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Artist: CAESAR, J.A.
Title: Den-en Ni Shisu OST
Format: CD
Label: Showboat/Sky Station
Country: Japan
Price: $29.00
"First reissue of this 1974 J.A. Ceasar-performed theatrical underground classic. "The early 70s in Japan are often painted as an era of political and artistic disillusionment. On the one hand, the state rode roughshod over widespread opposition by renewing a mutual security treaty with the US, forcibly purchasing farming land near Tokyo for the construction of a new airport and stamping down hard on student occupations of universities. In the face of the implacability of state power, the protest movements fluffy dreams of peaceful revolution were viciously scalpel-sculpted into new and violent forms by Red Army hijackings, lynchings and hostage taking. The sense of confusion and lost innocence was further emphasized by teenage thrill killers, coin locker babies and the bizarre coup detat-cum-public suicide of novelist Yukio Mishima. Against this background Japanese youth music began to discard the perky Western imitations of the Group Sounds boom and the college folkies, and slide into more appropriately brutal forms of self expression. Folk turned angry and personal, while rock groups like Las Rallizes Denudes, Flower Travellin Band and Keiji Hainos Lost Aaraaff discovered bad acid, dissonance and heavy electric blues. Some of the most exciting and evocative music of the time, however, was born out of the avant garde theatre groups that had played such a central role in the 60s ferment. One of the most important was the Tenjo Sajiki Company (its name taken from Marcel Carnes wartime occupation fantasy Les Enfants Du Paradis), formed by poet, film maker, boxing fan and all-around agent provocateur, Shuji Terayama. Renowned for Living Theatre-inspired audience participation happenings and extreme street theatre designed to shock the bourgeois, by 1970 the group had already become a haven for runaway teens, and a focus for police investigation. Terayama was canny enough to realize that co-opting their music was an ideal way to hijack adolescent energies, and he consistently used heavy amplified rock to jump-start his chaotic, socially critical acid operas. Heard today, even independent of their lyrical message, theyre astonishingly powerful as pieces of music, deploying huge Magma choruses alongside juggernaut organ, guitar, bass, drums and fully out-there vocalizing. The pick of this bunch is the soundtrack to Terayawas 1974 film Den-en Ni Shisu (Death In The Country). Described as a fictional autobiography, it tells of a sensitive adolescent poet who later becomes a film director, stuck with his neurotic mother in a rural northern backwater, who dreams of running off first with a neighbours wife and then with a traveling freakshow. The films fractured narrative of awakening sexuality and severing of parental bonds is captured in hallucinatory imagery and an equally ambitious soundtrack by J.A. Caesar, which binds the whole film together with a subtle, subconscious logic. The deployment of disparate elements in an all-consuming flow, which works even independently of the images, is masterly. The familiar psych guitar, organ and choral chanting are heavy enough in places -- as on the discs definitive reading of Caesars massive and haunting Wasan -- to approach Sabbath levels of dense pounding, and theres also a frighteningly visceral vocal turn from folk singer Kan Mikami. But the score also sees Caesar expanding his instrumental palette, scoring some tracks for sideshow brass band or gently plucked guitar, weeping violin and chant. The weird intervals of his sparse, medieval-influenced melodies linger in the memory with the force of nostalgia for a past not directly experienced. Its an amazing performance: from street hippy whod never picked up an instrument to film soundtrack composer in five years. Caesars soundtrack for Den-en Ni Shisu lost out by a single vote to Toru Takemitsu for the best film soundtrack of 1974." -- Alan Cummings, The Wire.

Artist: KIYOKO, ITOH
Title: Woman At 23 Hour - Love In
Format: CD
Label: Showboat/Sky Station
Country: Japan
Price: $28.00
"Identical and deluxe reissue of this deliriously mega-rare and hardly known Itoh Kiyoko record. Normally if you want to score a copy of the original vinyl you are required to donate most of your vital organs to some yakuza-typed black marketer, but luckily enough, this one here is easier to attain without ripping out a lung or a liver to pound off. The CD is housed in an eye-popping foldout jacket. It 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, Itohs talent is fully flowering and apart from merely eargasmatic songs, she hushes into being, atmospheric city-life field recordings and well-balanced 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. Sadly enough, both of her albums failed to catch on, not poppy enough, too melancholic, way too creative, artistically too advanced, hard to categorize and probably even too erotically sophisticated without degrading herself to mere carnal sonic one-hit wonders. In one word, a delicate, soft, psychedelic wonderland avenue of an album that will entrap simple airhead listeners into a deadlock without giving them the chance to fully explore the absinthial pleasures it conceals. If one only cares to listen to what lies underneath its surface layer, a new form of aural addiction will commence to besiege you. One of the greatest underrated delicate psychedelic female vocal albums to seep out of Japan. Original copies just never surface and if they do, you have to trade in -- in most cases -- a limb in order to take one home with you. So this eye-popping delicately crafted reissue might be just the thing you need. If you got entangled into Kaji Meikos sonic universe, you should try Itoh Kiyoko. All-time highest recommendation and forget about original vinyl copies, they are even scarcer that all your Blues Creation, Too Much and Oz Days records together. Highest recommendation." -Showboat/Sky Station

Artist: KOSUGI, TAKEHISA
Title: Catch-Wave
Format: CD
Label: Showboat/Sky Station
Country: Japan
Price: $28.00
"Official CD reissue (more recently reprod by World Psychedelia), licensed from Sony Japan. Originally issued by CBS in Japan-only in 1975, this album has been as difficult to find as either of the original Taj Mahal Travellers LPs. The descriptive text on the back jacket of this exact repro gives an insight: "sounds speeding on lights, light speeding on sounds, music between riddles & solutions." A devastating, drone-intense record (unlike Kosugis later solo recordings for Lovely Music or P-vine; Catch-Wave is the closest follow-up recording to his Taj Mahal Travellers group in the form of group improvisation), finally accessible." -Showboat/Sky Station
SOLD OUT

Artist: MASATO, MINAMI
Title: The Tropics
Format: CD
Label: Showboat/Sky Station
Country: Japan
Price: $28.00
"2nd CD reissue from Showboat of this classic Japanese underground folk-rock album, originally released by RCA Japan in 1971. Great mini-LP gatefold packaging, but very few made and not long for this world. "The Tropics was Minami Masatos first record on which he got assisted by Mizutani Takeshi of the Rallizes Denudes, his only appearance on record ever. Minami Masato was one of Japans first beatnik hippie scum singers, who before venturing into the music world, spent some time in Mexico where he indulged himself in the narcotic goodies the country had to offer, went to America and witnessed in 1964 the rise of the beatnik movement and saw one of Bob Dylans early performances. Minamis life would never be the same again. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean, criss-crossed through Europe and returned to Tokyo in 1966. He participated at the 1968 Kyoto Folk Jamboree Festival. However, his debut single did not appear until October 1969, followed by a second single in 1970. This album, his debut appeared in July 1971 for which he got assisted by a loose collective of fan musicians and befriended artists. Hadaka no Rallizes Mizutani Takeshi was such a fan collaborator since he was quite in awe for what Minami stood for, being the unattached beatnik and drugged singer-songwriter he was. He let loose some ear shattering electric guitar on the albums closing track. This is the sole recorded output of Mizutani on disc. At least officially, if one ignores the dozen bootlegs and unofficially released music of his (like the Arthur Doyle-Mizutani 2LP set that was released without his consent). An unbelievably valuable document of the early Japanese underground. Hyper-rare and demented all the way. For lovers of Hadaka no Rallizes, Tomokawa Kazuki, acid folk, Jandek, and obscure and psyched-out sounds." -Showboat/Sky Station

Artist: MIKAMI, KAN
Title: Yuyake No Kioku Kara - Aomori Live
Format: CD
Label: Showboat/Sky Station
Country: Japan
Price: $29.00
"Originally released in 1976 on the legendary Victor SF series documenting outsider folk activities in Japan, this is one of the hardest Mikami LPs to track down, apart from his first two albums. This record sees Mikami returning to his home base, the northern prefecture of the bone-chillingly cold and weather beaten Aomori, delivering an intimate performance where he accompanies himself just on guitar with no back-up. A stunning and blood curdling live performance that proves once again that he is the ultimate acid folk/rural beatnik guttural hero. He wails out elegiac songs with enough conviction to strip the paint of the walls. But at the same time it is possibly -- partly due to his return to the motherland after having spent so much time in the concrete jungle of the capital -- his most private statement to date, loaded with cries of sorrow and grief, introspective mind trips and venomous laments that suggests he cries his heart out for dead souls and lost memories. In other words, his performance squeezes the last whiff of air out of your longs, leaving you exhausted and emotionally distressed. Great, only superlatives do him justice, all time possible highest recommendation. By the way, the audience response in the small theater is great and provides at times the ideal backup for his songs. You have to hear it in order to believe it... again quality reissue job, complete with mini-LP style gatefold jacket, obi, etc, all the works... it makes you drool just to hold it in yer hands."-Showboat/Sky Station

Artist: SEAZER, JA
Title: Saraba Hakobune OST
Format: CD
Label: Showboat/Sky Station
Country: Japan
Price: $29.00
"Another rarity is this original soundtrack album to Terayama Shujis last movie with music by JA Seazer (Tenjo Sajiki, JA Caesar). Released in 1984, it was Terayamas last completed movie and Seazers last contribution to his visionary and reactionary world. Saraba Habobunes soundtrack is just stunningly beautiful, far removed from Seazers trademark bombastic scores. Instead it ventures into more pastoral and almost meditative psychedelic realms filled with traditional string plucking, eerie flute, shahuhachi flirtations, esoterically floating beneath-the-surface female Orff-like choruses and ethereal shamanistic sense of poetry that create memory flashes towards a forceful nostalgia of a past not directly experienced. The whole is endowed with beauty and an austere intimacy spiced up with occasional echoes of circus side show callers that seem to recall aspirational surges out of a concealed depth of former delinquent activities. A deceptively intense, casual in feel, yet meticulous in its musical detail and lyrical transmigrative eclectic beauty. A true astonishingly beautiful and ear-filling piece of consummate art that is so hard to come to terms with. Housed in eye-popping hard cover mini-LP styled gatefold sleeve art, complete with reproduction of the original inserts."-Showboat/Sky Station

Artist: TAJ MAHAL TRAVELLERS
Title: July 15, 1972
Format: CD
Label: Showboat/Sky Station
Country: Japan
Price: $29.00
"Official CD reissue of the first Taj Mahal Travellers album, licensed from Sony Japan. Originally issued by CBS in Japan in 1972, this has been incredibly in-demand for quite some time (this Showboat edition was first issued in 2001 or thereabouts and is now more widely available again). The precursor to the 2nd and final Taj-Mahal Travellers album, August 1974 (reissued on P-vine in the late 90s and still available), this represents Fluxus-inspired drone and improvisation at its peak. The line up for this album is: Takehisa Kosugi (electronic violin, radio oscillators & voice), Ryo Loike (electronic contrabass, suntool, harmonia & sheet iron), Yukio Tsuchiya (vibraphon, suntool), Michihiro Kimura (electronic guitar & percussion), Seiji Nagai (electronic trumpet, harmonica & castanet), Tokio Hasegawa (vocal), Kinji Hayashi (electronic engineer), Go Hamada (producer). Recorded live at Sohgetsu Hall, Tokyo on 7/15/72."-Showboat/Sky Station
SOLD OUT

Artist: TENJO SAJIKI
Title: Hatsukoi Jigoku Hen
Format: CD
Label: Showboat/Sky Station
Country: Japan
Price: $29.00
"Top notch and bang up identical reissue job by the high quality label Sky Station; gatefold mini-LP style sleeve complete with inserts and obi. This was originally a private pressing on Terayama Shujis own Tenjosajiki label. The disc is a soundtrack to his like-named movie, of which the title can be roughly translated as Volume of First Love Hell. Psychedelic insanity, spoken word insertions and has included great vocal participations by sublime vocalist Carmen Maki of Blues Creation. Great disc that rarely surfaces with everything intact. Meaning obi, gimmick jacket that folds open in triple parts once you open the album. Comes with pictures of Terayama, Carmen Maki and nude photographs of the main actors."-Showboat/Sky Station

Artist: TOMOKAWA, KAZUKI
Title: Yatto Ichi Mai Me
Format: CD
Label: Showboat/Sky Station
Country: Japan
Price: $29.00
"Faithful official reproduced reissue housed in the always top notch mini-LP styled gatefold jackets, obi and inserts. This was Tomokawas first record, released in October 1975. He is undoubtedly the unequaled master of possessed song-spirit. Here the young Tomokawa wails and screams emotionally hard enough in order to strip the paint of the walls. Nevertheless at times he gets quite emotional and laid back in order to hush his haunting demons to sleep. Just a splendid piece of Japanese acid folk and chant exorcism. Tomokawas music is violent, emotionally charged with insane screaming modes, piercing sensitivity, cathartic rhythmic purge, thrashing acoustic guitar aesthetic and harsh, reflecting the atmosphere of the bleak northern prefecture of Aomori. Hardly turns up these days. Stunningly great psychedelic-acid-avant-outsider folk music. For fans of Mikami Kan, Jandek, acid folk, Iuchi Kengo, J.A.Seazer, psych heads all around and adventurous music geeks. If you are interested in acid folk, well look no further cause it will not get any better than this. Highly recommended official top notch high quality reissue of this rare early (1st) Tomokawa disc."-Showboat/Sky Station
SOLD OUT

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