New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Light In The Attic's Japan Archival Series continues with Kanky? Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music
1980-1990, an unprecedented overview of the country's vital minimal, ambient, avant-garde, and New Age music. This release is the first-ever fully licensed collection of this music, and marks the first time that these recordings will be made available outside of Japan.
Available February 2019, the LP and CD packages contain extensive liner notes and artist bios, including an essay by compilation co-producer and Japanese music scholar, Spencer Doran of Portland-based duo Visible Cloaks. The 3xLP vinyl collection features deluxe Stoughton "tip-on" jackets and slipcase, while the 2xCD release comes housed in a custom 7"x7" hardbound book. Both formats feature a cover photo by photographer Osamu Murai depicting buildings designed by famed architect, Fumihiko Maki.
Kanky? Ongaku, which translates to "environmental music," is an umbrella term used to describe the soundscapes, architectural acoustics, and incidental music that soundtracked the spaces, products, and experiences of 1980s Japan. As money from Japan's booming manufacturing, design, and export businesses continued to roll in, corporations began to invest in art and music, principally in an effort to enhance the user and consumer experience, thus opening a lane for artists to subtly infuse the everyday world with their avant-garde musical forms: from in-store music for the Japanese high-end retailer Muji, to the companion music for a Sanyo Air Conditioning Unit, opportunities to create and innovate were everywhere. The net result was to empower some of the greatest musicians in the world to create with virtually unlimited financial resources, thus giving rise to broad new musical perspectives.
This genre-defining collection of ambient and sculptural music features internationally acclaimed artists such as Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto (Yellow Magic Orchestra) and Joe Hisaishi (Studio Ghibli, Totoro), as well as perhaps lesser-known but equally pioneering artists like Hiroshi Yoshimura, Yoshio Ojima and Satoshi Ashikawa, who deserve a place alongside the undisputable giants of the genre such as Brian Eno and Erik Satie.
"As this music continues to echo in modern times and resonate with a new generation of listeners, I'm very happy to help present a window into its universe," said compilation producer, Spencer Doran, curator of the set and label head of Empire
of Signs (Hiroshi Yoshimura, Music
For Nine Postcards).
Kanky? Ongaku follows Light In The Attic's celebrated ambient anthologies, the acclaimed I Am The Center (2013) and The Microcosm (2016). It is preceded in the ongoing Japan Archival Series by 2017's Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 and the recent reissues of Haruomi Hosono's classic output, made available earlier in 2018 for the first time outside of Japan.
1. Satoshi Ashikawa - Still Space
2. Yoshio Ojima - Glass Chattering
3. Hideki Matsutake - Nemureru Yoru (Karaoke Version)
4. Ayuo Takahashi - Nagareru*
5. Joe Hisaishi - Islander
6. Yoshiaki Ochi - Ear Dreamin'
7. Masashi Kitamura + Phonogenix - Variation?III
8. Interior - Park
9. Yoichiro Yoshikawa - Nube
10. Yoshio Suzuki - Meet Me In The Sheep Meadow
11. Ryuichi Sakamoto - Dolphins*
12. Toshi Tsuchitori - Ishiura (Abridged)
13. Shiho Yabuki - Tomoshibi (abridged)
14. Toshifumi Hinata - Chaconne
15. Yasuaki Shimizu
16. Inoyama Land - Apple Star
17. Hiroshi Yoshimura - Blink
18. Fumio Miyashita - See the Light (abridged)
19. Akira Ito - Praying For Mother / Earth Part 1
20. Jun Fukamachi - Breathing New Life
21. Takashi Toyoda - Snow
22. Yellow Magic Orchestra - Loom
23. Takashi Kokubo - A Dream
Sails Out To Sea - Scene 3
24. Masahiro Sugaya - Umi No Sunatsubu
25. Haruomi Hosono - Original BGM
* LP only.