We have just had a number of scarce items bought on a recent trip to Tokyo by Japanese artists. In recent years searchers of psyche & rare groove have turned their eyes Eastward in their hunt for ever more obscure items. During the mid to late 1960s Japan was dominated by the female vocal & Group Sounds boom, producing funky beats, psychedelic guitars and fantastic fashions to be admired on gatefold albums or wraparound single covers. We have some items by the foremost Group Sounds band The Spiders, who featured Masaaki Sakai in their line up, most known in the West as the titular star in the 1970s fantasy shows Monkey. We also have a red vinyl 7” of Angel Love by Jun Mayuzumi, which is highly sought after for its b-side Black Room, a fantastic slice of 60s beat, which is the opening track on the Big Beat compilation Nippon Girls.
Also there are several soundtracks to films, animations and Tv dramas. Whereas in the UK, soundtrack albums to television shows were relatively rare, Japan has always had an eager market to such items, and so soundtracks to TV dramas which are now long since forgotten live on as their 1970s funkiness find a place on the playlist of many a DJ. Animations and childrens dramas were blessed with soundtracks created by big names in pop, rock, jazz and classical, such as Akira Ishikawa, Hiromasa Suzuki and Yuji Ohno. We have three soundtracks by Mr Ohno; one for the long running Lupin The Third series, a soundtrack for an action movie Proof Of The Wild and The Inugami Clan, a dark drama, whose spacy Jazz soundtrack is highly sought after by overseas enthusiasts, meaning that it is no longer as easy to find in Japan as it once was!
We noticed on our trip that even compared to five years ago, the number of foreign collectors seen buying Japanese artists has increased massively, and as a result prices have started rising too as stock becomes more scarce. We hope we will be able to find such good items next time!
Michiaki Watanabe – Space Sheriff Gavan (Uchû Keiji Gyaban): 1982 Japanese 13-track vinyl LP, soundtrack to the Asahi TV series, crammed full with jazz funk featuring wah-wah, hammond, horns and funky 80s synths, making it a favourite for DJs on the look out for obscure breaks, picture sleeve with track listing insert and ob-strip .
Jun Mayuzumi – Angel Love: 1968 Japanese 7″ wide centre red ‘Ever Clean’ vinyl single, including the fantastic Asian-freakbeat holy grail Black Room, as featured on the Nippon Girls compilation and DJ XXXL’s Nippon Breaks And Beats Volume 2, wrap around picture sleeve with Japanese lyrics and sheet music. The sleeve shows light wear with a Japanese date annotation inside and a small seam split at the bottom, whilst the vinyl has just the odd light scuff and is Excellent. This recordis so sought after by overseas DJs, it actually featured in a Japanese TV documentary on the subject and is now starting to disappear from the record shops in Tokyo; get this fantastic copy while you can.
Yuji Ohno – Proof Of The Wild: 1978 Japanese 11-track vinyl LP, the soundtrack to the film of the same name, jazz funk fusion by the master Ohono San, featured in the ‘Wamono’ Japanese rare groove bible and sought after by DJs worldwide, complete with insert and obi-strip. Aside from inevitable light foxing, the sleeve shows minimal wear and the vinyl is Near Mint.
Check out our Japanese store for further rarities
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