After World War II, the Japanese lifestyle became heavily influenced by Western technology and culture. Fascinated by what came along from an exotic outside, many musicians were simply reproducing what was new to them.

detail cover art Toshi Ichiyanagi – Opera “From The Works Of Tadanori Yokoo” (1969, The End Record)

During the Seventies, however, artists are rediscovering Japanese music traditions. By blending aspects of those with their own preferences, something truly new evolves.

46-minute mix with works by Akio Suzuki, Haruomi Hosono, Jun Togawa Unit, Toshi Ichiyanagi and others.

Featured cover art: Osamu Kitajima – Benzaiten

Ambient Japan (1981-2004)

Free of artificial ornamentation, well balanced, and designed with love for detail, some Eighties' Japanese ambient music resembles the concept of the countries' traditional gardens. 51 minutes of music striving to enhance environments – with works by Haruomi Hosono, Inoyama Land, Masahiro Sugaya, Yasuaki Shimizu and others.

Akio Suzuki – Taka No

cosmic eternity as background for traditional Japanese flute sounds (2000, and/OAR)

Toshi Ichiyanagi – Electric Chant

the second scene of Toshi Ichiyanagi’s opera From The Works Of Tadanori Yokoo, dedicated to the artist’s poster art depicting aspects of Japanese culture; here, electronic sounds are used as backdrop for praising the Tenno (1969, Bridge)

Eitetsu Hayashi – Cosmos

Japan’s national instrument koto being played along with the Korean gayageum and a piano (1983, Victor)

Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Doll’s Polyphony

from the soundtrack to the animated post-apocalyptic cyberpunk film Akira (1988, Invitation)

Osamu Kitajima – Benzaiten: God Of Music And Water (Reprise)

melding ancient Japanese instruments with Seventies prog (1976, Island)

Haruomi Hosono – Down To The Earth

music for ballet, putting traditional Japanese drums into an electronic context (1984, Monad Records)

Jun Togawa Unit – Umi Yakara

Okinawan folk song (1985, Yen Records)

Noizunzuri – Figure & Ground

traditional folk song, avant-rock style (1985, Telegraph Records)

Ryuichi Sakamoto – Das neue japanische elektronische Volkslied

the new Japanese electronic folk song (1978, Better Days)

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