Music From Memory is excited to announce a special compilation that they’ve been working on for some time now: Heisei No Oto – Japanese Left-field Pop From The CD Age (1989-1996). Compiled by long-time friends of the label, Eiji Taniguchi and Norio Sato, Heisei No Oto delves into a world of music released almost exclusively on CD and brings together a fascinating selection of discoveries from a little known and overlooked part of Japan’s musical history.
Sometime around the mid 2000s, two Osaka record store owners, Eiji Taniguchi of Revelation Time and Norio Sato of Rare Groove, along with a handful of deep Japanese diggers such as Chee Shimizu of Organic Music records in Tokyo, began to explore beyond the typical ‘grooves’ or ‘breaks’. Much like their counterparts in Europe and the US, they began delving into home-grown ambient, jazz, new wave and pop records, discovering visionary music, often driven by synthesizers or drum computers, that broke beyond the typical confines of their genres.
Spending tireless hours in local record stores and embarking on digging trips across the country, Eiji Taniguchi and Norio Sato, much like Chee Shimizu, have been at the forefront of unearthing and introducing many of the very Japanese records now loved and sought after around the world. Yet as YouTube algorithms and vinyl reissues would transport such music into the global consciousness and demand and therefore scarcity intensified for such records, so Eiji and Norio have recently begun to turn their attention to CDs.
Including music by Haruomi Hosono as well as Yasuaki Shimizu, Toshifumi Hinata and Ichiko Hashimoto who have become known and loved around the world in recent years, Hesei No Oto also features Japanese pop star Yosui Inoue, producers Jun Sato and Keisuke Kikuchi in aaddition to less established artists from the contemporary, jazz, new wave, pop and dance music scenes. Bringing together a selection of tracks that seem to define these specific genres and in fact move fluidly between a number of them, the music on the compilation is again underscored by experimentations with synthesizers and drum computers though with something of a gentle Pop sensibility. Reimagined here then under the encompassing term ‘Left-field Pop’, this is an exciting chapter in Japanese musical history that has only just begun to be fully explored.
- B1. Ichiko Hashimoto - Lete 2:30
- B2. Yosui Inoue - Pi Po Pa 2:30
- B3. Eiki Nonaka - Phlanged Vortex 2:30
- C2. X Cara - Night In Aracaju 2:30
- C3. Poison Girl Friend - Nobody 2:30
- C4. Dream Dolphin - Take No Michi 2:30
- D1. Keisuke Sakurai - Harai (CD Version) 2:30
- D2. Hiroki Ishiguro - Unity 2:30
- D3. Dido Shizuru Ohtaka Michiaki Kato - Mermaid 2:30
- D4. Keisuke Kikuchi - Retro Electric 2:30
- A2. Fumihiro Murakami - Miko 2:30
- A4. Love Peace Trance - Yeelen 2:30
- A3. Tadahiko Yokogawa - Stop Me 2:30
- A1. Jun Sato - Lorang 2:30