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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

Friday, 22 April 2011

Asakawa Maki - Askawa Maki II (浅川マキ - 浅川マキ II)

Haven't posted any old stuff in quite a while and I heard this playing in a bar recently which reminded me of how much I love this album. Asakawa Maki started off her musical career singing blues and jazz covers at the U.S. army bases situated on Japan's most southern island of Okinawa. She produced a number of excellent albums in the late 60's and early 70's which earned her a fair amount of mainstream success before she vanished back into relative obscurity of Japan's 70's underground avant garde scene. Asakawa's music fuses laid back blues and jazz with elements of Japanese folk music and acid folk to create hauntingly beautiful, dark smokey ballads. Asakawa continued to perform regularly untill her death early last year. Asakawa Maki II released in 1971 is in my opinion her best work and without doubt a standout even in Japan's most golden era of music. Since her death there have been a number of compilations released of previously unreleased material and live recordings which are also worth investigating.



  1. This is really fantastic music, it seems to open up more and more with each listen. The wide range of musical influences she seamlessly merges together is astounding. I have been playing this at the cafe I work at and have had a lot of customers ask me who this was. I had another album of hers that I had downloaded, but it didn't stand out for me at all. In fact, I was surprised to find that I had already listened to her and that she had produced such distinct albums.

    You mentioned a Golden Era of music in Japan during the early 70s, was this a time when the music industry first started really taking off? Or just one of those incredibly creative and powerful moments in culture?

  2. Yeah, the late 60's and early 70's were a bit of a musical renaissance for Japan. The industry really started taking off in the 60's when Japanese labels started manufactoring "group sounds" bands to imitate the success of foreign groups like The Beatles and Beach Boys.

    It was kind of after that when things really started to take off. Harder more experimental and forward thinking bands started to emerge. Bands like The Flower Travellin Band, The Jacks and Les Rallizes Denude.

    Though Asakawa Maki probably belonged more to the folk revival scene which included people like Toyoda Toshiaki, Happy End and Izumiya Shigeru.

    There's a whole range of great music that came out of Japan during that era. I'll try and upload older stuff more often as there are some true classics that alot of people probably have never had the chance to listen to.

  3. bugger, I was totally wrong and bought first LP of hers thinking it was Carmen Maki... fantastic stuff. saw all her albums reissued on CDs in Japan recently. hopefully someone can share it with us..