Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Few bloggers blitzed by the Megaupload seizure on January 19 could claim to be more devastated than the uploading wizard behind the curtain at Japanese music site the Vault. Eating prolific for breakfast, Voodooninjamunky shared, in less than three years online, a staggering 5,600 LPs.
Understandably discouraged, our hero posted the sad notice that he was retiring the blog. A few days later, though, he announced he was shifting his files over to a private bittorrent tracker, but that proved inefficient and unsatisfying, and the idea was abandoned. Now, to the delight of Japanese music junkies everywhere, it appears that Voodooninjamunky intends to continue the Vault, uploading files to a different 3rd party file-sharing service. Steps toward a reanimated blog are tentative, but the last number of hours have seen a flurry of offerings that looks a whole lot like the old Vault. (Our lead-off item below is a lovely female duo pop album posted not 12 hours ago.)
In honor of Voodooninjamunky's determination to press on, your Motherlode today presents exclusively Japanese music. (For more such magnificent sounds, check out my most recent Give the Drummer Some broadcast.)
Membous ~ "Honey Chapatti"
(Blog: The Vault)
Track #5 translates as: "Grandma Is Wating for Summer"
"Membous is a group I have been hunting for for a little while now and was shitcited to see them pop up on Rakuten for pretty sweet prices. I first heard them on one of the Benten comps a long while back. then realized that they were affiliated with the Gyuune label also and was like, yeah, I need that shit. They popped up on another comp I found from childish soup, which seems to be a bit of a spinoff from Gyuune. So now I finally have their albums, and they don't disappoint. Delicious lo-fi dual girl action with sweet mellow musical background to some cute and relaxing melodies." (Description by VoodooNinjaMunky, at The Vault)
Kuni Kawachi ~ "Utae Nakumaru Maeni"
(Blog: Japanese Old Prog/Psych Rock)
Zing Went the String Section to Your Heart
"Possibly one of the best solo works of Kuni Kawachi I ever heard. At least it was expected to be as boring as "Boku no Koe ga Kikoerukai" released by Kawachi the same year, but it's not. This album is much better though nothing really outstanding. Nevertheless it's solid melodious psycho-folk, sometimes dramatic, most of the tracks are orchestrated and I regarded some of them as good indeed. All in all, no particular pretension, very tuneful and slightly psychedelic." (Description by day_d, at Japanese Old Prog/Psych Rock)
Yoshisaburo Toyozumi Unit ~ "The Masterpiece"
(Blog: Inconstant Sol)
The Other Drummer Sabu
Any chance you have to wallow in the scintillating and incendiary alto axe of Kazutoki Umezu and you do it. Has the man taken an unstirring breath? Here he's snugly ensconced in a fearsome free jazz foursome led by master pounder Toyozumi. Would someone explain to me how I lived this long without this thrilling platter?
Kiyoko Itoh ~ "Goji Kara Juji Made no Watashi"
(Blog: Mutant Sounds)
Title Translates as: "Woman at 23-Hour Love-In"
"This was the final album Itoh recorded in 1971 and on this effort she got backed up by again a bunch of Tokyo underground heavy weights such as J.A. Seazer and Kuni Kawauchi of the Happenings Four. On this album, Itoh's talent is fully flowering and apart from merely eargasmatic songs she hushes into being, atmospheric city-life field recordings and sound snippets find their way in and between her compositions. These flashes of cosmopolitan Tokyo city life grandeur and the feeling of desperate desolation it tails along elevate her impeccable melancholic love ballads and softly erotic excursions to even higher levels of artistic expression, catapulting the whole affair towards eerie stratospheric heavenly delightful realms." (Unattributed description, reprinted at Mutant Sounds and all over the Internet)
Masahiko Satoh & Soundbreakers ~ "Amalgamation"
(Blog: Improvised Solo)
With Louis Hayes!
"This preposterous piece of psychedelic avant-jazz sounds like the work of aliens, each with only one foot in our universe. Propelled by cacophonous brassy blasts, volleys of machine-gunning, ecstatically 'Light Fantastic' rhythms and moments of Teo Macero-style 'Mixing Concrète' (during which the whole track becomes consumed by waves of new sound); the result is the most singular mash-up of inappropriate sounds any listener is ever likely to hear. Over two side-long tracks, shaman Masahiko Satoh sends us through a sonic mind-field, baffling our senses and our sense of gravity. Located at the centre of Amalgamation's giddy sessions was the frantic Detroit drumming of hard-bop legend Louis Hayes, whose role it was to play the bubbling ever unfolding fundament on which Masahiko Satoh's whole trip proceeded, as though the rhythm section were a magic carpet magically pulled out from under the feet of the other performers. Over this rhythmic shaking, Satoh scattered Hammond organ around and ring-modulated his Fender Rhodes piano solos (Roland built three especially for the record), added lead guitar from 'super session' legend Kimio Mizutani, trumpets and sax from Mototeru Takagi, scat singing from Kiyoko Itoh, and strings from the Wehnne Strings Consort." (Description by Julian Cope, in Japanrocksampler)
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