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Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Kimio Mizutani – electric & folk guitars
Masahiko Satoh - Hammond organ, piano, Moog Synthesizer
Hiromasa Suzuki - electric piano
Hiro Yanagida – Hammond organ
Kayoko Isshu – scat vocals
Masaoki Terakawa - bass
Hideaki Takebe – bass
Takeshi Inomata – drums
Toyama String Quartet
Etoh Wood Quartet

Although essentially a session guitarist, Jun ‘Kimio’ Mizutani is best known for his contributions to such classic early ‘70s albums as LOVE WILL MAKE A BETTER YOU by Love Live Life +1, the self-titled Uganda LP and People’s BUDDHA MEETS ROCK. Along the way, the ex-Out Cast member also released one star-studded LP of his own in A PATH THROUGH HAZE. Taking his lead from Masahiko Satoh’s LP of the same name, Mizutani delivered a record of Zappa-styled instrumentals, accompanioed by Satoh himself and Foodbrain’s Hiro Yanagida. The LP was all recorded in a single monster session, in the huge Nippon Gramophon No. 1 Studio, on June 7th 1971, and featured the Toyama String Quartet and Etoh Wood Quartet to further explore the Zappa-meets-jazz consciousness that was so prevalent at the time. Indeed, the record comes across like an album by Glenn Phillips or even something akin to John McLaughlin’s DEVOTION, though without the supreme euphoria achieved on the latter. Besides Mizutani’s rendition of Satoh’s epic title track, the other pieces were ‘Sail In The Sky’, ‘Turning Point’, ‘Tell Me What You Saw’, ‘One For Janis’, ‘Sabbath Day's Sable’, ‘A Bottle Of Codeine’ and ‘Way Out’.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
This early ‘70s ‘folk rock star’ played a kind of slow somewhat bluesy style, and had his most famous LP KAIKISEN released in 1971. Minami is also well represented on the compilation UNDERGROUND TRACKS ‘70s, released on the Dead Flower label. However, despite the appearance on that double-LP of such underground heavyweights as Les Rallizes Denudes and Lost Aaraaff, Minami himself was nothing special if we are to take seriously the evidence of the two dirgy tracks ‘Jan’ and ‘Asa No Ame (Morning Rain)’ contained therein.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Fumio Miyashita was the founder of the highly-influential Far East Family Band. His career is discussed in detail in Book Two, Chapter Twelve of Japrocksampler (pages 235-252). Fumio died in 2004, aged 55, from respiratory failure.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
With a career that spans the mid-60s right up to the present day, Carmen Maki is something of a fixture in Japanese music, though her music will be too mainstream for the majority of Japrock fans. She began as a fairly typical chanteuse before joining Shuji Terayama’s Tenjosajiki theatre company in 1968, during which time she was briefly involved with J. A. Caesar. Thereafter, Maki sung with Kazuo Takeda’s Blues Creation, releasing the imaginatively-titled LP CARMEN MAKI & BLUES CREATION. Unfortunately, while the record did much for Maki’s career, her fairly standard sub-Janis, sub-Maggie Bell blues holler undermined the otherwise brilliant Blues Creation and set them on the road to average releases. Maki formed the more progressively styled Oz, whose 1975 debut CARMEN MAKI & OZ was obviously a punt at commercial success, after which time her career became of little further interest as LPs such as TOZASRETA MATI (1976), III (1977), LAST LIVE (19776) and NIGHTSTALKER (1979) ploughed obvious hard rock and soft muso folk realms.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
I have never heard this 'obscure psychedelic group', as internet bloggers have described them. However, they are reputed to have released one album.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Sakuro “Kant” Watanabe (also drummer Maruhachibu)
Kohji “Tohchan” Miura
Yoshiyuki Hida

The early ‘70s street music of Maru Sankaku Shikaku, whose random bells, flute, and remedial percussion flaylings (though horribly more-ish in a rent-a-freak Noggin the Nog meets Towser way) are still more like the Godz than the deep theta space obliterations that Taj Mahal Travellers achieved.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Toshiro Mayuzumi was an experimental composer who was instrumental in providing a bridge between the Western avant-garde and traditional Japanese music. He began composing in the mid-1940s and, although his early compositions were almost exclusively Western influenced, by the mid-1950s he began to favour the traditional sounds of his native country as well as the spiritual sounds of Buddhism. His 1955 album X, Y, Z is of particular note as it was the first Japanese example of music concrete. He went on to score music for theatre groups and films (over 100), and won several prestigious prizes throughout his career. Toshiro Mayuzumi died in April 1997, aged 68.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Four- or five-piece band featuring Kuni Kawachi on organ, piano and Mellotron.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007