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Artist: ASO, AI
Title: Lavender Edition
Format: CD
Label: Pedal
Country: Japan
Price: $21.00
"The resonance of the name Aso Ai will not immediately cause tidal waves of excitement to leap up and hit foreign shores with a vehement power of overall upheaval and long awaited anticipation. No instinctive prevision whatsoever could gear up music aficionados for what was to come, since Asos debut recordings on the tiny and illustrious Oz Disc label had slipped by unnoticed through the mazes of the net. Aso Ai first appeared on the so-called music circuit around the year 2000 with the release of her debut single Amaihibiki, closely followed the following year by her full length CD Umerumono. Both releases slowly fell into slumber, disappearing into the gasping wounds of total obscurity until the freshly ignited Pedal Records label, led by former White Heaven guitarist Nakamura Souichirou, decided not to let Aso Ais exceptional talent go to waste and set out to conflagrate her sonic isolationism. Upon listening and witnessing Asos music, I could not but be struck by the bare stark nakedness and an almost less is more aesthetic that resonated out of every slow motion-like action she sings into being through her desolate tunes. Desolate as in stripped down of all artificial distractions, intellectual constructivism and violent sonic pollution, Asos musical universe is one of limited notation and well balanced fragile bossa-novelistic psychedelics. She quietly sets out, throughout the entire album, to show a graceful, yet sharp moving floating stride. From the first, almost minimalist approach, the atmospheric angelical quality and utterly erotic naïveté that breaths through her delicate vocals, one can feel a premonition towards an unprecedented relationship she beholds for a lyrical and soft poetic shape that feels like an introverted and at times almost religious affair her music embraces. Like the fragrance of a freshly picked cherry blossom, Aso Ais sonic universe is as fleeting and as fragile but in the mean time strong enough to face the seasonal climate changes the buds gets confronted with. Her whispering trade mark vocalizations are throughout the album backed up with some sparse but accurate and straight-to-the-point instrumentation provided by some of Tokyos finest scenesters around such as ex-White Heaven and Stars front man Ishihara You (who was also responsible for producing this sonic gem), Nakamura Souichirou (engineer of Nagisa Nite, Yura Yura Teikoku, Guitar Wolf, The Stars, etc), and Yura Yura Teikoku and Stars bass player Kamekawa Chiyo. When performing live, Aso gets backed by Ishihara, Nakamura and Kurihara Michio. The overall effect the individual musicians together with Aso evoke is that of a transcendental and arresting listening experience that will make you question the validity of all music you have been exposed to until this present day, rendering most your record collection oblique and utterly useless. That is the power stripped down simplicity and utter beauty evokes. You are warned�?� And if this initial release, which will massage your frontal earlobes to a big extent, is not enough yet, Pedal Records announced that its second release will be The Stars new full length album, which will be due at the end of May 2004. Stay tuned�?�.." - Johan Wellens.
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Artist: ISHIHARA, YOU
Title: Passivite
Format: CD
Label: Pedal
Country: Japan
Price: $20.00
July 1997 release from White Heavens You Ishihara (vocals, guitar) featuring the incredible Michio Kurihara (guitar), Chiyo Kamekawa (bass), and Ken Ishihara (drums). Originally released on Creativeman Disc.
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Artist: KURIHARA, MICHIO
Title: Sunset Notes
Format: CD
Label: Pedal
Country: Japan
Price: $21.00
"Stellar first solo adventure of former White Heaven and Stars lysergic guitar wonder Michio Kurihara. Comprised out of 9 tracks, Kurihara proves that he has more up his sleeve than merely being an extremely gifted guitar wonder. Here, he puts on display his song craftmanship and it surely stunned me. Kurihara sounds utterly mature, well structured and exciting compositions spared from guitar frivolics and instead focusing on the image of the composition. He gets assited by the rhythm section of Yura Yura Teikoku (Shibata Ichiro), Peace Music and Pedal Records spearhead Nakamura Souichiro and Ishihara You and Aso Ai who both breath some songs into being. This album grows on you the more you lend your ear to it and is, according to these humble ears, already one of the top 5 albums for 2005. Ultimate highest recommendation." - Pedal.
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Artist: STARS, THE
Title: Perfect Place To Hideaway
Format: CD
Label: Pedal
Country: Japan
Price: $21.00
"This is the long anticipated followup to their first album , WILL, which was chosen by British magazine WIRE as one of the best albums of 2004. Perfect Place to Hideway has sensual grooves not heard on their earlier work, cold, icy riffs, and an overwhelming tone of nihilism in the vocals, all masterfully put together to create a multi-dimensional, grand listening experience. From opener Subway, with Michio Kuriharas guitar lines weaving through eternal, repetitive grooves and Ishiharas controlled, unique vocals, this album ushers in a new era for the band. From the slashing guitar riffs to the impenetrable grooves laid out by the rhthym section, from the anarchic, bold arrangements to the dark lyricism, the unique album creates an overwhelming, cosmic listening experience."
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Artist: STARS, THE
Title: Perfect Place To Hideaway
Format: LP
Label: Pedal
Country: Japan
Price: $36.00

Artist: STARS, THE
Title: Will
Format: CD
Label: Pedal
Country: Japan
Price: $21.00
Features You Ishihara (vocals, guitar), Michio Kurihara (guitar, synth) and Soichiro Nakamura (organ), all formerly of White Heaven (plus Kurihara has done time in Ghost, Ha-Za-Ma, Cosmic Invention, Damon & Naomi, etc..). Excellent Television-esque tracks filtered through their prior West Coast psych emulations (though they seem to be distancing themselves from this sound more and more..).
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by artist / 0-9    A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z    V/A \   by label