Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Various Artists 'Sushi 3003' (1996) & Sushi 4004 (1998)

Subtitled 'A Spectacular Collection of Japanese Clubpop' and 'the Return of Spectacular Japanese Clubpop' respectively.
These are the original shibuya-kei introductory compilations unleashed on an unsuspecting world (at least the portion that had never heard Pizzicato Five) through German label Bungalow. In keeping with the spirit of some recent posts, shibuya-kei happens to be a Japanese brand of international pop, a melting pot of many ingredients with the defining featuress being:
An electronica/hip-hop influence, a 60's hipster aesthetic (song titles like 'Bond Street'), twee indie-popness (thanks to the Monochrome Set and Would-Be-Goods in particular) and a heavy dose of the difficult-to-categorise Serge Gainsbourg... French pop, lounge jazz and bossa nova. It's tough to narrow down, but the end result is eclectic enough to keep you guessing from track to track before the glorious masterplan becomes apparent.

simply means 'Shibuya style', Shibuya being the trendy district of Tokyo in which the music first gained popularity in the mid-late 90s. Since then shibuya-kei has covertly infiltrated games, anime and Western movies, gained a few fans along the way (Pizzicato Five and Cornelius are only 'stars' you might recognize on here), and eventually dissipated as a coherent club-oriented genre. Its legacy endures in Nippon since being absorbed into modern J-pop, and elsewhere with the likes of the Yoo-Kayz Momus.

Hardly any of these artists embraced this tag at the time anyway, making shibuya-kei seem all the more like a fortunate accident. Also, Soft Machine fans will not believe their ears when they hear the Kahimi Karie's 'Good Morning World' on 3003. Ees craytsee.
My personal favourite of the two is 4004, the first two tracks of which are in the first upload becausetherewasn'tanyrooooom... Incidentally, Cornelius was previously in the lubly Madchester-influenced band Flipper's Guitar (see post before last), so as usual everything is connected.

Very cool 'Legacy of Shibuya-kei' articles (links are in post @ top of page)
Shibuya-kei on


Anonymous said...

what kind of file is the sushi 3003link?

Anonymous said...

what kind of file is the first link?

Anonymous said...

could you please upload it once again
the links are broken.