Rain with Beck

November 1st, 2017

I wasn’t washed away in the typhoon last week, so I guess I got that going for me. Funnily enough, I actually got to work early, with every single train running perfectly on time somehow. Of course, once I got there, my sole student for the day canceled and I just had to head back home.

Doubly of course, that’s when all the trains decided to shit the bed and leave me stranded halfway between my work and my home for half an hour.

Who could’ve predicted that? Oh yeah, that’s right – me. I predicted that.

I’d like to say that “making your employee trudge to work in a motherfucking typhoon for a customer who surely won’t come” is a specifically Japanese business trait, but we all know that fucking over the working man is an international tradition.

Mixed Bizness (Cornelius remix)
Mixed Bizness (Nu Wave Dreamix by Les Rythmes Digitales)
Mixed Bizness (DJ Me DJ You)
Mixed Bizness (Dirty Bixin Mixness Remix by Bix Pender)
Dirty Dirty
Saxx Laws (Night Flight to Ojai)

I posted a lot of these tracks before, eons ago and on a substandard vinyl ripping setup. These versions are taken from a CD-single I bought last week. So if you happen to have to old versions I shared back in 2011 and 2012, respectively, you’re gonna wanna download these regardless.

Beck is coming to Tokyo next month, but I will be skipping that show. I’m sure his new album is fine, I think it’s gotten good reviews, but I just don’t care. Until he announces a Midnite Vultures anniversary show where he plays that album from start to finish, count me out.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again and again), Midnite Vultures is Beck’s best work ever. Neo-funk classic. Sea Change? Fuck that shit. That’s mopey sad bastard bullshit for mopey sad bastards.

The Klaxons
Golden Skans (Sebastian Remix)
Golden Skans (Surkin Remix)
Golden Skans (Erol Ekstra Special Remix)
One day I am going to buy another album by this group I mean it. Judging on how quickly I’ve moved on these impulses in the past, I suspect “one day” will come by approximately 2028. Give or take.

I’ll Go To Work By Dolphin

October 21st, 2017

I get to go to work tomorrow in a typhoon. How’s your weekend?

Gary Numan
We Need It
These tracks were on CD at some point, they were included on the re-issue of Numan’s 1985 album The Fury. But that re-issue has been out-of-print for over 15 years at this point, and the tracks aren’t online in any capacity where you can actually buy them, so fuck it.

I don’t own The Fury, the common narrative regarding Numan is that you should best avoid anything he put out from 1983 to 1993, but I do enjoy these tunes. Very darkwave minimal stuff with Numan’s trademark moan working well to tie it all together. And the vinyl I ripped them from is bright neon orange! See?


St. Vincent
Power Corrupts (政権腐敗)
This one might get me a cease and desist but fuck it. Can anyone outside of Japan buy it? No.

This is the Japanese bonus track to St. Vincent’s newest album, the excellent MASSEDUCTION. It’s a re-working of the the title track, that features new vocals by Toko Yasuda, whose been in a few bands over the years. It’s a pretty radical reworking, with Yasuda’s vocals at the forefront. The only vocals by St. Vincent that remain are in the chorus.

Like I said, MASSEDUCTION is a great album and further proof that St. Vincent is a dope as fuck. Pick it up if you can, and even if you hate this track, give other songs from the a chance, this one really isn’t representative of the album as a whole.

Les Daylight
Tango For Cats
I almost posted this full album, don’t fucking tempt me.

I have no idea what this is, by the way. But I did pay $20 for the vinyl. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Megagay Megatone Megamixes

October 12th, 2017

Back to my regularly scheduled programming of unloading all the stuff I ripped to my computer before I moved to Japan. Now for some gay shit.

DJ Frank Schmidt
Megatone Records Greatest Hits Mix Side 1
Megatone Records Greatest Hits Mix Side 2

Tracks from Megatone work well in the megamix format, as nearly all of them kind of sound the same in the best way possible. I wish that the Megatone style of Hi-NRG disco had caught on more in the mainstream. I know it had an influence, you can hear elements of Cowley’s production work in tracks by artists like Erasure and Pet Shop Boys, but I feel that neither of them really captured the essence of the vintage Megatone sound. The Pet Shop Boys are often too subdued and/or depressed to be really Hi-NRG, while Erasure…I don’t know, they sound hella gay and camp, but not hella gay and camp enough. I guess no one can top Sylvester in that department.

Sylvester is on both of these mixes, alongside several other Megatone mainstays, the full tracklist for both mixes are as follows:

Side A

  1. Patrick Cowley – Mind Warp
  2. Sarah Dash – Lucky Tonight
  3. Sylvester – Do Ya Wanna Funk
  4. Modern Rocketry – (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone
  5. Patrick Cowley – Megatron Man
  6. Magda Layna – When Will I See You Again

Side B

  1. Sylvester – Don’t Stop
  2. Earlene Bentley – Boys Come To Town
  3. Le Jete – La Cage Aux Folles
  4. Scherrie Payne – One Night Only
  5. Queen Samantha – Close Your Eyes
  6. Sylvester – Hard Up

Modern Rocketry’s version of “Stepping Stone” is really great, and both the Sylvester and Cowley tracks are, of course, out of the park fantastic. There really isn’t a weak track on either side of this one. All killer no filler for sure. If you download these mixes and enjoy them, I highly recommend checking out the Megatone Records collections that are currently on sale at iTunes. They have the 12″ mixes to all kinds of amazing tracks, including “Do You Wanna Funk,” “Right On Target,” Low Down Dirty Rhythm” and many others. Essential listening for dancing in the meat-packing district of NYC circa 1981, or, y’know, a really good workout mix.

Music From The 21st Century That Never Happened

October 9th, 2017

Sorry for the break in posts for the past two weeks. I got sidetracked with a horrendous disease! Actually, it was just tonsillitis, but it sure a fuck stuck for a while and really put a damper on my plans. Additional strife was caused by the antibiotics I was prescribed, which side effects included anxiety attacks and insomnia, making for a fun Monday night, I tell you that.

I did use the day off work to do at least one productive thing, however; I finished the sixth part of my YMO guide! This part covers the various acts in the YMO family, like Jun Togawa, Kenji Omura, and a lot of other awesome artists I’ve mentioned here in the past. Check it.

Then check out this crazy spacey music from the fuuuuuture*

*actually 1982

Music From The 21st Century

Remember when “the year 2000” had such a mystical ring to it and we all imagined that we’d be in flying cars, eat food out of capsules and wear skintight clothing is superfluous circles on them? Ah, nostalgia for a future that never came to be. Even though I was only a wee lad in the first half of the 80s, I remember that the idea of “futuristic music” back then meant “a shitload of keyboards.” That, and probably silver jumpsuits.

Music From the 21st Century is a compilation of space-aged electronic music, stuff that sounded very futuristic at the time, although I wonder if anyone aside from four-year-old me really thought that the music of the coming millennium was really going to sound all that different.

While I do think that the actual music of the 21st century has turned out alright, I’m sad that a future where this stuff was the mainstream never became a reality. Imagine a world where 20 minute ambient soundscapes were top 20 hit singles instead of Katy Perry?

Note: I’m not sharing side one of this, which is basically just one Tangerine Dream track that’s in-print and easy to get.

Alex Cima
“Primera” is from Cosmic Connection, Alex Cima’s 1979 debut record. I’ve never seen this one in the wild, but from what I’ve heard on YouTube, it seems like my thing; part experimental electronica, part disco, part synthpop. My jam all the way. “Primera” is an okay tune, a bit too jazzy for my tastes, but “Lithium” is really top notch stuff. Rolling sequences, random space noises, a fast-paced beat, it sounds like Tangerine Dream on speed. Throw in some alien voices made via a vocoder, and it really sounds like music from the “the future.” Totally rad all the way.

Cima’s released three other albums, ranging from easy listening jazz to more experimental fair, but I think this stuff may be his best. Too bad it’s so hard to find.

Steve Roach
Steve Roach likes Tangerine Dream, and it shows with his contribution to the record. If you told me this was a Tangerine Dream track, I’d believe you. Thankfully for Steve, it sounds like a good Tangerine Dream track. It could’ve been a B-side to the Thief soundtrack or something.

Steve Roach is actually a very talented and well-respected name in the ambient music scene, with a career that continues to this day with over 100 proper albums, so I don’t mean to sound flippant. He obviously carved a very successful niche for himself that went far beyond “dude who likes Tangerine Dream.”

Don Preston
On The Throne Of Saturn
Don Preston was a founding member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. So it should come as no surprise that the motherfucker is weird. But this is a weird track, and entirely unlike everything else on this record. It’s very atonal and experimental, definitely straddling the line of what many people would call music. I also can’t figure out exactly how the hell he composed it. There aren’t any keyboards here, I think most of it is analog manipulation of analog sounds (i.e. tape music). I can see why he worked with Yoko Ono. Not exactly easy listening, but kudos for originality.

Neil Norman
Dance Of The Hyenas
Neil Norman organized this collection, and the only other artist whose name I recognized. Norman released those “Greatest Science Fiction Hits” albums in the 80s. This dude loves sci-fi. I bet he had a booth in at least one mid-80s Star Trek convention.

This is good, deliberately “sci-fi” sounding space music that deserves to be played as the background music in an episode of that new Star Trek series that probably isn’t very good.

Michael Garrison
Another Tangerine Dream-inspired keyboardist, Garrison released a lot of music in his life, and from what I can gather some of it is held in very high regard by ambient music fans. This is certainly a pretty good rejiggering of the Tangerine Dream sound (sensing a theme?), with a good mix of sequencer rhythms and a super-catchy melody. Feels like just part of a larger piece though.

Bruce Courtois
Inside The Black Hole
I can’t find much about out about Bruce. This is his only credited release on Discogs, and the only song of his I can find anything about on the internet (apparently its streaming on Spotify, who knew?)

I think, however, that he was in an early-70s glam band called Zolar X. They were a weird LA band with a sci-fi bent. Each of them when by pseudonyms, but the real name given for “Zany Zatovian” is “Bruce Allen Courtois,” so I assume that’s him.

It’s too bad he never pursued an electronic career proper, as “Inside The Black Hole” serves as a great album closer. Good upbeat spacey sound, good melody as well. I imagine this playing during a segment on 3-2-1 Contact about computers or something. It’s really evocative of the era it came from.

Black Box from another life

September 24th, 2017

I think I’ve talked about this before, this blog is over 10 years old after all, but I have a playlist on my computer that’s just called “Lost Turntable.” That’s a queue of sorts that contains every song that I want to share here at some point.

Right now it has 1,200 songs on it and includes tracks that I first recorded to my computer back in 2013.

Now, the 1,200 is kind of deceptive. I have a few complete albums on there that I have no intention in sharing in their entirety, but regardless, this list has gotten to damn big. And a lot of these songs have been languishing there for far too long.

But no more! The purge has begun! First up, anything I recorded to my computer before I moved to Japan.  A lot of this stuff is strange. You’ve been warned. But if you’re a little sick of the Japanese prog/new wave, then you’ll probably be happy.

Black Box
The Black Box Medley
Hold On (Disco Tech Mix)
Ask me anything about Black Box. Spoiler: I know nothing about Black Box.

Well, I guess that’s not true, weren’t they the other group that Martha Walsh sued for credit (with the more notable one being C+C Music Factory).

It was hard for me to find out exactly how long I’ve actually had this song in my collection. According to iTunes, I added it to my library in March of 2013, but that’s just when I got my current computer, so all that tells me is that it predates that. I actually have the hard drive from my previous setup in this computer though, and according to that, I added these files to my collection in October of 2012.

At that time I was still trying to cut it as a full-time freelancer (I’d just gotten an article on 1up.com!) and was planning my then vacation to China and Japan. Funny that.

I was also buying singles en masse. Seriously, you have no idea. You realize how deep you have to dive into a dance music rabbit hole to come out the other side with promo only Black Box remixes? Pretty fucking deep I tell you what.

Looking back, that was such a weird point in my life, spending so much time in front of my computer, listening to LPs non-stop. I also owned a home! Didn’t have a full-time job! And hella in the closet (as much as a man with over 100 Madonna singles can be)! It’s amazing how fast shit changes. I still look back at that time of my life happily. I have no regrets about any of it. I was happy I spent that time on my ass, trying to make it as a writer and listening to weird 12″ singles all damn day. But I’m glad it came to an end. Tokyo is dope. My boyfriend is dope. My job is dope (usually) and my apartment is hella dope (and I don’t have to worry about the pipes in the basement fucking exploding).

I do, however, miss buying countless 12″ singles for dirt cheap prices. Tokyo may have more record stores than most American states, but none of them are Jerry’s Records. I miss Jerry’s.

And Mineo’s, the pizza place that was next door. Although the fact that I don’t go there ever week is probably for the best. It’s probably why I lost 20 pounds when I first moved here.

Anyways, Black Box. House music. Dig it.


Madonna for Head Colds

September 21st, 2017

Figures right after I write about how I don’t get sick as much as I used to that I go and get sick for the second time in two months. Might as well post and write about a shitload of Madonna remixes, cuz that’s my thing after all.

But before you check out this bountiful supply of mid-tier Madonna tracks, take some time and head over to my other site, Mostly-Retro. Witness it’s continuing transformation into a far-too-personal blog. Here’s a story about Japanese medicine (and poop). Here’s another story about arcades, and also about how I identify with Tokyo’s slow decay away from the glory days of the 80s. Y’know, hot topical stuff that I’m sure will get me them hits.

Hollywood (Jacques Lu Cont’s Thin White Duke mix)
Hollywood (The Micronauts remix)
Hollywood (Oakenfold Full remix)
Hollywood (Deepsky’s Home Sweet Home Vocal remix)
Hollywood (Calderone & Quayle Glam mix)
Love Profusion (The Passengerz Club Profusion)
Love Profusion (Blow-Up Mix)
Love Profusion (Ralphi Rosario House Vocal Extended)
Love Profusion (Ralphi Rosario Big Room Dub)
Love Profusion (The Passengerz Dub Profusion)
Love Profusion (Craig J.’s Good Vibe Mix)
Love Profusion (Ralphi Rosario Big Room Vox Extended)
Lots of stuff here, I want to empty the Madonna out of my backlog by the end of the month.

There are some reposts here, kind of. I put up most of those “Hollywood” remixes a few years back, but those were taken from various 12″ singles. Tonight’s MP3s are rips from CD singles – so they sound much better. Re-download them even if you snagged the earlier ones. They’re all mostly good remixes also, solid takes on a good track.

The “Love Profusion” tracks are good as well, I really enjoy the Ralphi Rosario remixes, they give the track an 80s vibe that really suits it well.

Hey, did I mention I saw Duran Duran and Nile Rodgers this week? That was fucking amazing. Here, I have the gif to prove it.

Y’all have a nice weekend.

Funky Drummer and Bad Madonna

September 18th, 2017

Okay, I lied. I’m going to keep trying to get my old Twitter account back, I have a few more tricks up my sleeves. I know what you’re thinking, “James, you swore off Twitter a few months ago, why do you care that your account is gone?”

Well, for a few reasons. One, while I did severely cut back on my tweet activity as of late, it’s still a good way for me to keep in contact with a few people I like to know about. It’s also an excellent resource to find out about record sales. Additionally, let’s just be honest, having an account with close to a thousand followers is a decent method of self-promotion. I’ve never been shy to the fact that I desperately want people to read my shit.

Also, for me to get banned for “targeted abuse” while David motherfucking Duke still has account where he tweets out antisemitic bullshit literally every day is a fucking hypocrisy that I’m against on basic principle.

Anyways, I’m still trying out some options on my end, and may require your assistance at some point. In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas that might help, please share!

Now, for a change, pop music.

Sheila E.
KooKoo (Remix)
Paradise Gardens (Extended Version)
Sheila E. has a new album out! I haven’t bought it yet as I found out about it only 20 minutes ago, but from what I gleamed on YouTube, it’s funky as a motherfunker and sounds pretty rad. Check it out if you can.

Also check out these dope vintage Sheila E. remixes I scored…shit, where/when did I buy this? Did this just show up at my apartment someday? Is that what it’s come to? Are wayward 12″ singles just somehow becoming self-aware and making their way to my place because they know they’ll have a safe home here?

Seriously, I have no idea where I got this.

American Pie (Victor Calderone Filter Dub Mix)
American Pie (Victor Calderone Vocal Dub Mix)
American Pie (Richard Humpty Vission Visit Madonna)
American Pie (Richard Humpty Vission Radio Mix)
American Pie (Victor Calderone Vocal Club Mix)
American Pie (Victor Calderone Extended Vocal Club Mix)
If there was ever a sign that a completionist attitude is a mistake that can only lead to suffering, it’s the fact that I own not one, but three different 12″ singles of Madonna’s “American Pie,” solely because I want to own as much Madonna as inhumanly possible.

I hate the original version of this song. I’m sorry, I just do. And Madonna’s version is just infinitely worse. You know what doesn’t need to be remade into an upbeat dance track? The song about that time those famous rock and roll stars died tragically at very young ages.

I’m sharing these in the same sense of completionism that I bought them. I’m sure there’s someone out there who wants them just for the sake of wanting them. I’m here for you dude.

In case you’re wondering if any of these remixes are actually good, well it’s hard to say since the original is so bad. But the “Richard Humpty Vission Radio Mix” and the “Victor Calderone Vocal” mixes are decent as they actually resemble the original track to some degree. The others are just bland house tracks with the occasional Madonna vocal sample.

Das Computer

September 9th, 2017

After emailing, messaging and DMing Twitter Support repeatedly and getting no response, justification or explanation for my ban, I’m finally giving up the fight for my old screenname. I will never know what exactly I did to earn this ban. Whatever. I least I work for a company that has a business plan and makes money, unlike whatever bastard decided to delete my account whilst keeping the racists, homophobes and other bastards’ accounts around.

My new screenname is @unLostTurntable. I was going for FoundTurntable, but that was somehow taken. Damn.

Now, whose ready for some motherfucking Hubert Bognermayr and Harald Zuschrader up in here!? That’s right get hype!


Hubert Bognermayr and Harald Zuschrader – Erdenklang – Computerakustische Klangsinfonie
Okay, I didn’t know who these guys were either until I bought this one on a whim. What triggered the whim? Well, this blurb on the back cover.


Good work knowing your audience guys.

Hubert Bognermayr and Harald Zuschrader are both from Austria, and were in the obscure 70s prog rock act Eela Craig. I’ve never listened to that group, but I am aware of them, mainly because their LPs fetch huge prices at the local prog store I go to. The two were also heavily involved in Ars Electronica, a cultural institute that promotes new media art. That’s all I could gather about the duo in my short research. I’m sure there’s a lot more out there, but I don’t feel like regurgitating other sites’ information. If you end up listening to this album and want to know more about them, I’m sure you can go about doing that all on your own. I’d rather talk about this album.

Despite the Carlos endorsement on the back cover, this album doesn’t sound much like the minimal, purely analog synth work she’s most well-known for. Although, that’s not surprising considering that not a single analog machine was used in the recording of this album. The entire record was recorded using the Fairlight CMI, the digital synthesizer that helped create the sound of the 80s with its very robust sampling capabilities.

The Fairlight was also used a lot on Peter Gabriel’s early solo works, and some of this album really reminds me of the instrumentals on that one. Very ambient, but not always minimal, very textured, both the opening and closing numbers really make me think of Gabriel’s best work from that era.

The best track on this album though is the second one, the nearly 12-minute “Erdentief” and its sound is light years away from quiet and ambient. Instead, it really harkens to the anime soundtracks and other over-the-top instrumental electronic music from this era that I find myself listening to a lot right now. Very sample-driven, and even when its sparse, the sounds used are so artificial and bizarre that it still sounds jarring and even a little discordant. It also still sounds remarkably 80s, a little slap bass and drum samples really go a long way in that regard.

It’s a fun record, often upbeat while occasionally delving into more relaxing and meditative moods. I’m digging it right now, hope you can too.


Digital Tripping

September 2nd, 2017

I have a tumblr because why the fuck not. I don’t know if I “get” tumblr. My friend who is hella into tumblr said that, based on the tumblrs I’m following, I like “synthwave” and “aesthetic” but not “vaporwave.”

I barely know what that means. I like synthesizers and 80s shit I guess. Gee who knew?

Speaking of synthesizers and 80s shit….

Various Artists – Digital Trip Catalogue Synthesizer Fantasy

For the past couple of year I’ve occasionally touched upon the Digital Trip Synthesizer Fantasy records. These albums are a collection of anime/manga themes re-imagined (almost) entirely on synthesizers.I’m not a big anime guy. I know, I’m a nerd living in Tokyo so that’s weird, but it’s just not my thing. But what is my thing is dope 80s synthesizer music, and these albums have that in spades.

I’ve only posted one Digital Trip album in its entirety, the Lupin the 3rd one, which happened to be the first one I found. Since then I think I’ve posted the occasional tracks from others, but I really didn’t want to go out and post another album in full. I was trying to instead focus on the highlights of the series and then craft my own sort of greatest hits of them all. Little did I know that they went ahead and did that for me in 1983.

Digital Trip Catalogue Synthesizer Fantasy is a compilation of tracks from the various albums in the series that had been released up to that point. By that time, only half of the series had been released, but they still had a quite a few standout titles to choose from, and I have to say that I’m pretty happy with what they chose.

They also went out of their way to showcase and a wide selection of artists who had contributed to the Digital Trip series, which is really great because it allows you to compare and contrast their different styles. Not all synthesizer cover artists are created equal you know.  For example, on one hand you have Osamu Shoji, who favors heavily modulated and layered sounds to create an almost explosion of synthesizers, while on the other you have an artist like Jun Fukamachi, an insanely talented jazz pianist who favors a more minimal arrangement.  I personally favor Shoji’s kitchen sink approach, but both are great and really work to showcase just how much variety you can get out purely synthesized arrangements of already written music.

Synthwave is good, for sure, but if you really wanna embrace electronic music and fall in love with everything synthesizers from the 80s had to offer, you’ll ditch that synthwave and go head first into Japanese Jazz Funk Synthesizer Anime Music….wave.

Naming genres is really hard.

A Twitter Updated (continued)

August 31st, 2017

Some 48 hours after suspending my account, Twitter responded to my appeal with a denial. They will not restore my account. Their reason was that I violated Twitter rules regarding targeted abuse. That means they thought I was being abusive to a specific person or a “protected group.” So they considered my repeated reports against David Duke to be abusive, or they took umbrage with my “Kill all Nazis” tweet (never mind the fact that there are people with that phrase in their username). I cannot think of anything else that I could have done.

Twitter banned me because I was mean to Nazis.

I haven’t tweeted much lately but I had been reporting a lot of other accounts for abusive behavior. I reported one for racist abuse, another for encouraging violence against anti-Nazi protest groups. Both of those are still up.

As I mentioned numerous times, I reported David Duke for blatant TOS violations regarding antisemitism. His account is still active.

Recently, I reported an account that created fake chat logs to frame a well-known anti-Gamergate activist for sexual harassment. The user in question admitted to making the logs up with the sole purpose of framing the individual for something they did not commit.

That person’s account is still active.

So let’s review. On Twitter, being a Nazi is okay. Being a supremacist alluding to the extermination of any group of people is okay, as long as you don’t come out and directly say it. Also okay, harassing someone for the color of their skin. That’s fine. No big deal there. Committing a crime and impersonating someone in order to frame them for a crime, also fine. That’s cool.

But saying Nazis should die or trying to get people who think Jews should be exterminated from this planet off of the site? That’s a big no-no.

I created another account mostly to keep in contact with people who I only communicate with on Twitter and to follow record labels/stores. That’s it. I will no longer be tweeting unless I’m talking to my friends or responding to polite tweets from others. I’m setting up some accounts on other social media services that I want to use. I might even start up a Facebook group to share updates to my sites/record release news. I’ll keep you all updated

2017, the year of “not all Nazis” is really being a banger.