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

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Spectrum Synthesize! - Humour and Destruction (ユーモア アンド デストラクション)

S is for Spectrum Synthesize!

Roughly two and a half hours drive west of Osaka lies the cosmopolitan city of Okayama. Adjacent to Osaka`s Psychedelia and Prog inspired "Zero Generation" Okayama began to breed it's own young generation of musical experimenters and wave makers. While channeling similar No-Wave and Noise influences as their Osaka counterparts Okayama's vanguard came in a very distinctive Hardcore, Post-Punk flavour (How can you spot an Okayama band? It probably has cowbell in it.) that set them apart from their slightly more recognised big city contemporaries. 

Spectrum Synthesize! were one of those bands. Their origins began in 2001 and went through multiple lineup changes over the years until their eventual dissolution in 2008. Originally a dual bass and drums setup the band became a 4 piece (As they appear on this record) before expanding their Guit, Vocals/samples, Drums and Bass configuration to include Sax. 

Melt Banana and Deracine with a smattering of early Boredoms are the easiest comparisons to make along with fellow Okayama bands such as Accidents In Too Large Field and I want City with whom the band have shared members. In other words attention deficient, schizophrenic punk that sounds like an entire albums worth of ideas being thrown into a washing machine at the same time and then spat out as 60 second long delinquent disco-punk rampages. This, the bands only full release clocking in at 11 tracks in just over 11mins  will chew you up, ruffle up your hair, steal your pocket money and spit you out before you`ve even had time to lace up your dancing shoes. More cowbell!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Rat Holic - Not For Sale 2

R is for Rat Holic

Be it Rockabilly, Surf Rock, Proto-Punk or just some good old fashioned Rock'n'Roll there seems to be no end to the number of retro rock Japanese bands that shimmy their way onto stage. I've always been a little baffled by just how prolific this seemingly long extinct little sub-genre has been in the land of the raising sun. Perhaps it's the glamorous allure of Americana that seems so exotic and mystifying to this small pacific island. Or maybe there's a Toyota like assembly line built sometime in the 50's that pumps these bands en masse but someone just forgot to flip the switch and shut it down.

Whatever the reason I'm glad they exist and Rat Holic like many of their legion are refreshingly authentic sounding. The Tokyo based 5-piece (Drums, Guit, Bass, Organ and Sax) who formed in 1999 have no shame in how doggedly they stick to Surf Rock's sunblasted formulas and twangy tropes. Besides the occasional sprinkling of some far eastern flavour there's no attempt to fuse their music with more contemporary genres and influences. The band run through a number of Surf Rock standards like "Church Key" and "Red River Rock" as well as a number of their own original compositions. The slightly fuzzy analogue sounding recordings also lend to the sense of authenticity the band possess making them sound like some long lost obscure 60's Japanese Surf Rockers.

Monday, 3 June 2013

QSON - House Dust Meltdown

Q is for QSON.

Qson's music is hard to categorise so I'll go with his own description of his music "Genreless-Freakout-Avant-Spiritual". The Chris Morris coined phrase "Seriously monged music" springs to mind. In less vague terms Qson's music is basically a mashup of lo-fi oddball musical collages layered with garbled nonsense vocals, random audio samples and slightly off key original instrumentation. It's all rather silly and aimless but manages to be thoroughly entertaining in the process. Although I could also see it being equally effective being put to use as a torture device in American blackspot interogation facilities. 

"House Dust Meltdown" is Qson's sophomore album released in 2008 on what appears to be his own label Aaahg Records. (Given that the only releases on the label are this and his first album "Dirty Toilet Restaurant".) I havent been able to dig up much information about the guy so I've no idea whereabouts in Japan he's from (Assuming he's not infact some sort of extra terrestial.) or if he's still active.