on the 1999 Coldcut remix album Let Us RePlay, and then re-discovered it recently via a cheesy “big beat” compilation I picked up called Big Beat Royale Revisited. It’s a dope track with dope beats and a dope drop. It’s dope.

Towa Tei
Butterfly (Cornelius Remix)
I meant to share this when I posted the other versions of this track a few weeks back, but I didn’t because…I forgot. Sorry about that. This is a rad remix that re-imagines the original drum and bass tune as a chill-as-fuck lounge tune with glitch elements.

Sketch Show
Ekot (Cornelius Remix)
Chronograph (Cornelius Remix)
As I mentioned in my guide to YMO-adjacent acts, Sketch Show is kind of a version of Yellow Magic Orchestra, featuring Hosono and Takahashi with the occasional support of Ryuichi Sakamoto.

They’re nothing like YMO though and skew much more towards the experimental, and especially glitch, end of the musical spectrum. Their music can be exceptionally beautiful at times, but glitch has always been a difficult genre for me to get into. Like its name suggests, it often just sounds broken to me, and the pops, cracks and other deliberate effects that are used to create a slightly off-center soundscape can sometimes just scratch the wrong nerve in my brain. I really got to be chill and relaxed to get into it. As you can probably guess, its not summer music for me.

The original versions of these tracks were already abstract, but Cornelius’ takes on them move them even further away from the mainstream, often stripping out the beats to create more ambient versions. I like what he does to them even if it’s not really always what I want out of music. If you ever listened to Aphex Twin and thought, “this could work as a pop song,” then you should probably dig on this stuff though.

Japanese Jazz-Funk-Fusion for Hangovers

July 16th, 2017

I’m wicked hungover and have to be at work in three hours. Let’s chill out.

Yukata Mogi
Die Deustche Ideologie
Flight Information
Near Miss
Telstar (Single Edit)
Yukata Mogi was a keyboardist for the Japanese progressive rock band Yonin Bayashi, who released several albums in the 70s and into the 80s. They’re really good. I highly recommend their 1974 album Ishoku-Sokuhatsu, as well as Neo-N, which came out in 1979. That one is actually my favorite of theirs that I’ve heard so far, due to its combination of prog-rock and new wave. And I don’t mean Yes “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” new wave, this album is much more aggressive. I suspect it was influenced by Ryuichi Sakamoto’s 1,000 Knives and other experimental stuff from the time.  It even has a bit of a Philip Glass vibe. These dudes should’ve collaborated with Polyrock.

Mogi is the keyboardist on that album. I believe it was his only collaboration with the group. I dug the record so much, especially his work on it, that I tracked down his 1980 solo record Flight Information, hoping for more of the same.

The album, it turns out, is nothing like Neo-N, and is a much more laid-back and jazzy affair. Not all of it is my cup of tea, but I do dig a few of the songs, which are the ones I’m sharing today.

Also up there is his cover of The Tornados’ “Telstar.” This song is on Flight Information, but that version segues into another track. However, the song was also released as the b-side to to the single “Sky-Love.” For that release, a different mix was created with a modified ending, allowing for it to be played on its own. That’s the version I’m including here.

I think that Mogi passed away a few years back, and sadly his discography is rather sparse. He released a covers album in the late 70s that includes a radical cover of “Magical Mystery Tour.” If I can track down that bad boy I’ll share it here for sure.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to drink all the tea and take a 30 minute shower.

Continuing to fret over the remote possibility of nuclear war with help from The KLF

July 7th, 2017

Every time I buy one of these North Korea launches a missile. I’m sorry.

What Time Is Love? (live at Trancentral/7″ radio edit)
What Time Is Love? (The KLF vs. The Moody Boys)
What Time Is Love? (The 1988 Pure Trance original)
3 A.M. Eternal (live at the S.S.L./7″ Radio Freedom edit)
3 A.M. Eternal (Guns of Mu Mu/12″ edit)
3 A.M. Eternal (1989 “Break for Love” mix/original Pure Trance mix)
Last Train to Trancentral (live From the Lost Continent/7″ radio edit)
Last Train to Trancentral (The Iron Horse/12″ version)
Last Train to Trancentral (The White Room version/import LP version)
Last Train to Trancentral (The 1989 Pure Trance original)

I’m writing this post before I even finish listening to the box set because it’s not like I’m going to hear one of these tracks, dislike it, and then decide not to share it. More epic KLF.

I don’t have much to say about these tracks (because they’re great and you should listen to them) so I thought I would use this space to plug the store that I bought the box set from. It’s called Shop Mecano and it’s located inside the Nakano Broadway shopping mall in Nakano. If you like my blog then you’d probably go apeshit in this shop, it’s dedicated almost entirely to electronic and new wave music from the late 70s to today, with a heavy bias towards anything influenced by Kraftwerk. The dude who runs this shop loves Kraftwerk more than you love Kraftwerk. For real. I’m pretty sure he actually wrote the liner notes for the Japanese re-issues of Kraftwerk’s back catalog a few years back. Dude is hardcore.

This store has all kinds of amazing stuff, from rare and hard-to-find imports of releases from western acts like Art Of Noise and Depeche Mode, to what seems like an endless supply of YMO and YMO-related music. This store is straight-up dangerous to my wallet, I’ve probably spent more here than I have at any other store in the greater Tokyo area. It gets the Lost Turntable seal of approval to the max. I’m not saying you should make your way to Tokyo just to go to this store, but if you made your way to Tokyo just to go to this store I certainly wouldn’t judge you for doing so.

And in case you’re wondering, you can find part II of this set here.

Towa Power

June 25th, 2017

I’ve been trying to write a lot more lately and I think the results have been relatively good. Over at my other site you can find a goofy little write-up about a strange Japanese arcade game, as well as a piece about a game music DJ set that I went to.  I don’t often say this, but I’m kinda sorta proud of the latter piece and I think it covers something more people should know about, so if you read it and like it, please feel free to share it with your friends via your social media platform of choice. More people need to know about dope underground game music DJ shows in Tokyo.

Towa Tei
Butterfly (Extended)
Moth (DJ Die & Suv Remix)
“Butterfly” is a track from Towa’s 1999 album Last Century Modern, which is a great album I recommend checking out if you like 90s electronic music, very drum and bass in parts, but it still keeps some of that Towa lounge sound that he’s known so well for. “Butterfly” is a standout track from the album, I think it was a single first. It’s definitely an example of Towa incorporating the Shibuya Kei lounge music sound into a more upbeat and modern context. A really fun and upbeat track. “Moth” is the B-side remix, which makes me hope that somewhere there’s a cassette only remix of the track called “Pupa” or “Caterpillar” or something. I do have some more remixes of “Butterfly,” but they’re on an album I plan on sharing in its entirety on a later date so they’ll have to wait for now, sorry. These two mixes came from a 12″ single. That single also came with a stupid poster. Look.

No Way (Full Mix)
No Way (Norman’s Club Mix)
No Way (Dee Joy Delite Mix)
Pro-tip for anyone out there collecting obscure dance singles from the mid-to-late-90s (I can’t be the only one, right?). If you see the name “Norman” on it anywhere, that Norman is probably Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim. That’s certainly the case with this one. Freakpower is one in a long line of Fatboy Slim aliases and collaborative acts, which also included Cheeky Boy, Pizza Man and Yum Yum Head Food. The next time you think that Fatboy Slim is a dumb name, keep those other possibilities in mind.

Freakpower was one of the more prolific aliases for Cook, he actually released two albums as part of the group, one in 1994 and another in 1996. I’ve never heard either of them, but if they’re anything like “No Way” I highly suspect they sound like Fatboy Slim albums.


YMOh Yeah

June 22nd, 2017

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Technopolis (M.S.T. Mix)
Rydeen (Beat Sonic Mix)
Behind The Mask (Live at A&M Chaplin Memorial Studio 7th Nov 80)
I don’t know if the information regarding when and where that version of “Behind The Mask” was recorded is right. Let me explain.

A few weeks ago I picked up YMO Giga Capsule, a special edition DVD featuring live and rare YMO performances. This is not the same as YMO Giga Clips. That’s a different DVD that focused more on TV show performances and music videos. Giga Capsule is a bigger affair, mostly because it’s a two-sided disc. One side is your standard DVD video and features a nice selection of YMO live footage from various concert videos (all of which are annoyingly out-of-print right now). It’s great, but nothing out-of-the-ordinary.

The other side is what’s special, a unique digital experience full of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, outtakes and more. Of course, that’s what I’ve gathered from reading about it online. That’s because I can’t get the fucking disc to work on my computer. I think the thing will only work using an old 32bit version of Quicktime that is no longer available and doesn’t work on modern 64-bit machines. If anyone does know anything about getting this thing to work on a new PC, hit me up.

Even though I can’t run the disc’s program proper, I can browse the file directories, which led me to some interesting discoveries. Rather amazingly, this one DVD contains YMO’s complete studio discography, as well as the Live At Kinokuniya Hall album. They’re AIFF files, but they all sound pretty good save for the live album, which is blown out for some reason. Anyone with a bit of technical skill could rip all these files off the disc, easily convert them to MP3, and then have every single YMO record on their hard drive! That kind of thing would never happen today.

There are a lot of other random audio files on this disc. Apparently, somewhere on it are the raw instrumental tracks for several songs. Tried my best, but I couldn’t find them. What I could find was this live version of “Behind The Mask.” I got the information behind its source via the disc’s Discogs page. It could be completely wrong, I have no way of checking. I think I just wrote more words in English about this disc than anyone in the history of the internet. If I’m wrong, please inform me with the correct information.

As for the remixes, they’re from a bizarre remix compilation (pictured above) that features remixes of YMO tracks as well as YMO-associates Sandii, Snakeman Show and Melon. As remixes of YMO go, these are some of the better ones I’ve heard. However, as you may know if you read my multi-part guide to the YMO discography, that’s really not saying all that much. Nearly every YMO remix is complete garbage, even the ones by prominent electronic artists like The Orb. I think it’s because YMO are, at heart, a pop band, and the majority of their remixes have been done by artists looking to make the music more like whatever dance music trend is hip at the time. That just doesn’t work.

Like I said though, these aren’t atrocious. And if you’ve ever wondered what YMO might sound like if they were a mid-90s hardcore house act, well then you are in luck tonight!

Barbarians and Slap Bass

June 21st, 2017

Guin Saga – Seven Mage Doctors (グインサーガ 七人の魔道師)

I have a lot of soundtracks to anime I have never seen. But they don’t hold a candle to the number of soundtracks I have to manga I’ve never read.

That’s right, soundtracks to manga.

In yet another example of how crazy a bubble economy can get, there were scores of soundtracks to manga in the mid-80s in Japan. Many of these were official releases sanctioned by the publishers, while a few were not 100% up-and-up affairs. You can always tell which ones were vaguely unofficial because they didn’t use any licensed artwork from the series, instead opting for abstract graphic designs. This is what an overwhelming number of the Synthesizer Fantasy albums do, which is one of the many reasons why they’re so dope.

From what I’ve noticed through my casual observations shifting through record store racks, a lot of yaoi (teen gay-themed romances written for straight girls) were given soundtrack releases. I haven’t bought any of them, mostly because I absolutely abhor the artistic style on the covers, far too flowery and fruity for this flower-loving fruit. I will probably pick some up eventually though, especially the ones by my favortie manga/anime synthesizer composer, Osamu Shoji.

One series that is not of the hot teenage manlove variety that I often see in the soundtrack section is Guin Saga, which is a long (long) running novel and manga series about a mysterious leopard-masked warrior who doesn’t hesitate to throw down when the time calls. There is an anime of this series now, and that anime has a soundtrack. I have not seen that anime, nor have I listened to that soundtrack. But no matter how good it is, it can’t hold a candle to the Guin Saga album I have.

Guin Saga 〜辺境篇〜 (roughly translated as Seven Mage Doctors, I think) is an all-synthesizer album much like the Digital Trip/Synthesizer Fantasy albums that I love. However, it is much more lush and varied than many of those albums are. That doesn’t have anything to do with the composer, Goro Ohmi composed many Synthesizer Fantasy albums as well as this record (and several other in the Guin Saga series), so I assume it must’ve been a stylistic choice. Whatever the reason, it certainly works this album. Guin Saga is a big adventure story filled with magic, monsters and barbarians, it needs a big sound, and this album sure as hell delivers.

The opening is very stereotypical synth, with an obvious synthesizer melody and mechanical drumbeat. But as the album progresses, Ohmi takes more liberties with his instruments at hand, delivering us synthesized string arrangements, echoing chimes and faux-choral accompaniment. It even becomes less like a collection of songs and more like a proper score at times, with ambient, moody pieces filling out a good chunk of the record.

One thing that really strikes me about the album is how much it sounds like the game music that would come in the following decade. While the SNES couldn’t have featured instrumentation as lush and involved as this, it has a similar vibe. If you told me that some tracks from this album were cut from a proposed Actraiser soundtrack, I’d believe you. I can’t really place why, it just feels right. Maybe its the rad synth slap bass. SNES tracks were all about the synth slap bass and this album is just overflowing with it.

If you’ve never heard of Guin Saga or Goro Ohmi, don’t let that discourage you from giving this album a test run. Anyone who is a fan of instrumental electronic music of the 80s should certainly check it out.