|30 years ago Japan split up. This website is an archive of material relating to the group's activities.
Japan news roundup Autumn 2015It's just like 1982 all over again, new music being released, old
music being reissued, and not one but THREE Japan related books on sale
in Autumn 2015.
First of all, available for pre-order now for a 2nd October release
date is Anthony Reynolds comprehensive Japan biography "A Foreign
Place". I've read most of it and it is the best Japan book bar none.
There are contributions from three former members of the group, plus
their producers, sound engineers, tour personnel, stylists, friends and
fans who were there at the time. There was a lot of information I
didn't know, and some great stories from inside the Japan camp that are
intriguing to say the least. In addition there are many previously
unpublished photographs in full colour. I'd recommend pre-ordering this
book if you didn't already contribute to the Kickstarter campaign that
made it happen. Once this first large format hardback first run sells
out, it is gone, and there is no guarantee at this stage that there
will be a reprint. If that doesn't convince you, all pre-orders from Burning Shed will be signed by the author.
The second book on sale, also in October, is Steve Jansen's "Through A
Quiet Window", a book of photographs taken between 1981 and 1984. The
book is being published in partnership with Yukihiro Takahashi's
company Hints Music, printed in Japan but available worldwide. Ordering
details will be available soon, I'd recommend following Steve's official facebook page for the latest information.
Third book on sale this Autumn, published in the UK in November but available for pre-order now from David's official website or Amazon.
Scheduled for a mid-September release on Confront Recordings; Playing
The Schoolhouse, a new CD EP length composition by David Sylvian
recorded in March of this year in Norway. Based on an improvisation by
Jan Bang and Sylvian it also features contributions from Otomo
Yoshihide and Toshimaru Nakamura. More news to follow soon. www.confrontrecordings.com
Pete Still Photography
have a set of Japan photos taken in concert in May 1981 available for
sale - these are original prints not copies. Some of the photos can be
seen in the gallery here but the ones for sale are higher quality and
as taken, not cropped as some of these are.
Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri's album Stone To Flesh has been
remastered and is being re-released, including an extra track recorded
this year. More details at Burning Shed.
Due out on September 11th is a deluxe double vinyl "Three Part Species" by Mick Karn, including the related EP tracks.
Following that on October 16th is the vinyl LP debut of More, Better, Different
Both are available to order from Burning Shed
Old news - 2014
Nightporter Presents - Japan A Foreign Place - The Biography
Launch Party Saturday November 29th 8pm - 3am
Buffalo Bar, Highbury & Islington - adjacent to the tube station and Famous Cock Tavern.
Entry by advance ticket purchase only - no door sales on the night.
Notes: THE PARTY IS NOW SOLD OUT
Arrival before 9pm highly recommended!
8pm - Doors open, time to mingle, catch up and get in the mood with some great music to listen to
9pm approx - Q&A with Anthony Reynolds and other book contributors plus book preview
10pm approx - Performance by Gary Le Strange
11pm approx - Nightporter DJs and guests playing Japan, solo and related music.
Steve Jansen "Slope" 2013
Steve Jansen released a new version of his critically acclaimed album
"Slope" on October 28th 2013. The original album is accompanied by a
selection of reworked songs, instrumental pieces recorded for
commercials and art projects, plus a new live album recorded in Japan.
Sonically, this is a real adventure; Japan fans will enjoy the
appearances from David Sylvian on probably his most accessible and
beautiful song of the last few years, "Playground Martyrs", plus the
engaging duet "Ballad Of A Deadman" with Joan Wasser (Joan as
But the album is much more than that - long time fans of Steve can at
last appreciate the breadth of his creativity; this is the kind of
album that takes you on a journey, very visual. The sound design is
probably the most striking aspect, Steve using the stereo field and a
very subtle mix to reward close listening - I enjoy this album most on
headphones. For example, on a couple of pieces there are snatches of
distant low-level sound as if leaking in from another room. This
reminds me of the concepts explored by Towa Tei and Yasuhiro Konishi a
while ago inspired by living in small apartments in Tokyo - that sense
that you are listening to one piece of music but that interesting
sounds coming through thin walls and are mingling to interesting
effect. I'm also reminded of the first Dip In The Pool album on Rough
Trade, and it's brother, "Lisa" by Masahide Sakuma - both employ a use
of space in the stereo mix which is extremely engaging and has not
dated despite them being nearly 30 years old. "Slope" is very raw in
places, electronic but in no way synth pop; it is "real", fascinating
and rewards repeat listens.
Here's the press release:
Released to highly positive reviews in 2007, Slope was the debut album from Steve Jansen (Japan / Rain Tree Crow).
Exhibiting a bold combination of inventive rhythms, intricate
programming and emotive vocal performances, the album features guest
contributions from an impressive line-up including David Sylvian, Tim
Elsenburg (Sweet Billy Pilgrim), Joan Wasser (Joan As Policewoman),
Thomas Feiner, Anja Garbarek, Nina Kinert, and Theo Travis.
As Jansen explains, "With Slope, I approached composition attempting to
avoid chord and song structures and the usual familiar building blocks.
Instead, in an attempt to deviate from my own trappings as a musician,
I wanted to piece together unrelated sounds, music samples, rhythms and
The triple cd set comprises the original album plus remixes, live recordings and instrumental soundtracks.
The reissue is presented in a deluxe dvd-sized digi-book, which includes all new artwork by Carl Glover.
'A mixture of exquisite, groove-based soundscapes and introspective torch songs.' - The Guardian
'A hugely impressive debut.' - The Wire
This wednesday 24th of July would have been Mick Karn's 55th Birthday.
Join family, friends and fans and purchase Mick's music direct from
100 copies of the final Dali's Car album will be available that day, signed especially for Mick's Birthday by Peter Murphy.
There are musicians and then there's Mick Karn. His bass playing alone
and with so many, includidng Japan, JBK, Dalis Car, Steve Wilson, Theo
Travis, Kate Bush, Joan Armatrading, Gary Newman, Sugizo and David Torn
to name a few, was so exquisite that it would leave you mesmerized.
On 24th July celebrate the life and legacy of a unique and much loved artist.
For more information please go to Team Mick Karn on facebook.
Keep Karn and Carry On
Here is more info...
Mick Karn's Birthday Download Day will begin at Midnight, Nicosia, Cyprus time on 24th July 2013.
Team Mick Karn in conjuntion with Burning Shed, an ethical company run
by artists for artists, invite you to download his music from
www.burningshed.com on that special day as a clear message of love and
Downloads are limitless but stocks of Mick's cds are low. If they run
out there are currently no more and no plans to rerelease. This is
shocking and the case for many of our artists and it must not come to
pass that these records go out of print.
We hope that by this show of love a demand will be created and more cds
made available through Burning Shed. This way Mick's work would be
given the fair remuneration it deserves and fans can have the music
Mick's amazing book, "Japan and Self Existence" can be purchased direct
from www.lulu.com where again more money goes direct to the artists.
Peter Murphy is supporting the event and is (as I write!) signing 100
Dalis Car Ingladaloneness cds and they will be available on a "first-to-order" basis. Many of Mick's friends and family are with
us at TMK and the love for Mick is palpable. We want to do all we can
in the spirit of love and gratitude that we feel for this unique artist
taken from the world far too soon.
See you on 24th July xxx Keep Karn and Carry On xxx
The kickstarter project to fund
Anthony Reynolds writing the first ever in-depth biography of Japan has
been successful. Anthony is currently interviewing many people
connected to the band and will now begin writng, as well as researching
the visual elements of the book.
The response from Japan fans has been fantastic; although given the
tough economic times some were unable to contribute financially, many
have helped to promote the project.
"The period covered will be between 1974 and 1984. Obviously,
Japan split in 1982 but I feel it was only from '84 onwards that the
Ex-members began to truly leave Japan behind. The epilogue will
deal with Rain Tree Crow.
I plan to use a custom book binders in Brighton that I once used for
the artwork for one of my albums. I want the book to be a beautiful
object in itself. It will also be illustrated, as much as budget
allows. To help with this I will be asking for rare and candid pictures
taken of the group by friends and fans. Hopefully most of these will be
Anthony Reynolds June 2013.
Click the link to read updates on the project.
older, more recent news please visit the
archive page here