Haruomi Hosono, Shigeru Suzuki & Tatsurō Yamashita – Pacific

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My discovery of vaporwave in February this year opened my ears to a lot of interesting music: not just vaporwave in itself, but also the sources from which the Internet’s Warhols tap for their trippy slowed down jams. And as weird is might seem, vaporwave unlocked something in my mind and now I find myself enjoying all kinds of incidental music and stuff meant to be put as background and left there. Some vaporwave circles have a fixation with Japanese music from the 70s and the 80s, before j-pop was even a thing. It was music I kinda knew in passing thanks to vintage anime soundtracks, but never explored in depth before then.

The LP I’m bringing to your attention today (yeah, that’s a download link) was made in 1978 in occasion of the tenth anniversary of the foundation of the CBS/Sony record label, and reunited the best session musicians Japan had to offer to make an album that would evoke the atmospheres of South Pacific islands, the kind of places Japanese people spend their vacations in. While the mention of session musicians could make you think that the people behind this are total nobodies, it turns out that got involved in this no other than the members of Yellow Magic Orchestra, the only Japanese band that managed to get so well known and influential in the West that most people don’t even remember it’s Japanese—and this is gold in a world where Asian music is often only recognized in light of its perceived “weirdness”. Add to the mix my yummiest find in this pop-jazz-fusion scene and you get some very nice tunes, perfect to zone out but that can also be listened to with focus.

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