EMI releases "A Victim of Stars" David Sylvian 1982 - 2012 on Monday
27th February 2012. The 2 CD set includes most of David's solo singles
as well as "Ghosts" and a new track "Where's Your Gravity?". Please
note that the artwork above will show "1982 - 2012" on the actual
release; online stores are showing the new version.
River Laker "David Sylvian" video
This clip lampoons David's fans rather than David himself. There's a lot of truth in it!
Caan's cover of "Ghosts"
I'm really pleased Caan has recorded this, I was already a follower
having seen him live, and he is a fellow Japan fan; it's a great
arrangement picking out some elements of the Japan version but played
on strings. Suzanne Barbieri comments on the YouTube page: "Richard
& I both love your new take on 'Ghosts'. Wishing you all the
The Polaroids are back - Jan 21 2012, Madrid.
Japan badges by artist Patrick Wray
Patrick has interpreted three classic Japan album covers for this badge set available from his website. I particularly like the "Tin Drum" one.
David Sylvian with Joan As Police Woman
Joan recently tweeted a photo taken during a recording session for their new duet project.
Richard Barbieri new album with Steve Hogarth
"Not The Weapon But The Hand" the new album from Steve Hogarth &
Richard Barbieri will be released by Kscope on Feb 27th. Go to the mini site for audio samples, pre order details, signed copies and updates.
Caan to release "Ghosts" cover
Caan, formerly a member of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool will shortly release
his cover version of "Ghosts". More information on Caan and a free
download track is available at his website.
Nightporter Club Nights in 2012
The first club night of 2012 "Implausible Alternatives" will be on
February 18th at our regular venue The London Stone. It will be a
Sylvian special celebrating all aspects of his career - a chance to get
together with friends and speculate what he might have in store for us
during the "Implausible Beauty" tour and to discuss the merits of the
new compilation "A Victim of Stars". Expect to hear rare tracks, see
rare video and if you have a question about David's work, experts will
be on hand to help you find the answer.
On August 4th we'll be having a proper party, as indicated by the recent
poll, "Rouge Magic" will be very retro, very upbeat and we'll be
playing 80s synth, pop and a little bit of indie.
Finally, on November 10th we'll be trying to recreate the atmosphere of
Japan's final tour with "Pioneer Stories". I would like to say it'll be
cool and sophisticated but knowing us it's most likely to feature The
Contrarians dressed as Japan's road crew were at the final show...
thanks to Craig, Rob, Henk and Gary for sharing information, clippings
and corrections. I'm sure there is still more out there to be found! Check it out.
Mick Karn 2010 interview
Rob Kirby has contributed an interview previously published in print in his Ultravox magazine "re:VOX". Read it here.
Japan Live History pages updated
The Live History pages have been
extensively updated thanks to input from Craig Hamlin who has been
helping me dig out some reviews of shows including images. Be warned, a
couple of the reviews are pretty vicious!
Richard Barbieri working on new material with Steve Hogarth
To commemorate Mick's birthday, as a treat for fans, a taster for
Mick's last completed project (a new Dali's Car EP) is being
offered as a download.
Artemis is a re-working of an instrumental from the band's debut album
and features new vocal and lyrical contributions from Peter Murphy, as
well as additional instrumentation from Steve Jansen, Jakko M Jakszyk
A superb reunion with Peter Murphy, the forthcoming EP, In Glad
Aloneness, continues the intense and exotic experiments of the band's
cult classic from 1984, The Waking Hour. All profits will be donated to
Mick's son and wife.
The five Dali’s Car tracks have just been mastered by Peter in Istanbul
and the artwork by Peter Murphy & Thomas Bak is being finalised. We
will be able to advise release date soon.
The EP is entitled 'InGladAloneness', track listing as follows:
IF YOU GO AWAY
Peter Murphy - lyrics and vocals, keyboards
Mick Karn - bass, bass clarinet, additional guitars
Steve Jansen - drums
Jakko M Jakszyk - nylon acoustic, electric guitars, and gu zheng
Theo Travis - saxophones and flute
Sengul - vocals on Subhanallah
Gill Morley - violin
Ellen Blair - violin and viola
Pete Lockett – percussion
Paul Lawford – congas
Steve D'Agostino - additional keyboards
Richard has re recorded
and reworked the Japan track "Experience of Swimming" for an
ambient compilation album in aid of the relief effort in Japan.
Also included is the track "Drops of Mercury" from the "Things Buried"
Any donation to the Red Cross and the album is then free to download. For more details go to http://www.microscopics.co.uk/japan
Karn tributes from Bass Player magazine and Peter Murphy
Paul Gaff reports: "Just picked up this months (US) Bass Player Magazine
and there's a short 2 1/2 page retrospective on Mick Karn plus a some
bass-tabs in their regular Woodshed section. There's another
piece next month detailing his after-Japan work.".
Peter Murphy speaks about working with Mick on Dalis Car 2 in an
interview with WYEP Radio. Details are at the blog Slicing Up
Eyeballs and this is the link to the audio file
(m3u playlist will open in your media player). Pete starts talking
about Mick at about 31 minutes in. Thankyou to Vicky for finding this.
Sylvian "artist in residence" and performing "Plight & Premonition"
at the Punkt Festival, Norway September 2011
David will be presenting
an audio-visual art installation "Uncommon Deities" plus performing
"Plight & Premonition" with John Tilbury, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré and
others. More information over at David's
Sylvian contributing to charity concert in NYC with Ryuichi Sakamoto,
David Sylvian album "Died In The Wool" out May 23rd
This 2 CD collection includes new
material and re-worked tracks from
'Manafon' . Released on SamadhiSound, the catalogue number is
SOUNDCDSS021 for the regular edition on sale worldwide and PCD-26034
for the Japanese release.
Small Metal Gods
Died In The Wool
I Should Not Dare
Random Acts Of Senseless Violence
A Certain Slant Of Light
Anomaly At Taw Head
Snow White In Appalachia
The Greatest Living Englishman (Coda)
Anomaly At Taw Head (A Haunting)
The Last Days Of December
Jansen and Shoko Ise videos available to download from iTunes in the
UK, EU countries and Japan from 20th April
The videos come from work prepared for Steve's "Slope" concerts in
Japan; most were previously on the DVD "The Occurence Of Slope" but
others are the background films used during the shows. One of the
pieces included is the beautiful "Playground Martyrs (Reprise)". Steve
says that the material will be available from the US and Canadian
iTunes stores aswell but there is no confirmed date yet.
"Mick's final work has yet to be released and is a collaboration with
Peter Murphy as 'Dalis Car 2'. The duo were reunited in a studio in
Oxford at the end of September last year to begin work and four tracks
were completed over the ensuing months - a slow process due to Mick's
declining health. Steve has just finishing mixing the four tracks which
will be released as an EP. More news to follow soon on this including
Ryuichi Sakamoto London live dates
I'd recommend getting along to Sakamoto's Trio show at the Royal
Festival Hall in November, tickets on sale now. More details included in the press
release (PDF format).
"a quick update as news has been
thin on the ground of late. over recent months steve has contributed to
scottish and portuguese singer/songwriter projects as well arranging
and producing music for alice in italy. most recently steve has
completed mixing 4 dali's car tracks that are pending release later in
the year. in the meantime new material with david sylvian is being
developed as well as solo material but as yet there are no schedules
for finalising or releasing new works. the live performance in tokyo
last december is potentially being developed as a visual work to be
available in download form."
A new song "Bem-Vido" featuring Steve by Susana Félix can be heard at
the Rádio Comercial website. (thanks to Joao Cabrita for
"Original Album Classics" 3 CD set and digital release, out 28th March
in Europe and the UK.
Sony Music are releasing the first 3 Japan albums as a slim box set
"Original Album Classics".
Each album comes in a replica vinyl LP sleeve and there is new artwork
on the discs themselves and on the box.
The track listings are the same as the 2004 and 2006 releases, but
without the video content. 'Obscure Alternatives' is once more missing
the first few guitar riffs - to date no CD released post 2004 has had
the full song.
miniature LP sleeves are quite cute, "Obscure Alternatives" has a red
logo (the Japanese mini LPs had blue logos) and "Quiet Life" is NOT
gatefold, however in a perverse way this is interesting as it
replicates the UK reissue LP sleeve!
Japan for Audiophiles project.
wanted to know which pressings of Japan albums on LP and CD have the
best sound quality? Following various requests I am starting a research
project to put together a buyers guide for Japan based on audio
To do this
I need people to share their observations of the audio
quality of the LPs and CDs they have. As views are subjective - aside
from obvious flaws such as the wobbly first note on "Nightporter"
(Virgin 2003 remaster) - I would like you to use the following system
to rate the releases you own:
UK LP Hansa AHAL 8004 (Manufactured by Pye)
being poor, 10 being perfect): 10
Whatever you like here - for example "Nice warm sound, well
balanced, good definition with a crisp top end and smooth bass - sounds
the way I remember."
like to use the original LP pressing as the baseline to work
from - it isn't always the best pressing - "Gentlemen Take Polaroids"
is one album where they only got it right on the Japanese LP and on
some CD pressings - but it is the version that the band intended us to
hear at the time of release and for old-timers like myself is the
definitive edition others need to be measured by.
interested in learning about variations e.g. on some pressings
there may be glitches or mastering errors that are not widely known
things easier, I am starting with Japan's debut album
"Adolescent Sex", so please go and listen to your copy (or copies)
during March and email me your findings to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mick Karn fan gathering,
Saturday 5th Feb, London
to everyone who attended the drinks at The Retro Bar, and also to those
who sent their best wishes and joined us to make a toast to Mick at
10pm when we played "Sons of Pioneers".
Thankyou to Diane for sending the badges.
There will be another Japan drink in April, followed by a Nightporter
club night in the Summer.
The Polaroids play tribute to Mick and Japan in Valencia
22nd in Valencia, Spain saw a group of Japan admirers, Polaroids, play
tribute to Mick Karn. They did a great job - see for yourself in the
YouTube clip below - many thanks to Isabel.
with profound sadness that we have to inform you that Mick finally lost
his battle with cancer and passed away peacefully at 4.30pm today, 4th
January 2011 at home in Chelsea, London. He was surrounded by his
family and friends and will be deeply missed by all."
The Netherlands based label Music On Vinyl
is preparing deluxe 180 gram vinyl LP releases of the first three Japan
albums. "Adolescent Sex" is out on October 4th with "Obscure
Alternatives" and "Quiet Life" to follow. Each release will include a
bonus record including non-album tracks. The first 1000 copies of
"Adolescent Sex" will be pressed on red vinyl, and the bonus 7" single
features "State Line" and the single version of "Adolescent Sex". More
Contact the label at the link above for advice on local retailers, but
UK buyers can get it from What Records.
Update - some
fans have pointed out that "Obscure Alternatives" includes the version
of the title track missing some of the intro - very poor! This version
of the song first appeared on the 2004 CD releases and has not so far
been fixed. Let's hope there are no problems with "Quiet Life".
Dalis Car -
2011 model in the works - greatest fan excitement in years
surprised *everyone* by announcing last weekend via Twitter and in a
video posted on his Facebook page that he has reunited with Mick Karn to record a new
Dalis Car album.
The as-yet-untitled album is due to be recorded this month in the UK.
It is the first time since 1984 that the duo have worked together.
"The Waking Hour" did not appeal to a large audience at the time of its
release but over the years has been re-evaluated by fans and critics
alike. Therefore there has been much excitement among fans of both
artists that they plan to record together again - not much pressure
UPDATE Feb 2011 - it seems before Mick passed away 4 tracks were
completed and these may be released as an EP at some point during 2011.
Nightporter Japan Club Night
- Saturday 24th July - Mick Karn fundraiser
for more photos. Photo above by Dom Agius.
night went extremely well, people were very generous and we raised well
over the 4 figure target I had set - with much more to come
because people donated items on the night to sell or auction to raise
money for Mick (eBay links coming soon). Thankyou to everyone who
helped out - and many people did who couldn't be there in person. Mick
has also posted a thankyou message on
Mick Karn's friends and fans rally 'round
to raise awareness and cash for his cancer treatment:
Bill Nelson and Martin Bostock are
auctioning signed art prints of Bill on eBay. The auctions are here
There are a couple of recording projects underway - Masahide Sakuma
(ex-Plastics), Masami Tsuchiya,
and Simply Red) and Vivian Hsu
are making new recordings with the plan for proceeds to benefit the
Mick Karn Appeal. Sakuma has uploaded several works in progress on his
blog that you can access here.
For the benefit of non-Japanese readers, if you click into the links on
the main column of the page, you will navigate to a new page with sound
Sugizo has posted
a lengthy tribute to Mick on his MySpace page. A new track
"Missing Link", including Mick on bass, has been released to promote
the Appeal. This is available from mickkarn.net.
has been very active online encouraging people to donate to and
publicise the Mick Karn Appeal, while Richard has been busy with
touring committments with Porcupine
Tree the group have made a live album available and have been
auctioning rarities on eBay. Click
here for more information on the live album "Atlanta". Suzanne has
made a contribution to a new EP that will contribute to the Mick Karn
Appeal with Gavin Harrison,
Markus Reuter and
05Ric. There is a
YouTube clip of the work in progress here. The EP
"BubbleBurstFlow" is available to buy from burningshed.com
Steve Jansen is
contributing to the Mick Karn Appeal through the sales from his ImageShop
Many other people have contributed to the Mick Karn Appeal and have
raised awareness - Mick has posted thankyou messages on his site
Mick Karn Appeal
"With great sadness we regret to inform you that Mick has recently been
diagnosed with advanced stages of cancer. Mick is currently in positive
mood and undergoing further tests and treatment. His family and friends
are close with him, supporting him in practical ways, and surrounding
him with their love, friendship and care.
Mick has been struggling financially for some considerable time now and
we are hoping that this appeal may help to raise funds for any
necessary treatment and perhaps go some way towards providing a small
degree of financial support whilst Mick's immediate family provide the
care and comfort we would all wish for him. We are hoping that his
friends, fans and musical colleagues will, over the coming months,
offer any support they feel capable of giving. Quite aside from the
sheer brunt of daunting medically-related costs, Mick's clear and major
concern is for the security and well being of his wife and young son.
If you would like to make a donation whether as an individual or as a
group, you can do so via the paypal link at http://www.mickkarn.net/
which has been set up for this sole and express purpose. Any support
you are able to give, no matter how small, could make a difference in
helping Mick cope during this difficult period. His friends will be
looking at a variety of ways to raise funds.
Please do note that news is released with Mick's full approval."
Furiku "Knights of the Opium Moon"
featuring Mick Karn
Check out this great new track on Furiku's album "Like a Freak",
available from Amazon, iTunes and their website. Hope to have some more
information soon on how this collaboration came about, but in the
meantime check out the Furiku
website and MySpace
Furiku are a group from South London, comprising Aruan Duval, Dom Agius
and Mick Guihen. Their music is electronic pop in the broadest sense;
but with solid song-writing, witty lyrics and a cool sensibility I hope
they don't mind me saying their material reminds me of Eurythmics circa
"Sweet Dreams", the best early Pet Shop Boys b-sides and the invention
I would also recommend the Beloved
Aunt album "From Indian Head to Ashland"
- an astounding album telling the story of UFO abductees Betty and
Barney Hill, using archive recordings of their voices. I bought the
album last week and had a very enjoyable (for a change) train ride to
Derby listening to the album, reading about the case at the same time.
The music perfectly compliments the otherworldly feel of the voices;
often uptempo and engaging as well as scarily atmospheric. I'll be
playing tracks from this, and of course the Furiku track featuring Mick
at the next club night. See below for more about this project from
Correspondent Keith Phillips
attended a performance by Evan Parker in London this weekend
Keith had the opportunity to talk to
who explained what it was like working with David Sylvian on the
"he said David Sylvian was "a very nice man" and that he had really
enjoyed working with him - he said Sylvian put all the improvised music
in Pro Tools and cut and pasted bits around his vocal to create the
Last night saw Porcupine Tree's "Anesthetize" film premier take place
in London's Leicester Square. The Prince Charles Cinema was
packed out with fans, all of whom had the opportunity to meet Richard
and the rest of the group after the screening. Gavin Harrison
introduced the film, with a few jokes at the expense of his bandmates
and director Lasse Hoile, who received a well deserved round of applause.
I would highly recommend the film; as a new Porcupine Tree fan (I just
got into them with The Incident last year) it was an opportunity to see
what they might be live. As a Barbieri fan it was good to see how he
plays more than in any other footage I've seen. Overall, the director
chose to give equal time to all band members, and a variety of shooting
styles was used to make it a very vibrant experience e.g. there was
some deliberate camera shake on some shots of Gavin Harrison that
fitted with the music at the time. I only spotted a cameraman once in
the footage, amazing considering that 16 were used. The sound quality
in the theatre was good, though I suspect about half as loud as seeing
the group live would be. No distortion (except where deliberate); clear
vocals throughout, and although I'm not familiar with all of the
material, it seemed to be well balanced so you could hear all of the
instrumentation very well. Highly recommended, worth getting if you are
new to Porcupine Tree as it's a good introduction to the band, and
judging from what people were saying afterwards, it really delivers for
people that are already fans of the group.
Anesthetize is available from 24th May on DVD and 7th June on Blu-Ray at all good retailers.
David Sowerby at the Yahoo! Group reports that there's an Interesting interview with Richards better half Suzanne Barbieri in this months Fortean Times.
Her latest project is an album based upon the infamous Barney and Betty
Hill UFO abduction case. Recorded under the name 'Beloved Aunt' Suzanne
uses actual footage of the Hills' under hypnosis as part of the vocal.
Suzanne is a subscriber to FT and a keen follower of the unexplained...
Another new YouTube clip of Masami with Ippu-Do and Japan, rehearsing
for the Sons of Pioneers tour. Watch to the very end of the clip
because Steve and David talk briefly about Masami's contribution to the
The new compilation by David Sylvian entitled Sleepwalkers featuring
recent collaborative work will be released Summer 2010. It features a
number of remixes by David and a new composition with Dai Fujikura
entitled 'Five Lines'.
02. Money for all
03. Ballad of a deadman
05. World citizen - I won't be disappointed
06. Five lines
07. The day the earth stole heaven
08. Playground martyrs
10. Pure genius
11. Wonderful world
13. The world is everything
YouTube clip of a Toyota
commercial featuring "Fait Accompli", a Steve
Jansen and Yukihiro Takahashi co-written track from the late 80s. Great
Japan's "I Second
available now at the Sony PlayStation SingStore!
Yes, Japan are now among
the greats such as ABBA, Queen and Lady Gaga
to have a song available for competitive karaoke enjoyment at the
SingStore. Now, at long last I can beat the other half at something
other than "Life on Mars?" And on the first go, yes I "won"! I have to
say, it's not easy singing like Sylvian.
with Richard in Total Soccer magazine
- great article - scroll to
page 53 and then click on the page to read the article. Thankyou to Siobhan for
sending in this photo of the mixing desk at Air
Studios, where much of Japan's best work was recorded.
YouTube clip of "Sumire,
September Love" by Ippu-Do with footage of
Japan rehearsing for the "Sons of Pioneers" Tour in 1982. Great to see
that "new" footage is still out there to be found.
News: New live
film to premiere at London's Leicester Square Thursday May 20th
limited number of tickets on sale now.
Anesthetize, a new live film from Porcupine Tree is to be premiered at
a special screening in the Prince Charles Cinema at London's Leicester
Square on Thursday May 20th at 7pm. The screening will be introduced by
the band and filmmaker. Members of the band will also be available to
sign copies of the film, which is being released on Kscope as 2disc set
(DVD + Blu-Ray), following the screening.
A limited number of tickets for
this special evening are available to
purchase from the cinema (www.princecharlescinema.com
/ 0870 811 2559) for only £10 (plus 75p booking fee).
Anesthetize follows the band’s latest album The Incident
was released last year to massive critical acclaim. The album marked
another step forward in the incredible journey of the band from a solo
studio project created by Steven Wilson in the late eighties to a
grammy nominated act and one of the world’s most revered live
bands, currently selling out arenas across the globe and wowing fans
with their incredible performances.
This 130 minute film captures the power of band’s live show.
Directed by long-time collaborator Lasse Hoile, the film was recorded
in high definition on multi-cameras over two nights at 013 venue in
Tilburg, Holland in October 2008. The concerts featured tracks from
throughout the band’s career until that point including a
complete performance of the Fear of a Blank Planet album.
Anesthetize collects the highlights from the two shows and presents
them on both DVD and on Blu-Ray. It is only the band’s second
release and will be available on Kscope in May 2010 as either a 2-disc
set (DVD + Blu-Ray) or as a single disc (DVD) release.
am attempting to tidy up the discography
pages, adding images and updating information as I go. This weekend I
have revised pages for Japan's 1978 and 1979 releases. Please visit the
Discography page. 07/04/2010
Alice live album
"Lungo La Strada
Live" featuring Steve Jansen Released in Italy
EMI, featuring Steve on drums and percussion. The album
came out in 2009 but is being re-issued now and is receiving some press
attention. The CD includes 12 tracks and was recorded in Milan in 2006.
- Andy Warhol interview by Fiona Russell Powell where he mentions a
project to write a lyric for Japan - something that sadly did not
information about "Repetition" Bowie tribute album featuring Mick Karn
anxiously awaited tribute to David Bowie will be available on September
6th, 2010. 100% of the net profits will go to War Child UK.
This album will be available as a limited CD, limited double LP and
download with extra tracks unavailable anywhere else.
EXITMUSIC “SPACE ODDITY”
“BOYS KEEP SWINGING”
MEGAPUSS (devendra banhart) “SOUND + VISION”
WARPAINT “ASHES TO ASHES”
CHAIRLIFT “ALWAYS CRASHING IN THE SAME CAR”
A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS “SUFFRAGETTE CITY”
ALL LEATHER “FAME”
WE ARE THE WORLD “AFRAID OF AMERICANS”
CARLA BRUNI “ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS”
CORRIDOR “BE MY WIFE”
VIVIAN GIRLS “JOHN, I’M ONLY DANCING”
LIGHTS (NYC) “WORLD FALLS DOWN”
KEREN ANN “LIFE ON MARS?”
GENUFLEX “SOUL LOVE”
EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS “MEMORY OF A FREE
MGMT “TVC 15″
ASKA & BOBBY EVANS (feat. MOON + MOON) “AFRICAN NIGHT
POLYAMOROUS AFFAIR “THEME FROM CAT PEOPLE”
HALLOWEEN SWIM TEAM “LOOK BACK IN ANGER”
JESSICA 6 (ex-Hercules & Love Affair) “I’M
SWAHILI BLONDE “RED MONEY”
AQUASERGE “THE SUPERMEN”
MARCO BENEVENTO “ART DECADE”
SISTER CRAYON “THE BEWLAY BROTHERS”
LEWIS & CLARKE “CHANGES”
MECHANICAL BRIDE “SOUND + VISION”
ZAZA “IT AIN’T EASY”
ARIANA DELAWARI “ZIGGY STARDUST”
MICK KARN “ASHES TO ASHES”
XU XU FANG “CHINA GIRL” 01/04/2010
Japan mentioned in
NME! Ira Wolf Tuton
from Yeasayer lists
Ghosts as 'Right now I'm loving'... in a feature on his favourite
music. "I got this 5 years ago in Baltimore - they're a band I want to
get more into. They go straight from crazy orchestration into straight
pop. I like them more than say Duran Duran and other bands they get
compared to. They're a hidden jewel". West End Musical
on the songs of Japan to open
April 1st 2011
This story was an April Fool of course. Seemed like a good idea at the
Rob Dean is featured in the
May 2010 issue
of "Mojo" magazine in the regular "Hello Goodbye" feature. Rob gives
his side of the Japan story including some nice details I didn't know
before. He also reveals that he is still in touch with Rich and Mick,
and that although he has lost contact over the years with David and
Steve, there is no bad feeling. The feature also includes a couple of
photos of Japan and a recent one of Rob.
Buried" is re-issued this
week on K-Scope,
in a Super Jewel Case and at budget price. If you haven't picked up the
CD now is a good opportunity. The music is a good link between the more
experimenatal edge of Japan and the rock/pop side of Porcupine Tree -
with some wicked beats and large soundscape. Atmospheric and accessible
experimental synth music. For more information on the album click
here. For a Q&A with
Richard from the time the album first came
video clip on YouTube - Rob
talks about his favourite guitars and
what he's been up to in Costa Rica. The video is from 2008, so not that
new, but I thought some of you might enjoy it.
At long last the Compilations
Japan tracks page has been
updated. Contrary to Mick's impression
(shared in his book "Japan & Self Existence") that Japan are
included when these things are put together, we have evidence in the
form of 230
proves this is not the case! Many thanks to everyone for
information to help put this page together.
Added a page about a Japanese
cassette recently unearthed by
one of the contributors to the site.
New Mick Karn
album "The Concrete
Twin", Bowie cover "Ashes To Ashes" and book! Mick's new album
Concrete Twin" is available now
on download and CD. It includes 10 brand new
tracks, more information and download available from Mick's website. My favourite
track on the album
is "Antisocial Again?", which tells its story through music and sound
effects - love it! The CD version is packaged in a 6 panel digipack and
features new artwork by Mick.
The release of the David Bowie
tribute album on Warchild featuring Mick's cover of "Ashes To
Ashes" has been postponed until May 2010 due to some of the
artists schedules not permitting an earlier release. Featured artists
include Duran Duran, Radiohead, Carla Bruni and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Mick's autobiography "Japan
Existence" is available
by mail order from Lulu and is a
must buy for
any Japan or Mick Karn fan. While this website gives you facts and
figures about Japan's releases, Mick's book tells you about what life
was like as a member of the group, revealing inside information about
the recordings, life on the road, the good and the bad times. Mick is
very open about his own life; his girlfriends and wives, his
depression, money troubles, passions and hatreds. Although sometimes
brutal, the book includes plenty of amusing anecdotes and chapters
featuring characters such as David Torn, Gavin Harrison and John Punter
will make you smile.
If you want to know more about Mick's bass playing, his sculpture, solo
recordings, work with Steve, Rich and Dalis Car - it's all there. Oh,
and Mick also shares fascinating photos with us the likes of which you
will never have seen before (unless you were a member of Japan) - BUY
update from Richard
will play 2 special
shows to close the Incident tour cycle, one in the UK and one in the
US. The UK show is now confirmed to take
place at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 14th October 2010. These
will be evening-with concerts with PT playing an extended set -
can't tell you exactly what the evening will hold at this moment, the
band are planning some very special things that will make these 2 shows
unique experiences for everyone.
Tickets for the Royal Albert Hall show will be on sale from 29th
December, but please note that the bands are also putting together a
special VIP package for Residents
of a Blank Planet members - more
news on this soon, as well as confirmation of date and location of the
touring with Porcupine Tree, BRILLIANT chart album "The Incident"! More information
activities as a member of Porcupine Tree is available at their official site.
Also, visit Richard's own
site to hear
some exclusive sounds!
"The Incident" is the best album yet from Porcupine Tree and I highly
recommend it. In parts sounding like Rain Tree Crow, but offering
everything from hard rock to the most beautiful of ballads, it is a
very accessible, exciting and engaging work. I can safely say it is one
of my favourite post-Japan albums and it just gets better and better
with repeated listens.
Congratulations to Rich and The Porcupine Tree on the album's
chart success in the UK! David Sylvian
"Manafon" out now
& magazine giveaway track "Jacqueline".
The new album from David Sylvian is out now on CD and download. A
deluxe CD/DVD and book set was available for pre-order from
SamadhiSound but has now sold out.
David had a new song called "Jacqueline" on
the August cover CD of the US magazine "Believer". This song, not
the album "Manafon", is one David plans to record fully for future
release on his own label. More information over at davidsylvian.com Steve Jansen news
In a recent article on Ryuichi Sakamoto's site, Steve writes about some
of his favourite albums, and I have to say the man has great taste, view
here. Steve should read
this page though, for the story
behind "Pure Jam". A live recording
of Steve Jansen in
concert in Japan, called "The
Occurrence Of Slope" is now available for download from Steve's
"recorded in tokyo in february 2008 this release features performances
from jansen, (drums & keyboards), keigo oyamada - aka cornelius
(gtrs), masakatsu takagi (piano & keyboards) and a string
led by seigen tokuzawa, and includes the entire music from 'slope' plus
a live rendition of the 24 minute ambient piece 'ascent' (part of a
series of works entitled 'swimming in qualia'). also included is the
opening and closing music composed by jansen, as well as track segues
only available previously on the dvd. the download is also bundled with
credit sheets designed by chris bigg."
Steve also contributes to recent album releases by Yukihiro Takahashi
John Foxx. More details at Steve's
Yukihiro Takahashi has also just released a remastered and expanded
of his live album "A Night In The Next Life" in Japan which features
drums and vocals. The show was recorded in 1991.
New Japan compilation CD out in the
UK "The Collection" (27th July 2009), for completists only.
Completists might be interested in this collection which features
"Ghosts", "Visions Of China", "Quiet Life" (1981 single version) and
"Life In Tokyo" (two versions including the one from the cassette of
"Assemblage"). Nothing previously unreleased is included, but a
of tracks are not available on the album CDs or Virgin's "The Very
of Japan". This CD retails at between £3.99 and £5.99.
mastering error has been made with "Halloween" which is obvious during
the opening drums - this seems to be the compilers have used the "In
Vogue" (1996) compilation master which only uses one side of the stereo
field. It sounds shit, basically. Must try harder BMG!
News from Japan
Masami Tsuchiya is currently a member of Japanese rock "supergroup"
alongside Kazuhiko Kato (ex-Sadistic Mika Band), Ray Ohara (ex-Sadistic
Mika Band), Gota Yashiki (ex-Melon) and vocalist Anza. Lots of
information, sounds and pictures at their official site
Sandii has released a new album "Kabira" as SandiiBunBun - it is an
experimental album with etherial, airy vocals, bells, soft drums and
electronics - a very unusual sound but somewhat similar to early
Sunsetz material in places. Sandii is planning live shows at present
with her Hula school and also with Bun.
Ryuichi Sakamoto is touring worldwide for the rest of 2009, hitting the
UK in November, before returning to Japan in mid-December for a joint
tour with Taeko Ohnuki, who he has worked with on and off since 1976.
Richard and The Bays 2009
Richard travelled to Australia with The Bays in January 09 to
perform two shows on the 14th / 15th at the Sydney Festival. The
band improvised a soundtrack to the film "Run Lola Run",
performing, along with a giant screen, from a floating barge in the
Sydney Harbour. Pictures and comments about the event here.
ozboys emailed in this report about the evening:
"We went to see the Bays perform last night to the film Run Lola Run as
part of the Sydney Festival 2009.
What an experience.
Was it the way they had the crowd enthralled with their playing?
Was it the fact that we sat through it during one of Sydney's wonderful
Was it the fact that it was raining on an off all night?
Who cares. They were brilliant.
We arrived at Darling Harbour for about 6.30 in search of somewhere to
eat. Opted for an Indian restaraunt.
After dining we went to try and find a spot to sit. At 6.30 the crowd
was thin on the ground, but by 7.30 it was a different story. All the
best spots were taken. It is hard to describe where the event was
taking place but Darling Habour at one end has tired wooden seating.
Timber decking like an old sailing ship. This circles around then
entire end of this section of the habour. Not good with size but
problably 100 metres wide. Anyway all of the seating had been taken up
and the crowds were not extending back from here. Not wanting to stand,
we managed to find a spot in front of the screen. Floating in the
To our left about 30 metres away the boys were picked up in a dingy to
take them to the stage. They had a tent set up in front of the screen
which is where they played. The screen itself was raised above them so
you could watch either the film, or try and see the band. This was the
hard part as they were not lit up. The only lighting was from their
equipment, so we could not see them at all. Tried to take pictures etc
but they just did not come out. Could only get a screen shot
advertising the night and a picture of where we were. No chance of
getting a shot of the boys at all. Where they were picked up was the
spot we were going to sit at at first but it was a really bad spot to
try and watch the film. Subtitles at that angle would have proven to be
too difficult - it is a German film, with English subtitles.
As we waited, the weather began to turn for the worse, though this had
been happening most of the afternoon. In the morning we had 40 degree C
blue sky sunshine. Then by 3.30 it had clouded over and the thunder and
a little rain started. The clouds remained for the rest of the evening.
The temperature also dropped making a much cooler evening. It was the
weather which delayed the performance. They came on at about 21.20
instead of 20.30. When they came on all was fine and then shortly into
their performance the rain came on. Sydney rain is not that light when
it happens. So those who had no umbrellas had to make a dash for it or
put up with the rain. Open air performances have their downsides.
Luckily we had a large brolley which we managed to share with two girls
from Germany. They were next to us so we all crowded under the brolly
together. We had to do this throughout the performance as the rain came
and went from a heavier downfall to constant drizzle.
So the performance. It was fantastic. The girls with us also said that
they found the music to be really good. They said on several occassions
that the band were playing very well, and we had to agree. They blended
in so well with the film. Never seen the film before, and I do not
think I could watch it again as I feel the film and they live music
made it so outstanding. I think if I watch the film now it will have
less of an impact, though the plot and how it flowed was most
I cannot describe what style of music the boys played. I guess there
was an element of their drum and bass style, but also fast paced synth
/ electro feel to it.
The night ended at 22.50 and we hung around for a little while to see
if the boys would come back on land, but the dingy kept taking people
onto the cinema platform, so they must have been doing something on
there after so we left.
A very good night had by all.
Karl emailed to let me
know that the Dalis Car music video for "The Judgement Is The Mirror"
is available to download at the iTunes music store. I thought I would
have a browse about and found quite a few rare Japan related tracks
that you might want to check out. All have previews available so you
can try before you buy:
1. Takagi Masakatsu - exit/delete - this marvellous song is written by
and features David Sylvian on lead vocals. It appears on the album
2. Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit - The Librarian (nonplace
version) - this is an alternate version of the Nine Horses song with
David on lead vocals. You can find it on the album "Secret Rhythms
3. Fennesz - Transit - again with David Sylvian, on the album "Venice".
4. Blonde Redhead & David Sylvian - "Messenger" - on the Eqqus EP.
5. Penguin Cafe Orchestra tribute album - features Steve Jansen plus
the guys from YMO
6. Yellow Magic Orchestra - LondonYMO - live album recorded at the
Royal Festival Hall in 2008
7. Sandii & The Sunsetz - Calling You (live) - on the compilation
CD "World Classics: Sri Gati".
8. Richard Barbieri - Forbidden Song - featured on the compilation CD
"The Wolf and the Moon - Drop 6".
Japan "Nightporter" Party, Saturday
29th November 2008
Thankyou to everyone who came along and especially those that helped
out at the event. I had an amazing night - great to play and hear so
many Japan classics in good company. Some photos of the event are here (thanks Stix!) - more to
follow. We will do it again next year!
Mick Karn live date in Sweden Mick played
on November 8th as the guest of Isuldars Bane, at a special one-off
event (IB Expo 08). Tracks performed were "Feta Funk", "Mustard
Grapes", "Thundergirl Mutation" and "Twitchy Handmover". He also
played on the other artists material. Thanks to Maria at the japansylvian forum for
reporting on the event.
Mick performed alongside Pat Mastelotto
(drums - has worked with Akiko Yano and Robert Fripp), Pamelia Kurstin
(an extraordinary Theremin player), Paintbox (a side project of
"Gicken" and Linnea, the bass and cello player respectively from Isuldars
Bane), Jan Schaffer (Swedish session guitarist, living legend in
Sweden, has played
with ABBA, Bob Marley and Zappa, to name a few), Valgeir Sigurdsson
(Icelandic producer who has worked with Björk, The Kronos
Quartet, Bonnie Prince Bily etc) and Luca Calabrese (horn player from
Steve Jansen DVD out in Japan "The Occurrence Of
Slope", filmed in Japan "featuring footage from Steve's February 29,
"Slope" performance at the Meguro Persimmon Hall. The DVD was released
on Japan on 21st November, catalogue number P-Vine PVDV47.
Musicians featured: Steve Jansen (drums, keyboards, computer
programming, string arrangements), Keigo "Cornelius" Oyamada (guitars),
Masakatsu Takagi (piano, keyboards), String Quartet lead by Seigen
Tokuzawa. Visuals by Shoko Ise.
Vocalists on screen during the performance: Tim Elsenburg (Sweet BIlly
Pilgrim), Thomas Feiner, Anja Garbarek, Nina Kinert, David Sylvian,
Joan Wasser (Joan as Police Woman).
Live content includes previously unreleased music as well as a live
interpretation of the soundtrack 'Ascent' written for Shoko Ise's film
installation 'Swimming in Qualia'.
DVD extra features include exclusive, unreleased collaborative works by
Jansen & Ise - 4 film shorts with looped playback. High quality
artwork designed by Shoko Ise.
The best price, including shipping (at exchange rates on 16th October
2008), is from the SamadhiSound
store or HMV
Japan. If the DVD arrives in time, I plan to play some of it
during the party on November 29th.
Richard Barbieri's new album "Stranger Inside" Richard Barbieri's new
solo album "Stranger Inside" is out now on K Scope / Snapper
Records. For all details
including track lists, credits, music preview and a free MP3 download, visit the "Stranger Inside" mini site.
Over the next few
own site will be developed further and it's hoped more free and
exclusive downloads will be available.
I asked Richard who the blurred faces are on the artwork, he answered
"They are the strangers inside"!
Steve working with John Foxx
According to his myspace page,
John Foxx is working on ambient material with Steve Jansen.
Japan, Rain Tree Crow and David Sylvian mini LP card sleeve re-issues On July 2nd the
following albums were re-released in Japan, in mini replicas of the
original album covers: Gentlemen Take Polaroids VJCP68872 Tin Drum VJCP68873 Oil On
Rain Tree Crow VJCP68875 David Sylvian -
Brilliant Trees VJCP68876 David Sylvian - Gone
To Earth VJCP68877-78 David Sylvian -
Secrets of the Beehive VJCP68879
These are followed on
July 23rd by the Hansa era albums:
Adolescent Sex: BVCM-35413
Obscure Alternatives: BVCM-35414
Quiet Life: BVCM-35415
Assemblage: BVCM-35416 The contents of
all releases are the same as the remastered versions that came out in
the UK in 2003/2004. There is a boxed version of the Virgin releases
available for order from Disk
Union. However, to secure one you will need to ask a Japanese
friend to get one for you, or use a buying service such as Japonica or Rinkya.
This is because Disk Union will not sell to customers outside Japan.
The box includes extra space for the Hansa era albums, available
Site update - new various artists
includes information on over 180 various artists compilations featuring
Japan. Some include material that you can not find anywhere else,
so collectors should check it out. Currently I am cross-referencing
this with the rest of the discography to make it easier to track down
certain tracks that you can not buy on a Japan CD.
David Sylvian update
David makes a
contribution to the track "Honor Wishes" on the new Joan As Police
Woman album "To Survive". Read more about this
project and listen to a clip of "Honor Wishes" at davidsylvian.net.
The UK iTunes store features a bonus track which features David on
backing vocals, "No Question".
David is currently working on new
material. Posts to the japan-pioneers
Yahoo! Group have revealed that the new recordings feature guest
appearances from Evan Parker, Christian Fennesz and John Tilbury.
Mikael from Sweden wrote in with some more news about Mr. Sylvian: Arve
Henriksen has a new album out now on ECM records. David Sylvian is
featured on 2 songs - "Before and afterlife" and "Thermal".
Mikael wrotes: "Some songs sound like Arve Henriksen, some sound like
Jon Hassell and some sound like David Sylvian around Alchemy".
has now completed his tour. The first few shows in Scandanavia and the
UK went well, but after the Royal Festival Hall performance the set was
slightly shortened, omitting "Nostalgia", probably because the set was
seen as a little long. In Rome the concert was interrupted by a female
member of the audience who heckled David and tried to get on stage.
Following the Italian dates the members of the band succumbed to a flu
bug which unfortunately led to a couple of dates being cancelled. The
tour resumed and completed with dates in Hong Kong, Osaka and Tokyo.
Unfortunately the Tokyo show featured a shortened set as David, still
under the weather, was losing his voice. The second half of the tour
featured "Jean The Birdman". Despite setbacks, the tour performances
were very well received. Reaction to most shows can be read in the
archived of the japan-pioneers Yahoo! discussion group (link in the
main menu above).
merchandise included a beautiful hardback book with a SamadhiSound
label CD sampler including two brand new vocal tracks from David.
new limited edition instrumental CD, "When Loud Weather Buffeted
Naoshima" is available from 6th August from David's web shop.
Orchestra to play Live Earth!
- Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi - are
headlining the Kyoto Live earth concert on July 7th. The event is
expected to be broadcast worldwide and will be available on the
internet via MSN. It will be the first time they have played live using
the name "Yellow Magic Orchestra" in 25 years, as for legal and musical
reasons until this point they have appeared as "XYMO" (not YMO) and
"Human Audio Sponge". The latter has been used recently so that the
audience are aware of the musical difference between "Human Audio
Sponge" (more accoustic/experimental/glitchy) and "Y.M.O." (electronic
pop/dance music). The lines were recently blurred when at the "Smile
Together" charity show "H.A.S." played several "Y.M.O." tunes in
electronic style and the Kirin Lager version of "Rydeen" (which uses
accoustic guitar and other more "natural" sounds) was released under
the original band name. Whatever, it is really exciting that Y.M.O. are
playing and what would really make it special, and relevvant, would be
a guest appearance from David Sylvian to perform "World Citizen (I
Won't Be Disappointed)".
David speaks about Toru
Sunday Feature, BBC Radio
3, 10pm, Sunday April 22nd.
Garden: Toru Takemitsu. The
music, philosophy and personality are explored alongside his attraction
to the metaphor of the garden - 'I design gardens with music',
claims Takemitsu, a Japanese artist who found success on the concert
platforms of the West before returning to the cultural influences of
his birthplace. Including interviews with his daughter Maki, film
directors Masahiro Shinoda and Peter Grilli, composer Dai Fujikura,
conductor Oliver Knussen, pop musician David Sylvian, a gardener from
the Hama Rikyu garden in Tokyo and a previously unheard
interview with the composer himself, recorded in the early 1990s.
Thankyou to Paul Green
from the japan-pioneers Yahoo! Group for letting us know about the
TheYellow Magic Orchestrahave got
back together for a promotional campaign forKirin
soundtrack is "Rydeen 79/07", a download only single, which made No1 in
the iTunes chart in Japan. The trio are playing live on 19th May in
Yokohama, Japan under the name "Human Audio Sponge".
David Sylvian and Steve
as Nine Horses new mini-album "Money For All" was released 22nd
January. For more about this release see below (Dec 21st 2006
is planning live dates in Japan this Spring to promote his latest album
"Three Part Species". For more information visit Mick's website www.mickkarn.net
as a member of The Porcupine Tree, has a new album out this Spring
called "Fear Of A Blank Planet". The group will also be on tour from
April. For details of dates and a whole lot more, visit the brilliant
Porcupline Tree website www.porcupinetree.com
box set "Magic Vox" sold out on pre-orders and lots of people who
waited until after Christmas to buy it have been disappointed. It is
expected that the Ippu-Do best of album "Lunatic Menu" that includes a
few remixes not included in the box set, will be re-issued. The songs
are already available for official download at various Japanese sites
e.g. Sony Music Online.
Takahashi have both confirmed that they are involved in a
celebration of Haruomi
work to mark his 60th birthday which is this July 9th. Several Hosono
releases are in the works in the coming months, the first of which to
be confirmed is a collection of his 1970's solo work, including a lot
of rare material.
has said that David
has worked with him on new, expanded versions of "Plight and
Premonition" and "Flux and Mutability" for release later in 2007. Both
albums, which consist of long experimental pieces of music, were
originally released in the late 1980's.
The UK BBC TV "Holiday"
programme broadcast a segment about Tokyo on Wednesday 24th January.
Background music included Japan's
"A Foreign Place" and "Temple of Dawn" plus Sakamoto's theme from
"Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence". An overview of the programme content is
If you have any news
items relating to Japan, the solo members and associated artists please
email me email@example.com
Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!
to everyone who has contributed to the site this year. February 2007 is
the 10th anniversary of Nightporter going online, under its original
name "Japan Assemblage" on Compuserve. Some of those first pages still
exist in the depths of this site! Over the next few weeks I'll be
recalling some of the events in Japan/solo fandom over the last decade.
But don't wait for me to write things - join the Yahoo! Group and start
some discussions. It always gets busy at the beginning of the year and
it will this time around, with new releases from Nine Horses (David
Sylvian and Steve Jansen) and live dates from Mick Karn coming
For All" by Nine Horses due out in the UK, January.
new CD from Steve Jansen, David Sylvian and Burnt Friedman is the
follow up to the critically acclaimed "Snow Borne Sorrow". It features
two stunning new tracks "Money For All" and "Get The Hell Out". Both
showcase Sylvian and Jansen at their best. "Money For All" again has
Sylvian in great narrative form, beginning with an all too familiar
description of the airport shoe shuffle before touching on personal
debt, online gambling, the consumer society and people's perceptions of
others because of where they are from rather than who they are. Some
people have said they are tiring of Sylvian's political commentary but
not me. Not when he does it with such style and wit. This is the
Sylvian I like - just as much as I did when I was a kid and his
political concerns were less global and more about his experience as a
teenager in London. There are even backing singers with bags of soul,
great vocal harmonies.
"Get The Hell
Out" is very different, much more Jansen, great rhythm
track and bass sequencers, and then strings to back up Sylvian's
warnings to the mysterious "Caroline" who we last heard about in
"Exit/Delete" (Sylvian's guest spot on Tagaki Masakatsu's "Coedia"
album). Again, the lyrics and performance really take you on a journey,
if a bit of an uncomfortable one. The message here is not specific,
this is the observational Sylvian and you are not sure if he is writing
from personal experience. The song makes me think of some non-existent
"Lost" flashback involving Sawyer and Kate; a bit disconcerting on the
17.30 from Kings Cross but not unwelcome. Who is "Caroline"? Someone
tell me. The rest of the tracks on the album are remixes of numbers
from "Snow Borne Sorrow", plus the Japanese bonus "Birds Sing For Their
Lives" with a vocal from Stina Nordensam. It's all good - but the first
two songs are the best.
"Pretty In Pink" Japan Party, celebrating the 25th Anniversary
of the release of the "Tin Drum" album took place on 23rd November in
London. Many thanks to Sean who organised the night. I could not make
it there but Sean has reported that it was a real buzz for him to see
so many people dancing to Japan. Tracks played included most of "Tin
Drum" plus plenty of others from the back catalogue.
first Samadhisound Podcast by David Sylvian and Steve Jansen is online
now and it is a real treat. Hear a unique continuous mix of works from
their label catalogue including a stunning central suite of tracks from
"Blemish" featuring Derek Bailey. The podcast ends with a clip of a new
song "Money For All". Get the podcast now at the following URL: itpc://podcast.sylvian.oxfordmusic.net/podcast.xml
Mick Karn and Richard Barbieri
on new Lustans Lakejer remasters!
1982, while Steve Jansen and David Sylvian were in Japan working with
Ippu-Do (see below), Sandii & The Sunsetz and Takahashi, Mick
Rich went to ABBA's Polar Studios in Stockholm to record with Swedish
group Lustans Lakejer. Richard produced the sessions, resulting in the
albums "En Plats I Solen" and "A Place In The Sun" (an English language
version with some different songs). "A Place In The Sun" was released
in a number of countries under the more media-friendly band name
"Vanity Fair". This November Lustans Lakejer are having their back
catalogue re-released by Stranded Records, all titles having bonus
tracks - mostly 12" singles and b-sides. More information can be found
Swedish store and a Lustans
Lakejer fan site.
The other side of Japan
Jansen is selling display quality prints of unpublished photographs
taken by him during the Japan years. Photographs include candid and
portrait work of David Sylvian, Mick Karn, Richard Barbieri,
Ryuichi Sakamoto and others. You should have a look as some of the
images show a side of Japan that was not on public view at the time
they were active. I hope that Steve's venture is a success and that one
day he may be able to publish a book of his work. For more information
and to see those photographs visit Steve'sImageshop
Rob Dean - a rare
sighting in Costa Rica!
from Costa Rica has emailed to say he has seen Rob Dean make a guest
appearance with a group called Tribal. Rob played on two songs,
including solos with "amazing fuzzy guitar". Esteban has said he may
have some photo evidence of this rarely seen specimen soon.
Lots of Steve Jansen (and
section at SamadhiSoundfor
some new music and stunning photography of David and Masami Tsuchiya in
Paris, 1982. Also look for the shots of Yukihiro Takahashi and
Sweet Billy Pilgrim from their recent Japanese tour. After you have
done that you must visitSweet Billy
Pilgrim's brilliant blogfor
more about Jansen, Takahashi, his Tokyo experiences, and for one
Sylvian related anecdote that will leave you smiling all week. Further
coverage of the Japanese tour can be found at Yukihiro
Takahashi's website, including images of the tour
Anthony Reynolds - Jack
this site's contributors Anthony Reynolds has his debut album with Jack
("Pioneer Soundtracks") re-released in expanded form this month. The
album includes a Sylvian sample, I'm not saying where and what, you
will need to find it yourselves. Check out his website.
Anthony is working soon with former Sylvian collaborators Readymade on
a new project.
Ippu-Do "Magic Vox" CD
and DVD box set due out December 20th in Japan.
Japan members, Sandii,
Bill Nelson and Ryuichi Sakamoto all feature.
box set will include the Ippu-Do albums "Normal" (1979), "Real" (1980),
"Radio Fantasy" (1981), "Night Mirage" (1983), "Live & Zen"
"Rice Music" by Masami Tsuchiya and "Out of Reach" by Akira Mitake.
Included are many tracks featuring performances by Mick Karn, Steve
Jansen and Richard Barbieri. Sandii provides backing vocals on several
songs while Bill Nelson and Ryuichi Sakamoto make guest appearances on
"Rice Music". The icing on the cake is that this set comes with
a DVD of previously unreleased video clips and performances.
albums with the exception of "Real" feature bonus tracks.
be interested? Ippu-Do's front man and main songwriter Masami Tsuchiya
was a member of Japan for their final tour and "Oil on Canvas".
However, before that his band Ippu-Do were one of the groups
contemporary to Japan that were directly influenced by their sound and
style. From "Radio Fantasy" on there are clear similarities to the
Japan sound, with all the subsequent relases featuring the group
themselves. "Out of Reach" by Akira Mitake was produced by Richard
Barbieri and is a lost gem, with a lovely smooth pop
production - something later continued on the Dolphin Brothers album. I
also enjoy the first two Ippu-Do albums, where Masami works through his
interests in 60s guitar bands and German electronic and prog sounds -
often in the same songs. Like the first two Japan albums, they have a
raw sound that is pretty compelling and a nice contrast to some of the
more refined material on the later recordings. Like "Nightporter"?
Check out "Crystal Leaves" on "Night Mirage", a truly beautiful number.
Nearer the release date there will be audio clips available on the Sony
website so you can sample the sound of Ippu-Do for yourself.
Hansa era remastered
albums re-issued in jewel cases.
at mid-price, all four albums ("Adolescent Sex", "Obscure
Alternatives", "Quiet Life" and "Assemblage") include the same
content as the 2004 releases, but have amended booklets. The
reason BMG are doing this is that it is cheaper to produce jewel case
CD's than digipacks. The CD's will have the same catalogue numbers as
the digipack versions, but there is a lower price so people
should be aware of which version they are buying if
using online stores.
"Assemblage" and "Obscure
Alternatives" remasters fixed!
the remastered versions of "Obscure Alternatives" and "Assemblage" were
released in 2004 there were a few errors. These have now been fixed.
Collectors of course will want both versions! The errors that are now
fixed were: on "Obscure Alternatives" the title track has an edited
intro. On "Assemblage" the intro to "Adolescent Sex" was edited and the
incorrect version of "Life In Tokyo" was included as one of the bonus
tracks. The CD used to include the original 12" version, it now
features the mix that was on the cassette version of
how do you tell the new versions from the old? Ian from the Yahoo!
Group Japan-Pioneers (join via the link above) posted the following
"For fellow trainspotters
only here on in...
I'm assuming that most of the copies for sale as new in the shops
feature the corrected version. Unfortunately, there is no visible
way to tell the versions apart; i.e. no changes to the sleeve
desgn/catalogue number or the like. Even the disc designs are
identical. But to help anyone else who wants to check before parting
with any money (assuming they can make such checks) here are some small
difference I've spotted between my original version (with the mistakes)
and the remaster;
- the cover no longer has the sticker on the front detailing the
contents (i.e. remastered, contains videos etc)
- the disc itself while identical does have some differences if you
hold it up to the light and look at the computer number codes in the
centre by the spindle hole
-- original version with mistakes: has a 'Deluxe' mark (I'm assuming
this is the pressing factory) and the number IFPL8723 (and smaller,
backwards print: IFPL 502 82876566962 01)
-- the corrected remaster version: has a 'Sonopress' mark (again,
the pressing factory?) and the numbers are: 513 16550 / 82896566962 21
OK, you might need to get your microscopes out on that one. ;-)"
Many thanks Ian!
I have uploaded updated pages for "Obscure Alternatives", the Canadian
"Special Edition" EP, "Life In Tokyo" and the USA "Japan" LP. There are
still many items to add, uploads are happening at least weekly so keep
Competition Closed! The
winner is Trevor from London. Thankyou to everyone who entered. There
will be more competitions in the future - watch this space.
featured on forthcoming Japanese releases!
I am very pleased to
announce that some of the best 80s albums by Sandii & The
Sunsetz and Yukihiro
are being re-released in remastered form in Japan this year. Even
better, Takahashi gets a DVD featuring Steve Jansen. The
and release dates: (Thankyou to Theo Spadlo and HMV Japan)
TAKAHASHI - BOYS WILL BE BOYS (DVD) (Sony Music Entertainment: MHBL
20). Recorded Live August 1983 at Shibuya Koukaidou. Tour members were
Yukihiro Takahashi, Keiichi Suzuki, Bill Nelson, Hajime Tachibana and
David Palmer. The band's costumes are very fetching school uniforms. I
did not recognise Keiichi Suzuki as he has a funny looking "bowl"
haircut! DVD Track List:
2. MY BRIGHT TOMORROW
5. ARK DIAMANT
8. THE REAL YOU
9. ARE YOU RECEIVING ME?
10. ITS ALL TOO MUCH
11. ITS GONNA WORK OUT
12. THE APRIL FOOLS
YUKIHIRO TAKAHASHI & TOHRU KAWASAKI - SHIN-SEINEN (DVD)
(Sony Music Entertainment: MHBL 21). Recorded Live on October 27, 1984
at NHK Hall. Tour members were Yukihiro Takahashi, Iva Davies, Mitsuru
Sawamura, Hajime Tachibana, Rodney Drummer and Steve Jansen. Guest
musician (on the DVD): Haruomi Hosono (appears in THE PRICE TO PAY). I
have never seen this film so can not comment on how much we actually
see of Mr Jansen.
DVD Song List:
1. WILD & MOODY
2. STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED
3. MURDERED BY THE MUSIC
4. DISPOSABLE LOVE
6. DAY TRIPPER
7. THE PRICE TO PAY
YUKIHIRO TAKAHASHI - TOMORROWS JUST ANOTHER DAY (CD)
(Sony Music Entertainment: MHCL 791). This album was originally
released in 1983 and is one of my favourites. It compliments Japan very
well and is one of the albums that sounds like The Dolphin Brothers.
Guest musicians are Pierre Barouh, Bill Nelson, Ryuichi Sakamoto and
TIME AND PLACE - YUKIHIRO TAKAHASHI LIVE 1983 (CD) (Sony Music
Entertainment: MHCL 792). This features some different songs to the DVD
release "Boys Will Be Boys", including a duet version of "Drip Dry
Eyes" featuring Sandii and a new studio track "Happiness Is Happening".
YUKIHIRO TAKAHASHI - WILD & MOODY (CD) (Sony Music
MHCL 793). This album includes "Stranger Things Have Happened", a UK
single written by Steve Jansen.
YUKIHIRO TAKAHASHI - POISSON D'AVRIL (CD) (Sony Music Entertainment:
MHCL 794). This is the soundtrack to Yukihiro's comedy film of the same
name. All four CDs will have Mini LP Style Cardboard Sleeves.
Sandii & The
Sunsetz remasters out 13th September 2006:
Sandii - "Eating
Pleasure" (Sony MHCL855), Sunsetz - "Heat Scale" (Sony MHCL858),
"Immigrants" (featuring David
on three songs) (Sony MHCL856) and "Viva Lava Liva" (Sony MHCL857). The
latter includes three live tracks recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon at
the same time as "Oil On Canvas", so if you want to you can re-create
the experience of the final Japan tour at home! For more Sandii news
scroll down this page.
Competition - win "The
Very Best of Japan" CD and DVD.
Completists out there
this as both are press copies with a promotional sticker. To win this
fabulous prize (kindly donated by D) please answer the following
question: What was the song that Japan performed when they made their
debut appearance on "Top of the Pops"? Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out some new record label scans and sleeve images in the
discography, kindly provided by Stefan, The Ozboyz, Vince and Paul W.
Between them I have received over FIFTY
new items to add to the pages on there. All will be included eventually
but it takes time to get them resized and added to each page of the
Japan's first demo tape
for the lack of updates, I have been on holiday in Japan. I had a great
time and managed to pick up some cool Japan and YMO related things,
some of which will be appearing
on this site very soon. However, two
items emailed to me are far more interesting. MD found an original copy
(on reel to reel format) of the very first Japan demo tape.
Simon Napier-Bell some images of it and he has verified it is the real
Instantly evocative. I recognise my typed label, the tape box, the
picture, everything. It was the first demo tape I made of them (and the
first photo I had taken of them) when I'd just chanced on them and
thought the world would find them instantly irresistible. Amongst
great replies was one
from one of the A&R guys at Pye who
said Mick didn't know how to
play his bass and the group would never
anywhere until they changed their bass player. And another classic,
from CBS. "This group have potential. Unfotunately we don't invest in
potential." (Could be the death-nell explanation of the current music
industry decline)". Meanwhile,
I have put MD in contact with a musician friend who should be able to
get the tape archived. It is in reel to reel format and has not been
played by its present owner. I don't need to tell you how important
this find is. Keep your fingers crossed that we are able to hear it one
Collectors Corner 3: Quiet
Life coloured vinyl LP
item was sent in by Martin Horler. Take note of the typography of the
label which is different to the regular one, which uses the "Japan"
logo. Martin has been told that the album is in "brown" vinyl. Does
anyone know any more about it? Some Japanese pressings look like this
when held up to the light, but this is not a Japanese pressing - it is
manufactured by Pye in England.
Collectors Corner 2: 1978
acetate, apparently once the property of David Sylvian
was auctioned on Ebay in 2005. It includes 4 songs, "Communist China",
"The Unconventional", "Performance (not album mix)" and "Don't Rain On
My Parade (not album mix)". What is an acetate?: "An acetate looks like
a vinyl record, but it is actually a metal plate covered in a layer of
acetone. Acetates are much more stiff and more dense than a vinyl
record. Also, since they are not made to sell, an acetate usually has a
handwritten or typewritten label and a plain sleeve is used to store
it." (taken from
has published a good review of "The Very Best of Japan" and the cover
mounted CD features "Nightporter". A small picture of David appears at
the bottom right of the insert. The magazine also has an illustration
of the Japan singer at the beginning of the reviews section and a full
band shot with the review itself. Reviews of the CD and DVD have also
appeared in Record
Collector and Classic
Rock, the latter piece by Geoff Barton, who mentions the
lack of early material.
Japan's p***s and the
mystery of the "Shut Up" sleeve
asked Simon Napier-Bell about that "Shut Up" sleeve (see below). He did
not know about that but has given us something else pretty special to
have a look at! Check it out at his site.
If you know Portugese you
might like to readthis page
I also received the following email
Hello, in the
corner i noticed your request for more info on this single, I own both
copies so i can compare them. Everything looks identical: sleeve label
vinyl matrix no. etc. The only major difference is that the regular
version (don't rain) is printed in orange/red where 'shut up' is in
magenta. Also the black/white picture on Shut Up is more a brownish
black/white, almost like an old photograph. Hope this is of any help. cheers, Twan
BIG THANKYOU to
everyone who contributed to the website hosting fees (see 14th April
below) - enough was raised and it will enable me to keep the site
running for another year.
Virgin/EMI to re-isssue
Japan and solo titles at mid-price
May 29th Virgin/EMI are re-issuing "Gentlemen Take Polaroids", "Tin
Drum", "Oil On Canvas", "Rain Tree Crow", "Brilliant Trees", "Gone To
Earth", "Alchemy" and "Secrets of the Beehive" at mid-price.
Drum" will be a re-package without the box, photo book and "Art of
Parties" CD single, so if you have not bought that edition yet, do so
love it when people go through the discography and find "new" things
that I did not know about. I love it so much that I have decided to
feature the best new additions here, before they are added to the
discography. I hope you approve - let me know.
Sex/Don't Rain On My Parade - unusual Spanish sleeve
is a new one for me - the back sleeve has "Shut Up" written on it in
the place of "Don't Rain On My Parade". Also, there is some additional
text at the bottom right corner of the sleeve, "L.G. EL SIGLO XX. SA -
Av. Fabergada, s - Hospitales (1978)". Click here to view
the full size version. Email me
if you know more! Photo provided by Martin H.
I have never seen this
before either! Thankyou for sending it in Martin. For a
higher resolution image, click on this
Coming in the next few
days - bizarre "pirate" tapes, unusual test pressings and acetates with
Jansen remixes Sakamoto
new Ryuichi Sakamoto remix album "Bricolages" includes "Break With"
remixed by Steve. Other people on the CD are Haruomi Hosono,
Christian Fennesz and Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto). The album is due out
on May 24th in Japan and from online retailers, catalogue number Warner
Further fan comments about "The
Very Best of Japan" CD and DVD:
to repeat what others have said, really. The CD is utterly pointless,
the packaging is sloppy and full of typos, it completely ignores the
fact that Japan were a band, so ultimately, it serves no purpose
whatsoever, other than as a purchase for the completist. It’s
insult the people who made the music, as well as their fans.
version of Oil
on Canvas, however, is a different matter. I’ve
waiting for this to be reissued ever since my old video version was
stolen way back in 1990! That said, the packaging is sloppy and
I’m sure they’ve got the running order mixed up in
sorry but looking at the track listing, I see tracks I already have in
my collection and nothing new. I will not be parting with my money just
for another album sleeve as that is all you are doing.
Unfortunately Hansa and Virgin have been bleeding us dry for years
without anything new to offer!"
"I have been reading your
comments on the new “The Very Best of Japan” CD/DVD
set with interest.
I completely agree with everything you say and think you are right to
have a “bitch” about it. I am amazed that a record
as big as EMI didn’t take the time to make themselves
“familiar” with Japan’s material and get
facts straight before the artwork went to press. EMI have missed an
opportunity here and with some careful thought and planning
Very Best of Japan” could have been GREAT as you say. It
have been wonderful to have those original 7” single edits
one album. If EMI felt it essential to include some album versions,
they could have been tagged on the end as alternatives or something
– perhaps make it a double CD.
Another thing that has really frustrated me is that on the DVD, the
Hammersmith concert is listed as 1983 ! Japan had split up at
very end of 1982. I was also at one of the concerts that was being
filmed for the Oil on Canvas video so I know for a fact it was November
1982. Some might think these are minor details but it does irritate me
to say the least."
to everyone who has written in about the CD and DVD. It is good to know
that there are a LOT of people out there who care about the treatment
of Japan's back catalogue.
April (Updated 17th June)
Sandii album and new
"Greatest Hits"! The
new album (out on June 21st on Pony-Canyon) is called "Mele O Aloha"
and features The Coconut Cups. The material is Hawaiian and Tahitian
inspired but is expected to be more in the pop style than traditional
music. The best of collection is called "Sandii's Love Pacific" and is
being released by Sony on July 19th. The collection includes
material drawn from Sandii's 1990s and more recent albums and
concentrates on songs that have a Polynesian/Hawaiian/Tahitian flavour.
Sandii recorded three new tracks for this release.
"The Very Best of Japan" has
prompted more email, including information from another third party
stating categorically that David Sylvian had nothing to do with the
track listing of the CD. So who knows what the truth is!? Meanwhile, on
the Japan-Pioneers list there has been some fun as someone made some
insulting remarks about Tim Bowness only to find out that Tim is an
active member of the group... Luckilly things have been sorted out but
it just shows you never know who might be reading so be careful what
"The Very Best of Japan" CD
has prompted a huge increase in email to the site. None of it is good.
A lot of people are disappointed that the CD includes album versions of
songs. While it is generally agreed that these are the definitive
versions, the longtime fans have also waited for years to buy the
"single" versions of several songs. These are the songs that first
introduced many of us to Japan, they were the ones played on the radio,
the ones that evoke the strongest memories. Here are some quotes from
the emails that I have received:
gratifying and, at the same time, irritating release. don't
'methods of dance' or the album version of 'ghosts' - i mean, why ?"
help but feel a little pissed at being mislead . . ."
this disc because I thought it was going to contain some single edits and mixes which I didn't
already own - but as you note on your Nightporter site, every single track on
there was already included in the remastered CDs of 2003, so I've just wasted my
if they were putting together a "greatest hits" CD for the "casual"
buyer, they'd bother to include all the special edits of tracks that were
made back in the day, precisely for such a purpose.
Also if I
were a band member, I'd probably be rather disgruntled that there's
photograph of any of them apart from Sylvian, or any listing in the CD booklet of who
any of the musicians are. But then I expect they're used to that by
"What about the other members of Japan? Are they being written out of
history?" "EMI has
done a remarkable job with so many other artist reissues (Duran Duran, Ultravox, Human
League, OMD, Pet Shop Boys) so why have they dropped the ball on Japan?"
for deciding the final tracklisting of the CD? Not Virgin, EMI or BMG
apparently. It was allegedly David Sylvian - he preferred
the full length album versions of songs to the edited versions. While I
have to agree that, yes, the album versions are the best ones, it is a
shame that we can not have the option of buying the singles on CD.
New Mick Karn single "Of & About" available from HMV shops, Amazon from 3rd
April and online at www.mickkarn.net now!
is also touring the UK in
May, see further down this page for the dates. His new album, "Three
Part Species" is now due out in June.
Nine Horses out on Monday 27th March.
main reason for buying this
single must be the non album track "When Monday Comes Around",
featuring a rasping Sylvian vocal, almost sinister. The backing is
quite sparse. Although credited to Nine Horses, Burnt Friedman does not
appear on this track which is a Sylvian and Jansen co-write. The single
edit of "Wonderful World" sounds remixed to me, with a little extra
percussion. In terms of packaging, do not let the online images put you
off, the digipack is really nice, with full credits inside and a
picture of the group on the back. The text is a lot easier to read than
on "Snow Borne Sorrow".
Very Best of Japan"
CD and DVD out on Monday 27th March.
DVD is great - "Oil on Canvas" has never looked better, nor have most
of the promo video clips - and check out the alternate mix of "Swing".
Sadly, "Life in Tokyo" is a little pixelly but I believe it
better to have this in slightly poor quality than not at all. Now about
the CD - stop reading now if you can't abide whingeing...
of this site will not be surprised to learn that yet again mistakes
have been made with a Japan CD release. It is good that this album is
available, but with a little more thought it could have been GREAT. I
was quite excited about the original tracklisting as it was rather cool
- all of the 7" single hits on one CD - fabulous. Sadly, as I should
have expected, the record company's apparent unfamiliarity with the
material has let them down. Specifically, "I Second That Emotion",
"European Son", "Gentlemen Take Polaroids" and "Nightporter" are the
regular album versions. "The Art of Parties" is the 12" version, also
available on "Exorcising Ghosts". "Canton" is also the same as on "Oil
on Canvas". A lot of the credits are also incorrect. I'm not going to
list them all here. Why should I be bothered about such details?
Apologies for the bitch but when will a record company take the back
catalogue of this group seriously and get things right?
Napier-Bell writes about Danny Morgan, a
figure from the early days of Japan, in his column dated January 22,
find it by clicking the link here.
UPDATES & OPINIONS: Archive
Very Best of Japan" on CD
and DVD special offer
£50 (UKP) to spend on the Japan and solo back catalogue was
by a UK based fan, details will be disclosed if he gives permission.
Congratulations and thankyou to Townsend Records for running the
"The Very Best of
Japan" on CD and DVD.
Available from March 27th. CD catalogue number CDV3018. DVD catalogue
CD includes all of
the UK hit singles on one
release for the first time.
DVD includes all the
hit single promotional
videos, plus "Oil on Canvas".
Sleeve notes written
Horses "Wonderful World" UK CD single is also released on March 27th.
This includes the previously unreleased song "When Monday Comes Around"
and a radio edit of the title track.
to the Yahoo! Group that the Nine Horses (David Sylvian
& Steve Jansen) album has won a prestigious German
record critics award, the "Preis der deutschen
Schallplattenkritik". Meanwhile, the single "Wonderful World" will be
released on March 27th in UK stores and online. The CD only single
includes the non album track "When Monday Comes Around" and a radio
edit of the title track.
seems that someone must have been listening (see archive news for 2005)
- "Tamahime Sama" and the other Alfa/Yen Records albums by Jun
Togawa are being re-released this Spring in Japan by Sony.
Most have been unavailable on CD for over a decade. Togawa is a very
unusual singer with a wide vocal range. Her material can be quite
challenging, both in terms of arrangement, vocal performance and
lyrical content, addressing issues such as mental illness, suicide and
abuse. It is also often humorous, never boring or predictable. Her
voice is sometimes deep and growling, sometimes very high-pitched and
OTT girly, but when the material demands it she can sing beautifully.
Togawa has no direct connection to Japan or the former members solo
careers but she has worked with Hosono and a number of other artists
that have worked with Sylvian and co.
the singer based in Japan who is a friend and collaborator with Masami
Tsuchiya, Yukihiro Takahashi and Sandii performed
a special Valentines show on Sunday 5th February at Milk in
Tokyo. For reports visit
Susan's website. I'm pleased Susan is recording new material
with a band who respect her 80's work and also the need for something
to tour? Some Italian promoters have stated in the past week
that David may be playing live later this year. The story has been
denied by Opium (his management office) but they have not ruled out the
getting a lot of requests for Japan lyrics - they are available on the
which is well worth checking out.
other request I am getting is for videos on DVD, or copies of TV
appearances. Sadly, there is little available from official sources. I
would recommend you join the Yahoo! Group, make friends with people and
they will no doubt trade with you. The only other alternative is to buy
from Ebay. I would urge you to investigate the making friends option
first - it will be cheaper and you will also be in the loop for the
time when official releases are due.
wishes for the holiday season from Paul.
Japan albums "Adolescent Sex" (BVCM37218), "Obscure Alternatives"
(BVCM37219), "Quiet Life" (BVCM37220) and "Assemblage"(BVCM37221) are
being re-released in replica LP sleeves at budget price in Japan on
21st December. These are 24-bit remastered using the JVC K2 system and
are the same as the versions released in Japan in 2001. The price for
each is 2,100 Yen (£10.50). (Contributor - Scott
Morley has recorded a cover version of "Ghosts" under the name
Infantjoy. The track is included on the album "Where The Night Goes"
(Sony Classical 82876738772) which was released on November 21st.
(Contributor - Thomas Furch).
to iTunes UK - "Tiki Tiki" by Jazztronik featuring Sandii - just the
thing for those cold winter evenings when you've been listening to a
little too much Sylvian. The album is exotic dance/pop with a sense of
humour ("An Occasional Man") and also some dreamy moments ("Calling
You", "Midnight at the Oasis"). Another track available on UK iTunes
now is the current hit single (in Japan) by Miu Sakamoto, a cover of
"Never Ending Story".
new album from David Sylvian and Steve Jansen under the name Nine
Horses, "Snow Borne Sorrow" continues to receive glowing reviews in the
first month of release. It charted in Italy but other sales information
has not been available. Some advance purchasers were disappointed by
the service from the Samadhi Sound online store, who failed to deliver
the album on the release date. This may have been because the stock was
exported from the USA - it was notable that American buyers received
their copies on time. I had no trouble finding the album in UK music
stores in the North of England on the release date. It was also
reported that the album was widely available in Japan a week before the
official release date. Visit the Samadhi
for sound and video clips of the album (which is excellent) and a lot
of background information on the project.
other news item people have been talking about is the new album from
Kate Bush, which was
supposed to include a guest appearance from Mick Karn on the song "How
To Be Invisible". I hope that the version of the song featuring Mick
may appear on a future single. I think the album is great, particularly
the second disc.
information about Kate Bush is on the marvellous site Kate
at 9pm starting October 23rd - BBC2, UK: "Girls and Boys: Sex and
British Pop". This TV series is based on former Japan
manager Simon Napier-Bell's best-selling book "Black
Vinyl White Powder". I have been told that Japan are not
featured, but from what I have seen so far it is an enjoyable series
full of great archive footage of artists who challenged society's views
on gender and sexuality.
The new album from David
and Steve Jansen is released under the band name Nine
Horses. It is a collaboration with Burnt Friedman
and a number of other guest musicians, including Ryuichi
Sakamoto and Stina Nordenstam.
The album title is "Snow Borne Sorrow", UK catalogue number Samadhi
Sound SS006. Release date 24th October 2005. More information,
including the download single "Wonderful World" is at http://www.ninehorses.com
. The album is marvellous.
It is by no means easy listening, but is very accessible, dare I say
enjoyable, but has a lot of depth and I am sure will provoke much
discussion among followers of Sylvian's work for quite some time. Buy
Sakamoto appeared at the
Barbican in London on October 10th with Alva Noto,
performing improvised pieces and material from the album "Insen". As
Ryuichi played piano, Carsten (Alva Noto) manipulated the sound and
added beats and electronic noises. This was fed through to video
screens that reacted to what was being played, creating animations that
at times appeared like a game, and at others was very hypnotic. The
final number was a radical interpretation of "Merry Christmas Mr
Lawrence". I was lucky to meet Mr Sakamoto after the show and he was a
gentleman. I appreciate the time he took for a brief chat, although of
course how do you put over 20 years of questions you always wanted to
ask into a few minutes without coming across as a total
Karn has a new EP out called "Love's Glove" - for more
information visit the shop at his website www.mickkarn.net.
It is available as a download or as an actual CD. Downloads are
available now, the CD's are being mailed out to those who have ordered
Last month I was able
to talk to Sandii
through a mutual friend. An article I've written since has been
submitted to a magazine and details of the publication will be
available soon. Sandii has just graduated as Kumu Hula after six years
of study, attaining the same level of qualification as her teacher Pattye
Wright. Sandii is now making plans to record new material,
while continuing to run her Hula studios in Tokyo and
Yokohama. Visit her website here.
members Keni Inoue and Hideo Inoura
recently performed at the Fuji Rock Festival in a band fronted by
Keni's wife Kathie. Their music is a combination of
reggae and Hawaiian styles. The trio have also worked with Sandii
collaborator Yuki Yamaguchi and Sumo legend (and
popular performer) Konisihki.
Tsuchiya and Yukihiro Takahashi recently
made a guest appearance at a one-off show by Susan.
Check out some photos and video clips at Susan's website.
daily! Simon's site is one of the most entertaining and
thought-provoking on the net and is one of the few where the person
whose site it is actually updates it themselves, several times a week.
Simon occasionally posts snippets of information about Japan, all of
which are in the archives at his site.
BUY THE NINE HORSES
"SNOW BORNE SORROW". IN A SHOP. A NEW COPY. NOT A USED ONE OFF EBAY OR
AT THE MUSIC EXCHANGE IN NOTTING HILL GATE. DOWNLOAD IT IF YOU REALLY
MUST BUT THEN GO OUT AND BUY IT! YOU WILL BENEFIT FROM KNOWING YOU HAVE
DONE THE RIGHT THING. AND NINE HORSES WILL LOVE YOU*
*PLEASE NOTE THIS
IS IN A PURELY PLATONIC SENSE AS
A FELLOW WORLD CITIZEN AND A PERSON OF UNQUESTIONABLE GOOD TASTE.
week, apart from the Nine Horses album I'm listening to "Tamahime Sama"
(Yen Records, 1984) by Jun Togawa which you can't
buy in shops as it is deleted. Someone re-release it please!
and David Sylvian appear in the Simon Napier Bell book"I'm Coming To Take You To Lunch", on
sale now. The book chronicles Simon's career from
the early 80's when he was managing Japan, Sylvian and Wham! It gives a
good impression of the characters surrounding the Nomis/Opium offices
at the time and is a really good read. The book is being sold on it's
Wham! content but the main focus of it is Napier Bell's adventures in
foreign countries, making business contacts and sometimes getting into
potentially dodgy situations, usually in Chinese restaurants. Buy it
and just maybe he'll be compelled to write about 1976 - 1982, the only
period he has not written about in depth so far. Read the 2002
Nightporter email interview with Simon here.
are featured in the UK magazines "NME Originals 80's"
(thanks for tipping me off about that one Stefan!) and Q/Mojo "Depeche
Mode and the story of Electropop". The latter also features
Y.M.O. and gives a brief update on the current solo work of the
ex-Japan members. "Classic Rock" magazine (March
2005) features a great Japan photo as part of a feature on Richard
Barbieri and Porcupine Tree.