Welcome! ようこそ!

I set up this blog to hopefully introduce those outside Japan to some of Japan's best music and a taste of Osaka and Kyoto's thriving underground music scene.

Alot of what I post will be CDR's and CD's sold by bands on the Kyoto/Osaka live circuit. Hopefully giving a little exposure to the bands outside Japan. The rest will be Japanese bands from pretty much any and every generation and genre. From 60's Rock'n'Roll and folk to 00's noise and electronica.

If anyone has an issue with me uploading their music please contact me and I'll remove the links immediatley. My intention is to introduce this music to new audiences. So please help support these bands by buying their releases or catching them live if you have the opportunity. Alot of these guys are working full time jobs on top of making great music. Please send comments, complaints, recommendations and seasonal greetings to stinkinhippy@hotmail.com

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Gezan - Warhol's Hole (下山 - ウォーホールの穴)

Something a bit special this time. This is a rip of a DVDR given away by the band at their most recent show. Gezan have been together for just under a year but are fast making a name for themselves thanks to stunts like this. Warhol's Hole sees the band unleashing their unholy, psychadelic musical vandalism on a terrorised and unsuspecting public in the middle of downtown Osaka. I've uploaded a WMV vesion of the video and an MP4 version of the video for Mac and ipod. Quite surprisingly no one actually got arrested duing the recording of this. Fans of Les Rallizes Denude (Hadaka No Raliizes) and LSD March should be into this.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Inuhiko - Obachan Kara Moratta Coat O Sutemashita (犬彦- おばちゃんからもらったコートを捨てました)

What do you get when you combine twisted Japanese nursery rhymes with brutal hardcore drumming? One of the most ingeniously discordant sonic mismatches to grace my battered eardrums in recent months. Inuhiko is Tokyo singer/songwriter Inu Jon (Dog Jon) and Hiko, drummer from renowned Japanese hardcore band Gauze. Inu plays baltic tinged folk songs on the organ while wearing a giant dog costume that resembles the creepy reanimated corpse of Fantastic Mr Fox which makes the band as bizarre and otherworldy looking as they sound. It's an aquired tastes but this is an absolute must listen.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Shitappa Oyabun - Shitappa Oyabun (したっぱ親分)

Kyoto's Shitappa Oyabun are one of my favourite bands on the Osaka underground circuit. The trio have existed in various forms for almost 4 years now but have existed in their current lineup for about 2 years. Fans of Oshiri Pen Penz and Kyojin Yueni Dekai will definatey dig this band. They combine the skittery off beat guitar melodies of the Pen Penz with the more percussive heavy drive of Kyojin. This self released CDR contains 6 surprisingly good quality studio recordings but unfortunatley no track listing or info.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Oshiri Pen Penz - Gorifana (オシリペンペンズ - ゴリファナ)

Today was the release of the Pen Penz new album "New Me". Out of respect for the band I won't be uploading their latest just yet so instead I give you "Gorifana". Probably my favourite Pen Penz release "Gorifana" is a 40min live CD released in 2009 and also features some of the tracks on the new album. Studio recordings don't really do the band justice but this live recording does a pretty good job of conveying the energy and swagger this band pull off live. The skittery drums, impressive fret noodling and drunken obnoxious rants manage to form some sort of unholy trinity that makes this band an oddly addictive concoction.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

LSD March - Live 2010

I'm sure LSD March needs little introduction but for the uninitiated LSD March is a band which revolves around core member Michishita Shunsuke. Michishita's music varies between stripped down acid-folk funeral dirges and face melting psychedelic freakouts. The line up of the band is constantly changing and quite often features guest musicians. But while LSD March has a bit of a cult following outside Japan his CDs are notoriously hard to get hold of. Fortunatley Michishita was giving out CDRs of live recordings at his most recent gig. Unfortunatley however there's no track listing and no info on exactly when or where the recording was made. What I can tell you though is that it features the wonderful Maruo Maruko on guest vocals and guitar and that most of the tracks are taken from his most recent album Under Milk Wood . This is also actually one of my favourite LSD recordings. The sound quality isn't great (You can hear the audience cracking open cans of beer.) but it's a good mix of LSD's more introverted folk leanings and his more extroverted guitar strangling. Not to mention Maruo's vocals add a certain warm sanctuary to Michishita's gloomy ballads. So enjoy this rare gem and may ye wallow in it's ice cold misery. T'is the season!

Music Trivia: Michishita Shunsuke is also Oshiri Pen Penz sound engineer.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Various - Beat Architecture

Beat Arichitecture is a compilation put together by Tokyo based label Easel of Japanese beat makers on the underground scene. Fans of Ninja Tunes and Tru Thoughts will should check this out. All the tracks are instrumental hip-hop that run the gamut between chillout, funky, jazzy and electronic. Overall it manages to remain pretty consistent and there are a couple of gems in here. Jemapur in particular is worth checking out and I'll get round to uploading some of his stuff soon.

Osaka Monaurail - Reality For The People

Y'all feeling funky? Then ladies and gentlemen I present Osaka Monaurail. This 9 piece funk machine seriously know how to kick a groove. What you get here is 8 hot slabs of old school JBs, Sly Stone, Charles Wright style brass heavy deep funk. Unfortunatley these guys are probably much better known in Europe than inside Japan. Back in 2006 they put out an album with former JBs backing singer Marva Whitney and quite frequently do European tours. So if you get the chance check these guys out live an I promise a good time.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Kinoko Hotel - Marianne No Yuutsu (キノコホテル - マリアンヌの憂鬱)

Picture this if you will. 4 sexy, cute Japanese girls wearing matching sassy mini-skirt hotelier uniforms and kinoko (Mushroom) bob style wigs. The lead singer is straddling her keyboard between her slender thighs while the guitarist is on her knees at the front of the stage ripping a solo. Now it's easy to see how these Tokyo girls have been working up quite a reputation for themselves over the last year or 2. Thankfully there's also some substance to their style. Kinoko Hotel rock some fuzzed out retro Psychadelia-tinged garage rock with a dark and sultry edge. The lead singer and keyboardist "Marianne" takes her name from the classic Jacks track which earns the band an extra dollop of kudos in my book.

Kyozin Yueni Dekai - Tatemono (巨人ゆえにデカイ - たてもの)

...and yet another band whom are also good friends with Afrirampo and legends on the Osaka underground scene. Kyozin along with bands like Afrirampo, Oshiri Pen Penz, Bogulta and Watushi Zombie are what became known as the Kansai "Zero Generation" The generation of up and coming young bands who formed around the early to mid 00's and were heavily influenced by the likes of other Osaka underground legends like the Boredoms and Acid Mothers Temple. Unfortunatley it seems that Afrirampo were the only band to make the leap over the pond and make a name for themselves outside of Japan. So hopefully I can rectify this. (Not that Afrirampo aren't deserving of their unexpected success.) Translated into English the amusingly monikered Kyozin Yueni Dekai means "They're called giants because they're huge". Following they're namesake the guitarist of this drums and guitars duo wears a massive pair of stilts at their shows. I just wonder where he managed to get the pants from.

Kyozin's music is a little hard to describe but is very much in the same vain as the Oshiri Pen Pens. Chunky, muted, atonal guitars fumble over screamed, chanted and howled lyrics that make pretty much no sense and quite frequently diverge into a totally made up language. (Atleast I'm pretty sure it's not a real language. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.) All of it is just about held together by some very impressive and sturdy drumming. Kyozin's drummer Shinji Wada has played in the most recent lineup of DMBQ since the death of Shonen Knife's touring drummer "China" back in 2005. Fuck it! Just listen to it. It's cool.

Doddodo - Donomichi Doddodo

Another well known player on the Osaka underground scene and good friend of Afrirampo and Oshiri Pen Penz. Namin Haku A.K.A. Doddodo has been on the scene since the early 00's and started off producing some old-school style sample based hip-hop. Sounds a bit like Coldcuts older stuff. It's all about mashing as many different genres, styles and samples into a semi-cohesive beat. It's not exactly graceful but it is pretty amusing and it's the kind of hip-hop that DJ Shadow seemed to  have effectively killed dead with the release of "Entroducing". Doddodo has more recently been involved in alot collaboration projects the most recent of which being with her and bassist Inada Makoto which I'll get round to uploading soon. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Comanechi - Crime Of Love

Okay, I'm stretching the rules a little on this one Comanechi are probably considered more of a UK band than a Japanese band. But One half of this drums and guitar duet is Akiko Matsura, an Osaka local and longtime friend of Afrirampo's Pika. Besides these guys are too cool to overlook. Taking their name from a Russian olympic ice skater who earned herself infamy in Japan for her arousing routines, Comanechi specialize in no-nonsense, balls to the wall, sleazy rock'n'roll. Like Black Sabbath meets Motorhead filtered through some garage rock. Comanechi picked up quite a reputation on the London live circuit and just recently played their first shows in Japan a few weeks ago. Check the youtube link below to catch a video of their Japanese version of "My Pussy" performed with Pika at Namba bears. Great show. 

Moon Mama - 幸せの可視

Next up is Pika's solo album. Released back in late 2008 under her solo moniker Moon Mama. Pika's offering is a much more low key affair than Oni's album. Heading in much the same direction as Oni's solo work, gone for the most part is the ecclectic noise in favour of stripped down acoustic songs. The album is a collection of bedroom recordings that sound like they were recorded on a 4 track tape recorder. It's very lo-fi, personal and intimate but unfortunatley the quality of the songs is just not up to the level of Oni's work. Still worth a look for diehard fans but it's hard to reccomend for ayone else.

Pika still plays occasional solo live sets but also plays with Jim O'Rourke (Who has lived in Tokyo for the last 2 years.) very regularly in Tokyo and Osaka and very occasionally performs with her all-girl-supergroup side project Monmon Tonight.

Oni - Sunwave Heart

Apologies for the lengthy hiatus. Just moved flat and things have been a little hectic recently. Anyway as promised here are the respective solo albums from Afrirampo members Oni and Pika. First up is Oni's "Sunwave Heart" released earlier this year. Some Afrirampo fans may be a little dissapointed by the lack of screaming guitars and rampant noise that defined the Afrirampo experience but Oni's first solo effort still manages to stand shoulder to shoulder with her former band. It's out with the noise and in with stripped down, energetic folk ditties. That's right I said folk. No drums, no distortion, no screaming... well maybe a little bit of screaming. But don't worry the token Afrirampo craziness is still there and what you have here is a genuinely charming and lovely album. Enjoy.

Oni is currently doing occasional live shows playing her solo material and sporadically plays alongside one of the many Acid Mothers Temple lineups. 


Tuesday, 28 September 2010


Talking of un-google-ble band names meet SEX+Y (Apparently just pronounced sexy.) Ignore that awful cover artwork for a moment and you'll acutally find a pretty cool band. SEX+Y lie somewhere between the lo-fi bedroom pop of Shonen Knife and the batshit-cutesy crazyness of Afrirampo. Sweetly sung pop one minute, wailing banshees the next. It's very girly, very Japanese, very loud and also very good.


RaP - Chaos/Process vol 2

I was hoping to find this bands website or myspace before I posted this but after hours of endless searching I can tell you that Rap is quite possibly the most un-google-ble band name you'll ever come across. Unfortunatley there's also no cover artwork or track listing for the bands CDR either. What you get is 10 tracks of what sounds like semi-improvised rehearsal studio recordings. Noisy, sometimes jazzy, sometimes funky freeform experimentation. There's some pretty impressive fret work in here but it's not all pretentious noodling. When it hits a groove you'll probably find yourself doing a bit of good old fashioned toe tapping and head bopping.


Gezan - Ichijitekina Chou (下山- 一時的な腸)

The bassist is naked, the guitarist is wearing some some of sequined transparent leotard and the vocalist has set his mic stand in the middle of the crowd and is busy climbing and jumping off anything that's strapped down and throwing around anything that isn't. These guys just don't really give a fuck. The Osaka quintet spew feedback drenched psychedelia and noise that would make a hippy weep. No peace, love and happiness here. The band have to be seen live to be properly appreciated and it's not that their music is the greatest but their "Fuck you all!" approach to things has a definate charm to it. 

Monday, 6 September 2010

Groundcover - Psycho Bass

Don't really know much about these guys other than that they're from Tokyo and seem to have been together for around 3 or 4 years. Caught them when they came over to Kyoto with Bossston Cruizing Mania a few weeks back. They're definatley one of the more memorable bands I've seen recently. Brutal hardcore noise mixed with the schizophrenic experimentalism the Boredoms, a touch of Boris' more groove orientated slab rock and some kazoo. "Psycho Bass" is the band's 2nd full length album released back in June and even came with a free Groundcover branded Kazoo. Awesome.


Monday, 30 August 2010

Afrirampo - We Are Uchu No Ko

The final album by Osaka legends (and the 2 lovely ladies currently at the top this page.) before announcing their dissolution a few months back. I was lucky enough to watch their final public gig back in June. They also played one extra final invite only show at Namba Bears which included alot of onstage collaborations with members of Acid Mothers Temple, Boredoms and Ultra Bide among others. Apparently the show was recorded so hopefully it's released at some point.

Afrirampo are (were) a guitar/drums duo who created some rather unique trashy, playfull and quite frankly bizarre bedroom rock. You'll either love it of hate it but either it won't fail to make you smile. Their final album "We Are Uchu No Ko" (We are space girls) is split into 2 disks. Disk 1 is what you come to expect from Afrirampo while the 2nd is 6 tracks split into 2 sections. The first is a version of a track from guitarist Oni's solo album and the second a solo track written by drummer Pika giving a nice preview for their solo material. This album is also being released on Mogwai's Rock Action label in a few weeks so pick it up if you get the chance. 


Saturday, 28 August 2010

BLONDnewHALF - Stop Play Punk

If this fails to get your feet moving then nothing will. One of my favourite new dicoveries after I saw them play in Kyoto Urban Guild a few weeks ago. While some may be a little dissapointed that there are no "new halfs" involved ("New half" being the Japanese term used for transexuals.) you will find some of the most danceble, post/hardcore punk around. So get your dancing shoes on! ah-so so so so!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Watusi Zombie - Buddha Mask Experience

Watusi Zombie have been around in one form or another since starting as a high school band in 1997. Since then the Osaka band have picked up a cult following for their frenetic and unpredictable live shows. The band have just released their 3rd album "We Are The World!!!" and are currently touring so it seems there's no better time to post their first album from 2005 "Buddha Mask Experience". The trio specialise in sleazy, bluesy, punky, noisy, garage rock. They sound pretty good on CD but ultimatley only seeing them live does their music any real justice.


Sunday, 15 August 2010

Oshiri Pen Penz - Micro De Ikou (オシリペンペンズ - ミクロで行こう)

A band renowned on the Osaka live circuit for their onstage antics which include getting obnoxiously drunk, climbing amp stacks and throwing up on the audience the Oshiri Pen Penz create a rather obnoxious mix of shouty punk vocals, skittery free jazz guitar and minimal percussion. Imagine Primus drunk and falling down a flight of stairs and you're not far off.

Bossston Cruizing Mania - No Dub/ In Dub

Had the pleasure of seeing these guys play at Metro on Satruday. Interesting mix of broken funk, dub and spoken word vocals with a touch of Captain Beefheart. Bossston Cruizing Mania (That's 3 s's) are a Tokyo band that have been around in one form or another since 1993. "No Dub/ In Dub" is a pair of live recordings they are selling at their shows. Same track list and order but recorded at different venues. Apparently the only real difference is that "In Dub" has some dubbed over effects and instrumentation in it. Although to be honest it's barely noticable.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Himuro - Clear Without Items

Time for a little change of pace. Himuro A.K.A. Tokyo based electronica producer Himuro Yoshiteru has been releasing music on and off since the late 90's. Clear Without Items released in 2004 varies between slick hip-hop influenced Prefuse 73 style grooves and agitated drum'n'bass, jazz inspired workouts more akin to someone like Square Pusher. It's eclectic but there are a number of absolute jems on this album. Great for blasting on summer drives with the windows down.  

Monday, 9 August 2010

Amazon Saliva - Amazon Punch

Amazon Saliva are a local supergroup of sorts. Made up of local underground legends Hide of Ultra Bide on bass, Tabata of Acid Mothers Temple on guitar and Nani of Bogulta on drums. Released on Kochi's new Chaotic Noise label "Amazon Punch" is the bands latest studio album of hard rocking no nonsense punk/new wave and protests Japan's draconian drug laws.  I'll be posting some other stuff by the band members other projects later.

The Jacks - Jacks No Sekai (ザ。ジャックス - ジャックスの世界)

This is one of my favourite Japanese albums. In many ways The Jacks could be considered to be Japan's Velvet Underground or The Doors. Emerging from the vast sea of indetikit "group Sounds" bands that flooded the Japanese music scene in the wake of The Beatles, unlike many of their peers The Jacks were dark, edgy and uncompromising. Nihilistic lyrics, brooding sparse songs, noisy guitars, screemed vocals and manic drumming. The Jacks were a very different kind of beast. "Jacks No Sekai" (Also known as Vacant World outside Japan.) is a classic and influencial album that should be heard by everyone. This version of the album is from the 40th anniversary box set which includes a few bonus tracks of alternative takes and live recordings of tracks on the album.


Karugamo Nendo - Last Dance (カルガモネンド - ラストダンス)

Regulars on the Kyoto and Osaka live circuit Karugamo Nendo specialize in making some seriously catchy retro styled Garage Rock'n'Roll. Last Dance is the bands 2nd of 3 mini albums released on their own label. If ever given the chance I highly recommend checking these guys out live.   

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Yoshida Takuro - Genki Desu (吉田拓郎 - 元気です)

Takuro is one of Japans best known folk singers and part of the 60's folk boom. This is probably my favourite of his many albums. Originally released in 1972 Takuro must have been listening to alot of post-electric era Bob Dylan as the influence is obvious. While it almost borders on the line of parody (Especially in the opening track "Haru datta ne") it's by no means a bad thing.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Maruo Maruko - Daisan Hankyu No Radio (丸尾丸子- 第三半球のラヂヲ)

Maruko plays an intimate, nostalgic form of Japanese folk music with a slightly avant garde twist. Maruko a Kyoto native and multi instrumentalist utilizes guitar, accordian and toy instruments and even manages to play a Jew's harp while singing. This is her first self released CDR of live recordings from 2008.