Budding Japanese music enthusiasts this one is for you. Stop the crate-digging for a classic Japanese pop album; the good people at We Want Sounds have pulled together a taster menu of the best sounds Japan has to offer.
Nick Luscombe, the former Six Music DJ and Japanese music enthusiast, has compiled a collection of music from the famed Nippon Columbia label and its sub-label Better Days. The album is part history lesson and part DJ-set. Luscombe was let loose in Nippon Columbia’s much-guarded vaults and has come out with a compilation that tracks the development of synth-pop and the universal funk influence.
From the 1970s, developments in new Japanese-made synthesisers and drum machines meant cutting edge music was consistent in Japan. Luscombe says in the accompanying release for the album that this music still “sounds and feels like the future”, and he’s right. The opening track, The End of Asia, opens with legendary composer Ryuichi Sakamoto’s six-minute track and ends with an epic guitar line. The track then moves to its real synth coda, which must have influenced The Blade Runner soundtrack in some way.