Golgo 13 Jams

June 16th, 2017

Golgo 13 Original Soundtrack
My father owned a video store until the late-90s. Around 1994 or so, he started to carry a lot of anime. The section was instantly popular with many of the high school kids in the area as he was the only store that dealt with it. All the other stores in the area were chain stores that didn’t even bother with the stuff.

I still remember that first batch he got in, stuff like Akira (of course), Wicked City, Riding Beam, and this – the first animated movie based on the Golgo 13 manga.

I, being about 13 at the time and entirely ignorant of manga as a whole, had no idea that the movie was based on the manga. I didn’t even know that the manga existed. Instead, I assumed the movie was based on the NES video game, which I played the shit out of when I was much younger. I loved that game, even though it was punishingly hard and disgustingly unfair. That didn’t stop me from playing it for hours on end. Shit, I even played the sequel and managed to somehow nearly beat it.

1994 me hadn’t played the game in a while, but I still loved it, so I jumped at the chance to watch a movie that I assumed was based on it. I snagged it from my dad’s store the second I saw it and popped it in on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

My mother was very displeased with the somewhat graphic nudity early on, but I recall her rolling her eyes and letting me continue to watch it. My mom is dope like that.

To be honest, I don’t remember much of the film. Reading the plot description on wiki, only snippets come back to me. The (disgustingly misogynistic) ending does ring a bell, but the rest of it is a blur. I certainly didn’t recall the soundtrack when I picked it up a few months back. I bought it mostly for nostalgic reverence for the video game, and the super dope cover.

I’m glad I picked it up though, because it’s pretty damn rad. The movie came out in 1983, but if the soundtrack is any indication, disco was still the hottest latest in Japan. The main theme is very disco, as are many of the instrumental numbers that accompany it. One thing that does surprise me is that it’s a predominately analog affair. While some dope keyboard riffs do pop up from now and then, the entire thing sounds very organic, more like mid-70s disco than the more electronic-influenced dance music that was popular in Japan at the time. It still sounds great though.

The composer is Toshiyuki Kimori, who worked on several other anime films in the 80s, including Dirty Pair and Arcadia of my Youth. He also released a Super Mario Bros. covers album in 1986. That goes for a pretty penny online, but I can entirely see myself caving and buying it in the relatively near future. I have no willpower for such things.

This soundtrack was only released once, in 1983, and appears to have been out of print ever since. The seller offering the sole copy available on Discogs is asking over $70 for it, which is about how much the last copy went for on the site. Happy that I found mine for less than $20! Living in Japan has so many perks.

Enjoy the assassination jams.

Moog – The Final Frontier

June 11th, 2017

Welcome Retronauts listeners who are discovering this blog for the first time thanks to my recent appearance on that show. It was a lot of fun to be back after a long hiatus from it!

I do occasionally post game music here. I’ll probably be sharing some in the coming week or so. A good one too, something extra bizarre, so hold tight on for that. In the meantime, be sure to check out my other site, Mostly-Retro.com. I post a lot more gaming and Japan-related stuff there.

In the meantime, here’s an obscure album of synthesizer covers. Y’know, the hottest latest.

E-Project – Synthesizer Trek
The liner notes on this release don’t have a lot of details regarding who E-Project exactly is. But from digging around on the internet I discovered that E-Project is a duo comprised of Susumu Hirasawa and Takashi Kokubo. At least, that’s what a random website said.

It would certainly make sense though. Hirasawa is an incredibly influential and eclectic musician. He’s best known in Japan for his work with P-Model, an amazing group that did a bit of everything from prog rock to new wave synthpop, but he also has an extensive solo discography that I’ve been meaning to dive into a bit more.

Takashi Kokubo has also been around. He was in a prog rock act called Ring, but I don’t know anything about them. What I do know is that after this album was released in 1980 he started pumping out the amazing Synthesizer Fantasy anime/manga “soundtrack” LPs that I often mention here. He put out 10 of those bad boys in a scant three years. I own half and I can personally attest to how utterly amazing they are. Fucking rad shit even if you don’t give a shit about the anime they originate from (I certainly don’t). He also released a Bach covers album called Digital Bach, which I have, and I’m certain I’ll share here at some point.

Anyways, unlike a lot of the other synthesizer albums I’ve featured here recently, this one is almost entirely focused on newer (at the time) compositions, specifically it focuses on themes and songs from big sci-fi epics. That means you get synthesized covers of the Star Trek and Star Wars themes, as well as all-electronic takes on tunes from Close Encounters, Black Hole and even Alien. The main theme from 2001 is also included, because how couldn’t it be. Also along for the ride is the original track “Intergalactic Journey,” and “Night Flight,” a cover of an obscure song I’ve never heard of.

My favorite number on the album is the batshit interpretation of the Star Trek theme. It incorporates this wacky, weird synthesizer springy effect into the mix. Sounds like noises you’d hear if you came across Q-Bert fucking or something.

Sorry for that mental picture.

Please enjoy. And if you’re interested to find out what synthesizers were used on this album, you’re in luck, they listed them all.

Holy shit.

MORE FUNK AND MORE TURTLENECKS

June 10th, 2017

The era of Prolific James (that’s me) continues. Over on that other site I have for some reason, I wrote about an awesome Mario Paint instructional video that I finally managed to get uploaded to YouTube. I also put together a rambling piece about my musical tastes and how they’ve changed over the years (save for my hatred of Steve Winwood). Check them out if you’d like.

And since I’ll probably have a few more readers than normal reading this post in the coming days thanks to my upcoming appearance on Retronauts, I’d like to share this post I wrote about a sexual I.Q. test on vinyl. Apropos of nothing, I just really like one and want more people to read it!

Anyway, bicoastal keyboards ahoy!

Electro Keyboard Orchestra
The Heated Point
The Iron Side
You probably don’t know this (because why the hell would you) but Japan has its own series of exclusive releases for Record Store Day. Almost all of them are of Japanese acts, which makes sense – because it’s Japan. This year did feature on Todd Rundgren seven inch single though, which is way more Japanese than any Japanese release (Japan loves the Runt).

Of the Japan-exclusive titles, I only bought two. One was an electro covers album of Sly Stone tracks.

It’s weird.

The other was this, a seven-inch single featuring a pair of tracks from a 1975 space-rock/funk/jazz instrumental keyboard outfit  that featured Yuji Ohno, who’s best known for his work on the Lupin series.

Why they just didn’t repress the original LP in full is beyond me, but I’ll take what I can get. These tracks are uberdope. Dope as a mother. Dopest shit. They’re dope.

There was some primo-synthsized funk coming out of Japan in the mid-70s that really embraced the electronic sound of early synthesizers and combined it with vintage funk grooves of acts like Sly Stone. Any random 70s Japanese funk track I’ve heard could have easily served as the soundtrack to a high speed car chase featuring Steve McQueen and/or a Dodge Charger.  One day I will compile a Nuggets-style compilation of pre-synthpop Japanese electronic music. Until that day, enjoy this taste. These tracks are my everything right now.

Pet Shop Boys
Yesterday, When I Was Mad (Jam & Spoon Mix)
Yesterday, When I Was Mad (Junior Vasquez Fabulous Dub)
Yesterday, When I Was Mad (Raf Zone Mix)
I have now posted every single Pet Shop Boys remix in my collection. As Pet Shop Boys singles are a bit harder to come by here (and I already have most of the ones I do stumble upon), don’t expect another post filled with remixes of PSB classics anytime soon. Longtime readers of this site (shout out to both of you) probably remember when this site was almost nothing but Pet Shop Boys (and New Order/Depeche Mode) remixes. Seems so long ago, because it was. I still can’t believe I’ve been doing this thing for over ten freaking years.

I hope to continue this prolific streak of mine for at least a few more weeks. Hopefully expect more posts than usual. Sorry if they’re all covering strange Moog records from the mid-70s. Actually, I’m not that sorry about that. But I thought I’d give a heads up.

Stay sane out there.

Giga YMO (We need to use giga more, it’s a good word)

June 9th, 2017

I was previously lamenting about my analog-to-digital struggles. But you know what’s dope and super-easy? Converting one form of digital file to another. I used to write for eHow and thanks to that, I know how to convert anything to anything. Seriously, got a RealVideo file you want to convert to ogg vorbis? I got you covered.

These files are not in ogg vorbis I swear. I’m not a lunatic.

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Cosmic Surfin’ (Live)
Rydeen (Live At Hurrah)
Behind The Mask (Live At Hurrah)
Day Tripper (Live At Hurrah)
Ongaku (Live)
Expecting Rivers (Live)
Cosmic Surfin- (Live 2nd Version)
Technopolis (Live On Japanese TV)
Rydeen (Live On Japanese TV)
Kageki Na Shukujo (Live On Japanese TV)
Riot In Lagos (Live YMO Special)
Solid State Survivor (Live YMO Special)
Rydeen (Live YMO Special)
An item on my holy grail watch-list for some time had been the YMO Giga Clips DVD. This video compiles not only all of YMO’s various music videos, but also features a slew of live performances from various concerts and Japanese TV appearances. I would occasionally see it in stores used, but usually for prices close to $100.

Thankfully, I stumbled upon a heavily discounted copy in Kichijoji last week. It was lacking the original booklet, kind of a big deal here, so it was priced to move. I paid less than a third of it’s usual price. That’s pretty amazing.

The above files are MP3 rips of all the non-album versions that are on the disc. So, none of these are music video rips as those are just the album versions.. I also didn’t include tracks that are also available on live CDs. Not for ethical reasons (those CDs are long out of print) but because the versions on the CDs are of higher quality. I also skipped a few TV performances that appeared to be mostly lip-synced, because what’s the point.

As my copy doesn’t have the booklet, I don’t know all the details behind all of these tracks, I don’t have that information. I do know that the “Live At Hurrah” tracks are a 1979 performance at the Hurrah in New York City.

The YMO Special tracks are from a….YMO Special (shocking I know) that aired on Japanese TV in 1983. That special also featured some behind-the-scenes stuff and interviews. That stuff isn’t on Giga Clips, but you do a search for “YMO Special” on YouTube you can find VHS rips of it rather easily.

“Ongaku” and “Expecting Rivers” are from a concert video. I think they’re from the band’s 1983 Budokan performance. That lines up with their wardrobe/instrument set-up in the video. That concert was released on laserdisc only. Which means I’m going to have to buy another Laserdisc player at some point. That makes me angry and sad.

I have absolutely no clue as to where the second version of “Cosmic Surfin'” is from. It appears to be taken from the same tour as the Hurrah show, however.

The remaining clips are all Japanese TV shows. Again, I don’t know which ones because, no booklet.

All Bound For Mu

June 7th, 2017

I’ve been ridiculously productive this past week. I revived Game Music Revue to write about the Famicom Game Sound Musuems, and I wrote a blog post about my struggles with converting analog-to-digital. I can’t believe I’ve been doing that for over ten years now. Does that make me an expert? I don’t feel like an expert.

Here’s a cassette tape. I hate them.

Kamiya- Mu
I hate cassette tapes, did I mention that? So I feel like such a hypocrite whenever I buy one. I was just on a podcast (coming soon) and I literally spent a good five minutes rallying against tapes and their unexpected and inexplicable revival here in Japan, only to then go out and immediately buy one.

It wasn’t my first choice though, if I would’ve seen this one on vinyl I definitely would’ve chosen that format first. I mean, look at that cover. That deserves the full 12″ treatment. (Yikes, that sounded like a euphemism.)

Anyway, I didn’t really know what it was when I bought it. I just saw that cover and assumed it was some crazy newage/synthesizer/jazz/funk thing. And I assumed right. I know that sounds like a stretch, but seriously, it feels like every other Japanese album from 1978-1981 fits in that genre.

This album is a real rollercoaster, swinging across all of those genres with some experimental and dissonant stuff thrown in as well. While it does run the gamut, its certainly more towards the easy listening, smooth newage side of the spectrum. If Kamiya was from the states, this would’ve been released on Windham Hill Records.

My favorite cut on the album is without question “Appalachian Road,” a jaunty jazzy little number with excellent vocoder use and a killer melody that’ll get stuck in your head for days. Peter Frampton by way of Herbie Hancock. “Barbarella” is a choice cut too. I imagine playing this in my space lounge, sipping space martinis with my space boyfriend – who is just my current boyfriend but with a jetpack.

Kamiya’s full name is Shigenori Kamiya and I found out after buying this that I actually have another one of his records. In 1982 he released a “soundtrack” to the manga Tomb Of The Pharoh. It was part of the Synthesizer Fantasy series, a collection of albums that present synthesized versions of popular anime themes, as well as a few original soundtracks inspired by manga. I’ve shared some Synthesizer Fantasy records before, they’re on the shortlist of my favorite things ever. If you ever find yourself shopping for vinyl in Japan and you come across any record with that label on, I suggest buying it. You probably won’t be disappointed.

Moog (Technically ARP) Tchaikovsky

June 4th, 2017

My continued self-imposed Twitter exile has brought me more joy than I could’ve possibly imagined. Not only am I now joyfully unaware of what millions of worthless fuckball asshats have to say about important issues regarding society and the environment, I also have more time to dedicate to my writing and even some art projects I’m working on.

I mean, as I write this, it’s 7:30 on a Sunday morning. This is usually the time where I would be diving headfirst into Twitter, not only using it as a launching board to read several news stories across the web, but also to read reactions to said stories. And let me tell you, there’s no worse way to start your day than reading what Nazis think about climate change. In addition to being needlessly rage-inducing, it also is a real shitter on my productivity.

So now, instead of me wasting an hour of my life on needless bullshit that doesn’t matter, I can instead use that time to write about late-70s electronic covers of classical music.

You know, the important stuff.

Kraft & Alexander
1812 Overture, Op. 49
Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
I’ve lost track of how many Moog and Moog-like (new phrase, I coined it) albums I’ve covered and written about in the 10+ years of Lost Turntable. I’m fairly certain one of my very first posts was a write-up on a Beatles Moog record. I’m not going to look that far back because it’s just embarrassing.

Regardless, I’m sure I spend many of those posts talking about how nearly all of these albums came in the wake of Wendy Carlos’ massively successful “Switched-On” series, which took classical compositions (and other works) and reworked on the then-new technology of modular synthesizers.

This doesn’t surprise me, it never surprises me when a trend, no matter how obviously limited, is milked for all its worth by the less-creative peers of the originator. But I am continually surprised by just how many of these albums there were, and for how long they were made.

1812/Nutcracker Suite (herein referred to as 1812) was released in 1977, nearly a decade after Carlos’ original Switch-On Bach album. Could there have really been an audience for this stuff for so long? And for so much of it? I’ve lost track of how many Mooglike albums I own, probably over a dozen at this point, and I routinely see more that I don’t buy; either because they look too stupid even for me (I don’t need Moog Nashville, thanks) or because they’re so rare in my resident country of Japan that they’re priced beyond the point of me caring (I refuse to spend $30 on an album of Moog pop music covers). If I went out of my way to buy every single Mooglike album on the market, even just limiting myself to the initial wave that came out in the 1970s, I’d probably fill an entire record shelf with them. I just can’t believe they lasted as long as they did.

Like I said, 1812 came out in 1977, which is rather late in the game for this genre. As such, its rather advanced when compared to similar releases. For example, this was not recorded on a Moog. It was record on various ARP synthesizers, including the Odyssey which was actually able to play more than one note at the same time, unlike the earlier synthesizers used on the Switched-On records. It also makes use of the ARP Pro Soloist, a super-early example of a preset electronic synthesizer (no big bulky patch units required). As such, it has a slightly more lush and “big” sound than some previous albums of its type.

That doesn’t necessarily mean its better. I still prefer the early works of Carlos. Her performances have more personality, and I appreciate the (relative) stripped down sound they have compared to this. But I do enjoy this record quite a bit, if nothing else for the rather ambitious subject matter. I’m sure a lot of other “Switched-On” type records tried to tackle The 1812 and Nutcracker Suites, but I think this is the only one to perform both in their entirety.

1812 is credited to two performers, Jack Kraft and Larry Alexander. It’s hard to find much on Jack Kraft, that’s what happens when you share a name with a college basketball coach, but I think this was his only credited release.

This is also Larry Alexander’s only album, although he has a long list of credits working behind the scenes. He did remix work for Paul McCartney and Lou Reed, among others, and also worked in the studio with artists like Sisters Of Mercy and Diana Ross. He was an engineer at The Power Station, a famous studio where artists such as Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and, yes, The Power Station all worked at one point or another.

I wonder if any of them ever heard this record?

Second Hand Fan-Fiction and Sister Sledge

June 3rd, 2017

I 90% quit Twitter this week. You can read why here. You can also read about my love giant Hard-Offs. I’m not going to explain that sentence. You’ll have to click the link to find out.

As I say in my blog post about Twitter, I will still check my mentions on the regular. So it’s the best way to get a hold of me if you have any questions about my blog, Tokyo, or collecting records. That’s by far my favorite thing about Twitter, so I’m not giving that up.

Anyways, here’s a goofy single.

Sister Sledge
He’s The Greatest Dancer (Remixed by Brutal Bill Marquez)
We Are Family (Remixed By Marley Marl)
I actually bought this record at a Hard-Off for 108 yen, or about a buck, making it the cheapest record I think I’ve bought in well over a decade. So that’s something.

This record was released in 1998. If Discogs is to be believed, it was a Spanish release. So, at some point between 1998 and 2017, this record made its way from Spain to Tokyo, eventually landing in a Hard-Off discount used hardware store in the outskirts of Tokyo.

Here’s what I think happened:

It was originally bought by a Spanish DJ. It was the late-90s, global economy was booming, he gets a gig at a lavish disco-themed dance club in downtown Madrid. It becomes the hottest dance club for your vintage grooves and a big tourist destination for international clubbers. One day, while mixing some Chic tracks, he catches the eye of a beautiful Japanese tourist. They fall in love.

But she has to return to Japan to finish school. With nothing weighing him down financially, he decides to ditch his home country to be with the girl he loves. All he has to his name are his decks and a crate of records. So he packs them up and heads out for a new life in Japan.

They’re in love but life can cruel, life in Tokyo. The club scene is different there, and he’s having a hard time finding work. The occasional gig comes along every now and then, but he’s not making ends meet. She just finished school. She’s a new recruit at a company. The money is decent, but barely enough to support them.

He’s about to give up and head back to Spain. He loves his girl but he doesn’t want to be a burden. Then he finds out that there’s a market for Spanish teachers. Luckily, he does have a degree, it’s in electrical engineering, but that’s all he needs to get a visa to teach. So he puts his DJ work on the back burner and takes up teaching.

Turns out he’s really good at it and soon he’s making enough money not to be a burden on his girlfriend anymore. Relieved of financial pressure, the two get married. He likes to DJ still but it’s just not financially feasible anymore. The teaching pays so good. He’s getting private corporate teaching gigs now. That’s too much money to pass up.

The wife gets pregnant and they decide that the city is no place to raise a child. They head out to the outskirts, toward Saitama. They find a nice neighborhood with good schools. Their place is even pretty big (for Tokyo standards anyway) but those records, turntables and mixers are taking up a lot of space. With a heavy heart, he decides its time to move on. He keeps one turntable, he still likes to play music at home, but he packs up the rest of his gear and his B-tier records (Sister Sledge single included) and hauls them down to the local Hard-Off. He doesn’t get a lot of money for them, but he’s able to take the wife out for a nice dinner that night.

Sometime later, a giant gay man from Pittsburgh buys the record and plays it for his boyfriend. He tells his boyfriend that the “He’s The Greatest Dancer” remix is okay, but the “We Are Family” one is a lot better. His boyfriend agrees.

M.C. Godzilla drops gamma beats

May 31st, 2017

The Destruction
Godzilla’s Coming To Town
It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone to say that I’ve been a bit down lately. Nothing serious I guess, just, y’know, the current state of global affairs is kind of a bummer, that’s all. Retail therapy isn’t entirely healthy (or sustainable) and I know that. But sometimes when I go out record shopping I find something so marvelously bizarre/stupid/great/amazing that it does help to dull the pain of reality at least for short time and bring a smile to my face.

Such is the case with the album I purchased today, Howl: The Grunts and Growls of all Toho Monsters. Like the name suggests, it’s an album comprised almost entirely of the sounds made by various Toho kaiju, including but not limited to Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Gorosaurus and many more. But that’s not why I bought it. Sure, having 20+ minutes of various monster growls, howls and roars is fun, but for me, the centerpiece of the album is the opener, “Godzilla’s Coming To Town,” a megamix of monster sound effects set to a killer backbeat.

This existence of this makes me so very happy. It’s Art Of Noise with monster roars. It’s great.

This is credited to “The Destruction” but a quick skim through the liner notes shows that the track was composed and arranged by one Kenji Iwakura. Never heard of him before, but apparently he was in a little-known Japanese synthpop band called Spy. They released one album in the 80s. It was produced by Kazuihiko Katoh, who is one of my all-time favorite musicians. I guess that means I’ll be picking up that record in the near future. Iwakura also worked on a few (lesser) Yukihro Takahashi records as well as an album of Hudson Game Music. Between his kaiju work, Takahashi collaborations and his game music releases, quite frankly I’m surprised that I hadn’t heard of him sooner.

The track also features Hirofumi Tokutake on “acid country guitar.” Never heard of him before either, but thanks to Discogs I now know that I have at least four releases that feature him (including this). He’s on the YMO album Technodon, as well as the accompanying live CD. He also shows up on the Takeshi/Jensen collaboration PulsexPulse and on a Sketch Show album as well. This all ties into my theory that if you buy any Japanese electronic music release from 1978 to 1999, you’ll find at least one person who worked with at least one member of YMO at some point.

This is stupid. Please enjoy.

George Clinton’s Extended Beef

May 28th, 2017

Me: I’m going to buy an old VCR this week.

Literally everyone I know: Of course you are.

In case you’re wondering, I’m looking for an old VCR/DVD dubbing machine and if I score one then expect maybe the very first Lost Turntable video feature.

Yes I know I could buy a video capture unit for my PC but have you tried to do that shit? It’s hard. My A/V expertise begins and ends with phono.

George Clinton
Bullet Proof (Extended Version)
Do Fries Go With That Shake (Extended Remix)
Scratch Medley: Do Fries Go With That Shake/Pleasures Of Exhaustion (Do It Till I Drop)
Double Oh-Oh (For Your Ears Only Mashed Mix)
Some of these tracks have been on my Lost Turntable playlist for nearly five years. I have no idea why I’ve never gotten around to uploading them here. I’m such a slacker sometimes.

I definitely need more 80s George Clinton in my life. I’ve said before that “Atomic Dog” is a perfect song that I could listen to all day, and while these tracks aren’t perfect, they’re sure fucking close. “Bullet Proof” might have some of the illest drums of all time. Just a monster track for sure.

This sound is making a comeback of sorts, is it not? Or is it just Bruno Mars dipping into that nostalgia well and no one else? More people need to get on that shit. Hell, more people need to mine vintage R&B sounds. Modern R&B is just boring as all hell. When Dumptruck got elected a lot of idiots were saying that it would be good for music because we would see the return of vicious and revolutionary protest music. Well, it’s been nearly six months now and I’m still waiting for that. Secondly, while I’ve long been clamoring for the return of politically insightful music (especially in R&B and hip-hop), I would also settle for the return fun and upbeat pop music.

The pop charts are a dour disaster zone right now. It’s like everyone is depressed, but not woke enough to write socially conscious songs, so instead they’re just writing mopey-dopey songs about how much partying sucks. Partying is dope. Write about how dope partying can be while how shitty the world is. And try to have fun doing it.

What I’m saying is, more songwriters need to listen to Maggot Brain.

Additionally, I would a top ten hit single akin to “Do Fries Go With That Shake” but gay. It’s not fair to the gay community that the only super-popular openly gay singer in the world right now is Sam Smith. We’ve been through enough.

Thank you for listening.

Bass In Yo’ Face

May 22nd, 2017

I’ve been having a hard time of late figuring out what to write in this space right here. One thing that I’ve always taken pride in is that my site is…different, I guess? Any asshole can put up a bunch of MP3s ripped from vinyl, steal some copy from Wikipedia and give themselves a blog post (*cough* burning the ground *cough*). I’ve always aimed to be a bit more than that, not only in terms of music writing, but in terms of just sharing my thoughts. It’s always been important to me that this is as much a blog as it is MP3s.

But yo, life has been a real motherfucker as of late. And as much as I want to contribute to the current political discussion and showcase my utter contempt and hatred for Trump at every possible moment, I really don’t know what to say aside from “fuck that guy I hope he gets cancer and dies.” And while that feels good for me to get off my chest every now and then, it’s not really all that constructive, is it?

Maybe I’ll recommend some lesser-known non-profits to donate to? Dedicate a blog post to areas where you can contribute your resources to help those who need it? Or just provide a thesaurus of swear words so you can find more ways to describe Trump aside from “motherfucking cocksucker.”

Although, if it ain’t broke…

Towa Tei
Sound Museum (Haruomi Hosono Remix)
Time After Time (Blaze Remix)
GBI (Latin Narrow Light) (Lisa Carbon Remix)
Higher (Appaloosa Remix)
Happy (DJ Die Remix)
BMT (Bizzy B & Pugwash Remix)
It took me a while, but I’m finally falling headfirst into a Towa Tei hole (ew, that came out wrong). I think me and him got off on the wrong foot. I started out with his first album, and it just wasn’t my thing. Since then, I jumped forward about 15 years to his more recent stuff and really fell in love with it. I can’t recommend his newest record, Emo, enough. It’s a fantastic collection of dance-pop, picking up where Metafive left off in some really fun and exciting ways. I also highly recommend his 2013 album Lucky, which features the amazing title track and “Radio,” the latter of which was remade as a Metafive track a few years later. Really fantastic, upbeat super-fun pop music that just doesn’t get old.

These tracks are from the mid-90s, and very much sound like it. This is the Towa Tei who was in Deee-Lite, not the Towa Tei who crafts perfect pop songs today. That’s certainly not a knock against these tracks, it’s just to say that they sound dramatically different than his new stuff.

Of this bunch, my hands-down favorite is the last one. Got that Biz Markie, that Mos Def and an amazing rolling drum and bass backdrop that just kicks my ass all over the place. Dopest jam.

Prince
Purple Medley
Purple Medley (Edit)
Kirk J’s B Sides Remix
We’re just one month away from the release of the massive 3CD+DVD super deluxe edition of Purple Rain, and I’m hella stoked. I was reading impressions when it was first announced and was surprised by the negative response. Sure, it could have more, but that goes without saying; Prince was an insanely prolific artist who never stopped recording. I’m sure Warner Bros. could fill a 10CD box set of recordings made during the Purple Rain sessions, but that doesn’t mean they should. I’m happy for an abridged 3 disc set featuring a handful of unreleased material alongside hard-to-find classics like the “God” instrumental and extended versions of the album tracks. And the concert video (and it’s a video, hence no HD so don’t complain) should be incredible. I’m negative about enough stuff right now, I refuse to be negative about this. Now, if Warner Bros. never gets around to re-releasing the Prince side-projects like Madhouse and The Family, then I’ll get pissy.

“Purple Medley” was originally released in 1995. It was a single release only, it did not appear on any proper album. The B-side, entitled the “B Side Remix,” has no actual B-sides on it. So you explain that one to me.

I originally posted this track nearly seven years ago (holy hell) but that was taken from an very scratchy vinyl.  This is from the CD. So even if you downloaded it back in the day, you’ll probably want to download this one to replace it.