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180G

Minoru "Hoodoo" Fushimi's most wanted and impossible to find first album Thanatos Of Funk is finally reissued for the first time ever, in collaboration with Fushimi himself. Thanatos Of Funk is a milestone in Japan's underground music and electro funk/early hip hop history. Entirely self-produced, designed and distributed in 1985 by Fushimi, a high-school teacher by day and music experimenter by night, Thanatos Of Funk is a love-letter to counter-culture, DIY, drum machines and synthesizers blent with some killer shamisen and guitar playing. This is truly unique music. The LP, re-mastered and cut at the Timmion Cutting Lab, comes with the original hand-written comic by Fushimi, with English translations. Essential!

TRACK LISTING

1. Thanatopsis
2. In Praise Of Mitochondria
3. Shinzō-San
4. It Isn't Because Of Hemoglobin
5. Hensachi-Sama
6. Foxy Lady
7. Gal's Blues
8. Panda Steak
9. Disco Thesis
10. Dompan (Private Funk)

Various Artists

WaJazz: Japanese Jazz Spectacle Vol. I - Deep, Heavy And Beautiful Jazz From Japan 1968-1984

Universounds, HMV Record Shop and 180g team up for an exceptional release: from blazing hard bop to free jazz, to introspective saxophone solos and massive big band sounds, renowned Japanese jazz expert Yusuke Ogawa presents an essential 14 track collection of "WaJazz" music taken from the Nippon Columbia vaults. Featuring Jiro Inagaki, Minoru Muraoka, Hiroshi Suzuki, Hozan Yamamoto, Count Buffalo, Takeshi Inomata, and much more!

"Japanese jazz has been recognized and celebrated by music lovers worldwide for decades. The origins of this trend may be traced back to the rare groove movement that flourished in the 1990s, but its current deep and wide popularity seems to be connected to the fact that Japanese people have been reevaluating their own jazz since the mid-2000s, locally referred to as WaJazz ("Wa" meaning Japan but also theShōwa emperor period, from 1926 to 1989). Since the beginning of the 2000s, there has been a growing trend to move away from the DJ-focused perspective and to appreciate jazz with a deeper understanding. Nowadays, there is more and more interest in the background and roots in which jazz has developed in Japan, with Japanese jazz as a whole now considered as its own distinctive genre.

Of course, even if we speak about "WaJazz" as one genre, there is a truly wide variety of styles within it. However, when Japanese musicians play, there is something uniquely Japanese flowing through that creates a kind of synergy. It may be the melody, the rhythm, or even something deeper, like an inexpressible flicker. I would be happy if some of its charms and secrets emerge from the fourteen tracks included in this collection." (Yusuke Ogawa)

Yusuke Ogawa has been running the Universounds store in Tokyo since 2001, specializing in jazz and second-hand, rare, and collector records. He is also a reissue supervisor, label manager, DJ, and music writer. Known for his vast musical knowledge, eye for detail, and archival skills, Ogawa has worked on more than 250 reissues and compilations – including the highly praised Deep Jazz Reality and Project Re:Vinyl series. He is the co-author of the Wa-Jazz Disc Guide and the Independent Black Jazz of America books.

TRACK LISTING

1. Tadaaki Misago & Tokyo Cuban Boys - Sakura Sakura
2. Minoru Muraoka With New Jazz Players - Muraiki
3. Count Buffalo &The Jazz Rock Band - Mago-Uta
4. Kiyoshi Sugimoto Quartet - D-51
5. Toshiyuki Miyama & The New Herd - Adult's Day
6. Soul Media - Breeze
7. George Otsuka - Sea View
8. Hozan Yamamoto, Masahiko Togashi & Yosuke Yamashita - Breath Prologue
9. Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media - Do It!
10. Hiroshi Suzuki - Romance
11. Masahiko Sato - Tochi Mo Kurumi Mo Fukiotose
12. Masahiko Togashi - Fourth Expression
13. Takeshi Inomata & Sound Ltd. - Mustache (Live)
14. Takeo Moriyama - Watarase

Born in 1932 in Tokyo, Kiyoshi Yamaya started his musical career in 1953 when he played in various jazz bands in town. In 1957, Yamaya joined Nobuo Hara's famous jazz big band Sharps & Flats as a baritone saxophone player and started composing, arranging, and recording for them and other big bands. He became a key jazz figure in Japan in the sixties together with Norio Maeda and Keitaro Miho, both jazz pianists, composers and arrangers, by forming the Modern Jazz Three Association – which aimed at improving the level of Japanese jazz composition and arrangement. In the mid-seventies, his Contemporary Sound Orchestra explored jazz funk fusions with traditional Japanese melodies and instruments such as the shakuhachi, koto, biwa, and shamisen. These works were recorded for a series of panoramic Japanese albums released domestically on Denon and Nippon Columbia, from which the tracks on this compilation are taken from.

Toshiko Yonekawa, born 1913 in the city of Himeji, not so far from Osaka, is the eldest daughter of koto and shamisen master Kin'o Yonekawa. She started studying both instruments with her talented father from the age of 3, played in her first concert at 8, and was only 12 years old when she first appeared on national radio. Her unique style of koto playing is widely recognized due to the extreme accuracy of the intonation and rhythm, as well as the unequaled beauty of the instrument's sonority. After a life decorated with awards and prizes, Toshiko Yonekawa was named a Living National Treasure in 1996.

Born in Tokyo in 1950, Kifu Mitsuhashi is a great master of Koto style shakuhachi. After completing the NHK Hōgaku Training Program in 1972, Mitsuhashi became a member of Pro Musica Nipponia, a group of leading composers and top-ranking musicians devoted to performing a wide-ranging repertoire of classical and contemporary compositions from both Japan and the West – in which all music is performed by traditional Japanese musical instruments. Mitsuhashi has toured the world for hundreds of recitals, also as a soloist, and has performed his art with the greatest ensembles such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker. In 2020, Kifu Mitsuhashi was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun.

TRACK LISTING

1. Nanbu Ushioi-Uta (feat. Kifu Mitsuhashi)
2. Isohama Bon-Uta (feat. Toshiko Yonekawa)
3. Hohai-Bushi (feat. Kifu Mitsuhashi)
4. Otemoyan (feat. Toshiko Yonekawa)
5. Aizu Bandaisan (feat. Kifu Mitsuhashi)
6. Saitaro-Bushi (feat. Toshiko Yonekawa)
7. Soma Nagareyama (feat. Kifu Mitsuhashi)
8. Yagi-Bushi (feat. Toshiko Yonekawa)
9. Asadoya Yunta (feat. Kifu Mitsuhashi)
10. Konpira Fune Fune (feat. Toshiko Yonekawa)

Following the highly acclaimed volumes I and II, dig further into the Wamono sound - the cream of the Japanese jazz, funk, soul, rare groove and disco music developed throughout the years since the end of the sixties in Japan!

Active as a professional DJ in Japan since the late eighties, DJ Yoshizawa Dynamite is also a renowned remixer, compiler and producer. An avid record collector and an expert of the Wamono style, Yoshizawa published the Wamono A to Z records guide book in 2015 which instantly sold-out. The book unveiled a myriad of beautiful and rare records from a highly prolific, but still then unknown, Japanese groove scene.

After many years working as a record buyer for several stores, DJ Chintam opened his own Blow Up shop in 2018 in Tokyo's Shibuya district. A member of the Dayjam Crew and a specialist of soul, funk, rare groove and disco music, Chintam is also an expert of the home-brewed Wamono grooves. He supervised and wrote the Wamono A to Z records guide book together with Yoshizawa.

For this third chapter of the acclaimed Wamono series, Yoshizawa and Chintam unheart some of the best and rarest light mellow funk tunes and disco boogie bangers produced in Japan between 1978 and 1988. Put the needle on the record, turn up the volume and dig right now into the Wamono sound - the cream of the Japanese jazz, funk, soul, rare groove and disco music developed throughout the years since the end of the sixties in Japan!

TRACK LISTING

1. Tetsuo Sakurai - Kimono
2. Jadoes - Friday Night (Extended Dance Mix)
3. Yumi Sato - Ame
4. Kiyohiko Ozaki - Ojosan Ote Yawaraka Ni
5. Hitomi Tohyama - Rainy Driver
6. Sentimental City Romance - Hello Suisei
7. Mizuki Koyama - Kare Niwa Kanawanai
8. Hitomi Tohyama - Sweet Soul Music (Kiss Of Life)


Latest Pre-Sales

198 NEW ITEMS

Looking great John 👌Thanks for ordering and sharing 🙏 https://t.co/rHCupRQrAG) @DeadOceans @whereisMUNA https://t.co/B0pGopRUjc
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Yes, physical copies available July 1. Get your pre-orders in here 👇 https://t.co/H9F4EMsMfb) @TheVintageCrop https://t.co/lvQfXTbhYH
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#newmusicfriday has come round once again 🙌 Here’s a small selection of some of the great records out today. Labe… https://t.co/sVeUkRwTNe
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