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In 1972, the guitarist Jun Kamikubo released one LP, entitled NOTHINGNESS, on the Toshiba Express record label. Contained within its grooves were several extremely average sub-sub-sub- Mountain/Cream blues rock workouts artistically somewhat equivalent to the kind of decrepit hash that the Welsh band Man were serving up throughout the ‘70s, but even less charming and containing none of the stupid Man titles that some say they find appealing. In 2002CE, the NOTHINGNESS LP was re-released by the obscure record specialist label Shadoks in a hefty cardboard sleeve and sold for a large sum of money, thereby giving early buyers a chance to smugly tout it to those who came too late to score their own copy. Me? I send it back to Freak Emporium and demanded (and received) my money back. However, this record is one to avoid, being neither outrageously free-rock and clod-hopping in the Leigh Stephens-period Blue Cheer style nor inept behemothballs-of-fire in the KISS ALIVE-stylee, and we never would have even heard of this moreley achieving Dadrock slush had not several should-know-betters of the underground touted it around and proclaimed it as being in some way relevant and therefore important. Music is not legendary merely because you can’t get hold of a copy. Beware!
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
This so-called ‘happenings group’ was a freak out improvisational ensemble, who played in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo, in 1967. Their name means ‘zero dimension’, but it is unknown whether or not they recorded or released records, as the band’s only mention is as a favourite of J.A. Caesar, during his tenure as Longhair Brother Number One in the Go-Go-Café area of Shinjuku.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Masayoshi Kabe is one of the great stars of the Japanese 60s and 70s rock scenes, having made his name as bass player in the enormous Group Sounds band, the Golden Cups, thereafter forming Foodbrain with Shinki Chen, thereafter becoming bass player in the power trio Speed Glue and Shinki. His career is thoroughly covered in Japrocksampler.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Masahiko Satoh – piano, clavinet
Kiyoshi Sugimoto - guitar
Ken Muraoka – tenor sax, soprano sax
Hiroaki Suzuki – electric piano
Masaaki Terakawa – bass, electric bass
Akira Ishikawa - drums

The line-up for GET UP changed to
Hiroaki Suzuki – electric piano
Larry Kotonaga – percussion
Takao Naoi – guitar, etc.
Akira Ishikawa – drums

In the late ‘50s, Ishikawa released a 10” LP MOOD IN IMMORTAL CLASSIC OF JAPANESE SONGS for King Records.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Better known as Kei Ishikawa, this bass player contributed to Hiro Yanagida’s 1970 solo LP MILK TIME and played with ex-Dynamites guitarist Fujio Yamauguchi before quitting just before they became Murahatchibu. Thereafter, he joined Far Out.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Led by Takashi Nishioka, the man responsible for the legendary ‘Melting Glass Box’ LPs.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Yoshio Hayakawa – vocals, rhythm guitar
Haruo Mizuhashi – lead guitar, vocals
Hitoshi Tanino – Fender bass, upright bass
Takasuke Kida – drums, flute, vibraphone

The Jacks were at the forefront of the Japanese folk rock boom, in 1968 scoring a huge hit with their nihilistic single 'Marianne', a demented and atonal 6/8 sub-'Signed DC' that sounded like the Velvet Undergound played by free jazzers. But their refusal to be interviewed, emphasis on poetry and the extremely long hair of singer Yoshio Hayakawa created an underground cult that would later influence Takashi Mizutani of Les Rallizes Denudes. The Jacks began in 1966 as a folk trio called Nightingale. But it was the arrival of jazz drummer Takasuke Kida that forged the sound of the Jacks. Their debut album, VACANT WORLD (featuring the epic 'Marianne'), is at number 42 in the Japrocksampler Top 50.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
(see full story in Book One, Chapter Two)

Although Toshi Ichiyanagi is currently best know to the wider world as Yoko Ono’s first husband, he will surely be regarded in the future as Japan’s great herald of the John Cage school of chance and non-intentioned music. Born in the port city of Kobe, in 1933, Ichiyanagi studied composition under Cage while studying at New York’s Juilliard Conservatory between 1954 and 1960. During that period, he also studied piano with Barnhard Weiser, Beveridge Webster and Chieko Hara, and won the prestigious Elizabeth A. Coolidge Prize. While still a Juilliard student, Ichiyanagi made his debut public performance, in December 1954, with ‘Sonata’, a piano and violin duet on which he was joined by violinist/composer Kenji Kobayashi. Here is my attempt at a brief repository of his works, though I cannot ensure that it is entirely complete:

In 1960, Ichiyanagi composed a fifteen minute piece employing electric metronomes ‘in addition to other sound-making objects and instruments’. However, ‘Music For Metronomes’ was not recorded until 1998, when a performance by the quintet Ensemble Nomad was finally captured, at the Kimitsu Shimin Bunka Hall, at Chiba, Japan. ‘Music for Piano No. 3’ was written in 1960. A solo piano piece of 9.21 duration, it was first recorded in 1980 for the Denon Records LP TRANSFORMATION OF PIANO. The duet ‘Music For Piano No. 4’ was written in 1960. However, it was not recorded until 1998, when the piece was performed by the composer and pianist Yuji Takahashi at the Kimitsu Shimin Bunka Hall, in Chiba. At the same session, Takahashi also tackled the 1961 composition ‘Music For Piano No. 6’, making its debut on to record. ‘For Strings’ was composed in 1961, but this almost eight minute piece was not recorded until September 1998, when it was performed by violinist Kenji Kobayashi at the Kimitsu Shimin Bunka Hall, in the Japanese town of Chibu. These last three compositions were written also to be performed simultaneously. ‘Duet’ was composed in 1961 for violin and piano. However, the piece was not recorded until September 1998, when violinist Kenji Kobayashi and pianist Yuji Takahashi performed it at Kimitsu Shimin Bunka Hall, in Chiba. ‘Parallel Music’ was a nine minute long electronic piece written in 1962. It was premiered as a radio broadcast by NHK, in October ’62. ‘String Quartet No. 1’ was written in 1964, and is of flexible length. Its first performance took place in Tokyo, in May 1966, performed by the New Direction Quartet.
‘Music For Living Space’ was a ten minute long electronic piece composed for EXPO ’70, in 1970. The piece had its premiere at the Osaka Theme Pavilion. ‘Music For Piano No. 6’ was a piano solo written in 1961, and performed that same year in New York by Ichiyanagi himself. ‘Life Music’ was written in 1964, for orchestra and tape recorder. This 16.45 piece was released in 1968 on the Victor Records LP ORCHESTRAL SPACE VOLUME 1.
‘Extended Voices’ was written in 1967 for voice and synthesizer-computer. It has never been recorded. ‘Up To Date Applause’ was composed in 1968 for orchestra, Japanese nokan and tape recorder. ‘Tokyo 1969’ was a 15 minute long electronic piece composed in 1969, at the behest of NHK Electronic Studio. It was broadcast in January 1969. ‘Theater Music’ was a six-minute electronic piece composed in 1969.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Haruo Chikada - vocals
Eiichi Takagi
Katsumi Kobayashi
Yoshimi Tsuneda - drums

Although formed in the militant days of Kyoto protest during 1971, Haruophone-Biburasuton did not make their name or release an LP until 1976. They are, however, of more than passing interest because of leader Haruo Chikada’s links to the underground. In 1971, Chikada recorded the RCA collaboration FRIENDS with future Faces and Free bassist Tetsu Yamauchi, and appeared on stage with Les Rallizes Denudes at the behest of temporary front man and future Murahatchibu star Chahbo. Thereafter, Haruophone-Biburasuton was formed with former Murahatchibu drummer Yoshimi Tsuneda, Eiichi Takagi, and future Yonin Bayashi member Katsumi Kobayashi. They released the three LPs mentioned below, before Chikada split to form The Vibra-Tones in the ‘80s. In the ‘90s, Chikada embraced the coming dance trends with his new outfit President BPM.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007