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, 20 February 2011

Outdoor Homeless - Kawaii Ossantachi No Tetsukuri Album (アウトドアホームレス - かわいいおっさんたちの手作りアルバム)

Outdoor Homeless aren't so much a band as they are a drunken rock'n'roll mob. The 13 member strong posse counts Pen Penz drummer Yusuke and Guitarist Kirara as well as a number of other miscreants from Osaka's underground amongst its participants. The bands is a loving celebration of the titular Japanese "Ossan" (おっさん). The word is literally an informal version of the word "Uncle" but is often used to describe the tragically unhip, middle aged Japanese men who litter Japan's bars nightly with their awkward drunken mis-adventures. Musically the band's sound staggers between retro surf-rock/garage, jazz, soul, ska and hip-hop with a fair smattering of traditional Japanese chants. All executed with the finesse and grace of a weathered drunken mob. The music is as bizarrely inspiring as it is infectious and you'll find yourself breaking out the sake and chanting along with your best drunken draul. Great album to throw on at parties.

NISEUO cosmic-chang mothership progress - NISEUO cosmic-chang mothership progress

Niseuo are as mystical and strange as their name implies. I don't know a whole lot about the band besides the fact that they were conceived somewhere around 2002 from the darkest bowels of Kansai's underground. Their music is difficult to classify but is very reminscent of the junk town blues and sleazy off-kilter jazz of Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart. Or "Science-Fiction space opera" as the band like to describe their own music. The vocalist channels the spirit of Tom Waits/Beefheart by snearing jibberish in a rough, gruff gutterel grunt that wouldn't sound out of place as the voice track for some ugly alien race in a Star Wars movie. It's a wild and sometimes uncomfortable ride but one I'm sure you won't regret taking. So hop onboard the mothership Niseuo and take a journey into the dark, twisted recesses of someones freak show mind.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Dora Video - We Are The World (ドラびでお - ウィーアーザワールド)

Dora Video is drummer and video artist Yoshimitsu Ichiraku. Dora blends frenetic drumming, video clips, audio samples and a touch of techinical wizardry to create some truly mind melting results. Dora takes movie clips, archival footage and news footage ripped straight from the latest headlines, syncs them to his drums and projects them onto a giant screen. It's a truly inspired mix of audio/visual collage, subversive social commentary and absurdism. Dora often targets scandal ridden Japanese celebrities and politicians and reproduces their wincing public humiliations on a giant projection screen much to his own and the audiences enjoyment. His most recent victim being the famous Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo who was recently involved in a drunken bar brawl. Dora has made quite a name for himself not just playing alongside the likes of Acid Mother Temple and Keijo Haino but is also a frequent guest abroad at festivals, international art shows and culture events. So keep an eye on his schedule to see if he might be heading your way.

This DVD-R is volume 4 of Dora's own self released "Best Of" series recorded in Spain in 2006. The video is broken up into 12 chapters for each track and all the parts can be downloaded individually and played by themselves. If anyone has any trouble with the video format please let me know. The videos are encoded as mp4's to play on your iphone or PC/Mac. Enjoy!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Chinchilla Silas Hole - Socrates Live 2010 (チンチラシラスホール)

I'm going to partake in a little bit of Psuedo bootlegging here but it's all for a good cause. With consistantly impressive live shows and a well developed sound all their own Chinchillas Silas Hole were probably my favourite band of 2010. Everytime I've seen them I've begged them to put out a CDR of some sort but since the band have yet to do it themselves I decided to take the initiative. I ripped the live recordings off their Myspace page and ran them through some EQs and noise reducers to improve the quality a little. The audio quality isn't great but is hopefully listenable enough to appreciate this truly great band. 

Chinchilla are a Kyoto based bass, drums and vocals/Kaoss pad trio who have since 2009 slowly been building up a buzz on the Kyoto underground circuit along with bandmates Shut Up Merry. Pinpointing their sound is a little tricky but I think what I like about them so much is that they combine many of the traits familliar to Kansai's avant garde underground (Randomness, noise, humour, spontaneity and freneticism.) and roll them into some seriously catchy, hook laden grooves. One part punk, one part funk, one part Boredoms and 100% fuckin' great. 


Boredoms - 77 Boadrum

Last Thursday I watched "Drumandala" a reproduction of the Boredom's Yamamoto Seichi's original drum orchestra concept. The 10 drummers included members from Gezan, Shitappa Oyabun and Power Empire whom were conducted by LSD March's Michishita Shinsuke. The 10 drummers packed within the tiny confines of Bears basement live house made for some pretty impressive listening and reminded me of this breathtakingly ambitious gem I've been meaning to upload.

Behold! 77 Boadrums! The concept is simple enough. 77 drummers sat in a spiral formation with the Boredoms Yamataka Eye at the centre conducting the chaos with one of his custom built guitar towers. The original work was performed in New York in '97 and was then followed by 2 simultaneous shows in Los Angeles and Brooklyn featuring 88 drummers and coincidentally enough featuring 88 drummers. As you might expect the results are pretty jaw dropping.

The recording was originally released in Japan in twin CD set that included a DVD documentary and booklet of photographs of the performance. While I think th CD is still unavailable outside Japan the DVD was finally released in the U.S. last year.  


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Water Fai - Circle

Water Fai are an all girl Osaka quintet who have been around since the early oo's, are quite popular on the local underground scene (Also close friends with Afrirampo's Pika) and have even gained a cult following outside Japan with some occasional U.S. touring. Water Fai wear their influences on their sleeve taking their cues from Post-Rock luminaries such as Sigur Ros, Mogwai and Tortoise but managed to inject some freshness into the well trodden genre with a slightly poppy, feminine touch. Circle is a strictly limited edition 4 track EP. Limited to just 100 numbered, hand sewn and uniquely designed sleeves. Sadly Circle is only available at their live shows but they released an album back in 2006 which was re-released in 2008 under the name "Girls In The White Dream" by U.S. label White Shoe Records which you should be able to get off Amazon.

From February 8th to the 15th Water Fai will be in New York for New York fashion week to play some shows. Unfortunatley their site doesn't give any info on exactly when and where they will be playing. So if you're a New York resident keep you eyes peeled.

Wasurerugusa - Baby Works (わすれる草 - Baby Works)

Wasurerugusa is another sideproject of the prolific Himeji acid-folk duo Eddie Marcon. This time Eddie Marcon are teaming up with TEASI's Matsui Ippei and Namae Ga Nai's Aki Tsuyoku for some beautifully down-tempo and ethereal, slow-fi acid folk. Released on Eddie Marcons own consistantly excellent Pong Kong records folk CDR label "Baby Works" consists of 6 excellent sounding live recordings recorded at Osaka's Japonica and Tokyo's Enban. Fans of Maruo Maruko will definatley dig this and be sure to check out the members other respective bands for more great music.
Download (Link removed by request of Wasurerugusa.)