Credits

I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube, Oricon charts are courtesy of entamedata.web.fc2.com/music and my research is translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, April 18, 2014

fhana -- Que Sera Sera (ケセラセラ)


Last year, I was introduced to an anime by the title of "Uchoten Kazoku"(有頂天家族...The Eccentric Family). The tale of a family of shape-shifting tanuki in modern-day Kyoto as they balance their lot between daily life in the former ancient capital and the fears of getting set upon by enemies comical and beautiful (including being eaten in a stew), admittedly it wasn't a show that grabbed me immediately despite the gorgeous scenery since I had to struggle with the story sans subtitles. However, since getting the entire series as a present, I've been able to enjoy the anime at a more leisurely pace and therefore appreciate it a whole lot more.

One of the reasons that I have enjoyed the show is the ending theme by the group fhana. Amongst the number of anime I've seen, this is a group that I've seen fairly often taking care of various opening and ending themes, the latest being the openers for "Witchcraft Works" and "Gingitsune" earlier this year. However, my favourite theme hands down by fhana has been "Que Sera Sera". According to the J-Wiki article on the song itself, it's been getting a goodly number of accolades including this one: "There hasn't been an ending theme that fits an anime as well as this one does."


I don't think I have seen anywhere near the number of anime that would ever make me that authoritative when it comes to that opinion. However, I can certainly understand that commenter's point of view. The bright and sweet vocals by towana along with the cheerful if somewhat introspective melody mesh wonderfully together, and they both work perfectly with the lovely ending credit visuals. And the title itself of "Whatever will be, will be" (yep, I'm old enough to have the Doris Day record of the same title) kinda goes hand in hand with how the characters in the show seem to deal with most of their crises.

One of the commenters at YouTube mentioned that "Que Sera Sera" sounded a bit like the famous theme for "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" by Ryuichi Sakamoto (probably the intro). I can also add that some of the arrangement harkens back to some of the dance groove about a decade ago used by singers like bird and Misia.

"Que Sera Sera" was composed by fhana leader and keyboardist Junichi Sato (佐藤純一)and written by Hideki Hayashi(林英樹). Released in August 2013 as the band's first single, the song didn't go any higher than 111th place on Oricon, but that won't dampen any of the fans' enthusiasm.

As for the group itself, the story leading up to the current lineup reads as if it also deserves its own time on the small screen. Sato, who originally came from the band FLEET, started getting into a Twitter friendship with guitarist yuxuki waga from s10rw at the end of 2009. Then almost a year and a half later, the two of them met sampler Kevin Mitsunaga from another band, Leggysalad, at an event. From there, the three supposedly cemented the concept and direction for fhana at a maid café (hey, where else?). Initially, fhana had thought about having just guest vocalists do the singing but since they were so impressed with one of their invitees, towana, she just became the permanent vocalist. And the band was officially in business from 2012.

courtesy of
HINA_cafaholic
from Flickr

Junko Yagami -- Sugao no Watashi (素顔の私)


Junko Yagami (八神純子)was a regular presence throughout the time I was listening to "Sounds of Japan" starting with the song that I'm always going to associate with her with, "Mizu Iro no Ame"(みずいろの雨). So when I finally got over to Japan in 1989 and therefore had much better access to the CDs I coveted, it wasn't too long before I got my first Yagami disc. Although in my university days, I was actually able to buy her 10th original album "YA GA MANIA" (1986) on audiotape in Chinatown, her music had gone in a more 80s R&B/pop direction, and I was interested in finding out more about her early days.

So, on hitting a CD shop, I went for "Sugao no Watashi" (An Honest Me) since it contained her trademark tune, "Mizu Iro no Ame", the song that first made her a household name with that soaring voice and the dynamic Latin beat. This was her 2nd album from April 1979, and as the title hints, a lot of the tracks talk about her feelings about love, in and out of it.

http://music.163.com/#/song?id=674490

The album starts softly with "Birthday Song", a track that Yagami composed and wrote. It's a comfortable love ballad with a light bossa touch setting the scene for a romantic night out with that special someone on his special day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DySw7oop9Hg

Track 2 is "Ashita ni Mukatte Ike"(明日に向って行け...Face Tomorrow and Go), the one song that doesn't touch upon the heart, at least not on the romantic part of it. Also written and composed by the singer with help from composer/arranger Masaaki Omura(大村雅朗), this particular song seems to reside in the rough-and-tumble New York City of the 70s. It has a horn arrangement that would've been at home on a "Shaft" soundtrack, and Yagami exhorts the listener to get off the chair and make something of the day.


Speaking of arrangements, while listening to "Sugao no Watashi", I definitely got the impression that Yagami wanted to go full out. There is a lushness to the ballads, designed to evoke emotions and impressions and images, and one such example is her "Yakan Hiko"(夜間飛行...Night Flight)which is my favourite song on the album, next to "Mizu Iro no Ame". Tsugutoshi Goto (後藤次利)took care of the music while Yagami provided the lyrics. I could imagine a woman quietly waiting at Narita Airport as her anticipation grows to meet her lover on the other side of the plane trip. Unlike Akina Nakamori's(中森明菜) "Kita Wing"(北ウィング)which has a similar lyrical theme, there is no uncertainty or worry with Yagami's protagonist here. She's ready to go. My favourite part of the song is when she belts out the title in the refrain...pure magic! And then there is that last sustained note which segues into that plane taking off for parts unknown.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC1Z3HeFVvs

"Nagisa"(渚...The Beach)is a happy-go-lucky song about a couple's day on the beach. Created by Yagami, the arrangement by Omura has that West Coast sound. All the tropes of summer such as blue T-shirts and Coke bottles are covered. Really fine guitar work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4cu5KUzPmQ

The final track for "Sugao no Watashi" is the sad but inspirational "DAWN". Yagami included a bit of elegiac gospel into the music for Keisuke Yamakawa's (山川啓介)lyrics as the singer places a permanent period on a relationship and decides to head out elsewhere by herself, but not without some regrets. I think for those folks who have just gone through a breakup, this may be the tonic...or not.

The album was Yagami's first No. 1, and it eventually ended up ranking No. 17 for the year.

Junko Yagami -- Sugao no Watashi

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Taeko Ohnuki -- Samba de Mar

http://music.163.com/#/song?id=634153

When I was commenting on Marcos V's list of Carnaval-themed songs back in late February, I also mentioned about a song by Taeko Ohnuki (大貫妙子)with a similar beat titled "Samba de Mar". Unfortunately, the YouTube link has apparently been rendered useless since then, but luckily I have found another link above.

"Samba de Mar" is another track from Ohnuki's 5th album from 1981, "Aventure". Written and composed by the singer and arranged by Ryuichi Sakamoto(坂本龍一), it's a bit of Brazilian fun in the sun filtered through technopop. As I mentioned to Marcos, it's pretty straightforward until the last minute or so when it seems as if Ohnuki, Sakamoto and the rest of the production staff got slightly punch drunk in the studio and decided to throw the whole song onto a warp engine. I was dumbfounded and annoyed at first but I've gotten accustomed to the whimsy at the end. And she does make up for it with the lovely "la mer, la ciel" also from the same album.

The Ventures/Yuko Nagisa/Akiko Yano -- Kyoto Bojou (京都慕情)



On the right side of the Pacific Ocean, when the band The Ventures is mentioned, the fans may remember them for songs like "Walk, Don't Run" and one of the best American TV themes in history, "Hawaii Five-0" (if anyone mentions the Aloha State to me, that's the song that gets into my head immediately). But unless someone can correct me, The Ventures are seen here in North America as a musical product of a bygone age who might sometimes pop up whenever a nostalgia tour is advertised on the telly.

However in Japan, just like The Carpenters, The Ventures have been nothing less than music gods for over 50 years. After the band's start in 1959, it didn't take long for Don Wilson, Bob Bogle and the rest of the guys to come over to the left side of the Pacific in 1962 for the first time and pretty much stay there in spirit. For years, whenever I watched TV in the country and heard that The Ventures were coming over for their umpteenth tour, the announcers would always talk about the "teketeke" (テケテケ)sound which was the chromatic run that was the characteristic of the guitar playing. I gather that a lot of teenagers there became rock acolytes from that.


The relationship between The Ventures and Japan wasn't just a one-way thing from fan to entertainer. The band also had their love for the country and also created songs in tribute. One of their earliest creations was "Futari no Ginza"(二人の銀座...Ginza For Two), a Mood Kayo duet from 1967. Then a few years later, they moved their focus to the ancient capital of Kyoto with "Kyoto Bojou" which translates as Kyoto Yearning although the official English title was the more romantic-sounding "Reflections In A Palace Lake".

Released on November 25 1970, "Kyoto Bojou" was an instrumental piece which was a cheerful mix of Ventures and kayo kyoku (although I can imagine a scene in Honolulu as much as a scene in Kyoto). I can easily hear this being played on a koto. On Oricon, it went as high as No. 48.


Less than a week after The Ventures' release of "Kyoto Bojou", singer Yuko Nagisa (渚ゆう子)released her lovely cover from December 1, complete with lyrics by Haruo Hayashi(林春生) and a classic kayo kyoku arrangement with an orchestra. And it wasn't her first time covering a Ventures number. Earlier in the year, she had also given her version of the band's "Kyoto no Koi"(京都の恋...Kyoto Doll) which stayed at No. 1 for 8 straight weeks and is her most successful hit. "Kyoto Bojou" was almost as successful with the song peaking at No. 2 and ending up as the 15th-ranked song of 1971.

Actually, the first time I heard "Kyoto Bojou" in any of its incarnations was through Akiko Yano's(矢野顕子) funky & fun version from her 1997 album, "Oui Oui". With all of the geographical hopping I've hinted at in the article, I can say that Yano's version, which is titled "Kyoto", has more of a grounding in The Big Apple. It shares the album with "Cream Stew".

courtesy of veropie
from Flickr

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ken Hirai -- Ookina Furu Dokei (大きな古時計)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EW3cxe2xQQ

I've often marveled at how the Japanese tune "Ue wo Muite Arukou"(上を向いて歩こう)became such a hit overseas and over time in its guise as the "Sukiyaki" song. But not too long ago, there was a reverse phenomenon of sorts involving a song that had been originally created all the way back in 1876.

"My Grandfather's Clock" was made by Henry Clay Work and later became the go-to song for British brass bands and bluegrass musicians (according to Wikipedia). And then singers ranging from The Everly Brothers to Johnny Cash covered it. I even had my experience with it during my band class in junior high school as one of the clarinet players. It was a pretty chipper song but otherwise didn't think much more of it once I left the music field in high school. Little did I know that it would become a huge hit in Japan a little over 20 years after putting down my licorice stick for the final time.

Soulful singer-songwriter Ken Hirai (平井堅)covered it under its Japanese title of "Ookina Furu Dokei" (The Big Old Clock) as his 16th single in August 2002. Initially, Hirai sang the song as part of his concerts and with its growing popularity, the decision was made to put it to CD. Good decision. His slow and tearjerking delivery hit the right nerve amongst the Japanese listening public and the song went Triple Platinum. "My Grandfather's Clock" was also a favourite in the country for generations but Hirai's approach perhaps brought out more of the heart about this clock which lived and died with the original owner. The late lyricist Kogo Hotomi (保富康午...who had a hand in creating the iconic programs of NHK's Kohaku Utagassen and Fuji-TV's "Music Fair") had written the Japanese words to "Ookina Furu Dokei" when the song was used in 1962 for the NHK children's music program "Minna no Uta"(みんなのうた...Songs For All), and it was those words that Hirai sang in his moving version.


When I first heard Hirai sing this on TV, I just thought (considering my own experience with the song) it was a one-off gimmicky thing for him to show how he could transform a song into a Hirai-style ballad. However, "Ookina Furu Dokei" started to become a much-in-demand tune for the singer and I wonder if perhaps he is gonna end up being most recognized for his cover of an old music class song. As much as "Sukiyaki" had charmed people like the Americans and the British ages ago, "My Grandfather's Clock" did the same thing for the Japanese.

At the Japan Golden Disc Awards, it won Song of the Year. On Oricon, it stayed at No. 1 for 4 weeks straight and became the 7th-ranked song for 2002, and just skirted under a million in sales. Not surprisingly, Hirai was invited onto the Kohaku Utagassen for the 2nd time on the strength of "Ookina Furu Dokei".

It's amazing how a song that I squeaked and tooted my way through in band class in the early 80s became a megahit in the first few years of the 21st century.


As a comparison, here is the English version.

courtesy of
YourCastlesDecor
from Flickr

EPO -- Asa no Drive (朝のドライブ)


I first heard EPO's "Asa no Drive" (Morning Drive) on her GOLDEN BEST compilation from 2005, although it was originally a track on her 6th album, "Hi Touch Hi Tech" (February 1984). EPO herself composed and wrote this relatively calm and collected mid-tempo ballad about a woman's inner thoughts as she is escorted home in a taxi by a male colleague who she has some unrequited feelings for.

I love the whole song but especially at the point EPO tells herself "No, no" (sounds like a pounding heartbeat) in the refrain to refrain herself from confessing her feelings. Most of us have been there, haven't we? I still consider it a City Pop tune although the theme here is not so much about life in the big city but is more introspective. I guess it must be the arrangement by Nobuyuki Shimizu(清水信之)....the flugelhorn always helps in that respect. While the lyrics have EPO struggling with her feelings, the music has that sense of driving during those cool early hours. It feels somewhat dreamy and relaxing as if finishing off the midnight shift and heading home for a good morning's sleep....although I hope that any person who had been listening to "Asa no Drive" on the car stereo didn't take the music too much to heart lest he/she wrap the vehicle around a light pole.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

nikala's Techno-Kayo Playlist (Idol Edition)


Having a strong fondness for Japanese techno/synthpop, I thought for a while about making an entry about some of my favorites but also decided to narrow things down a bit. This one specifically deals with aidoru tracks produced by some techno masterminds like YMO, Masami Tsuchiya and Moonriders, also known as aidoru techno-kayo. I don't usually have an urge to listen to idols, but when I do, more often than not it's this stuff right here. I think it's because the arrangements and the concepts keep me interested. I love the quirky techno-ness of it all, and it seems like the creators actually put effort into these songs. Or perhaps I just like the sound of computer music mixed with cute vocals. Not that all the singers below necessarily sound cute, but those that do definitely benefit from all the synths and bleeps in the background.

Without further ado, here's the playlist, organized in chronological order. There isn't a particular theme to these selections since good music comes in different forms and moods. Enjoy!


1. Fever -- Digita Love [フィーバー -- デジタラブ] (1980)
Long before Yasutaka Nakata came along with Perfume, Keiichi Suzuki (鈴木慶一) already digitalized the Candies aesthetic with this edgy new wave tune for Fever. It doesn't actually sound like Perfume but the concept and the image are there. The cover image above of Naomi Watai (渡井なおみ), Izumi Okahiro (岡広いづみ) and Mayumi Kitagawa (北川まゆみ) in triangular formation really do resemble Nocchi, Acchan and Kashiyuka from their Computer City~Game era though in different outfits. The song itself has a nice mix of techno bleeps set to a surf rock rhythm. I found it enjoyable from start to finish. Always appreciate a bit of experimentation with aidoru tracks. P-Vine's compilation of Toshiba EMI's Techno-Kayo works was the one that introduced me to this obscure song. I wouldn't have heard it otherwise. As for Fever themselves, the little information I could dig on them tells me that they started off as a sexier version of Candies, debuting with the single “Akuma ni Kushizuke” (悪魔にくちづけ) in April 1979. They had one album and another four singles after that before they broke up in late 1980. “Digita Love” was their final release and their only techno song as far as I know.


2. Junko Sakurada -- Kitto Kitto [桜田淳子 -- きっと きっと] (1981)
http://music.163.com/#/song?id=22674582
As a one-third of the Hana no Chu-San Trio (花の中三トリオ), Sakurada may have been overshadowed by the legendary Momoe Yamaguchi but she did hold strong on her own with some of her mid-70's hits like “Hajimete no Dekigoto” (はじめての出来事) and “Juushichi no Natsu” (十七の夏). One of her latter highlights was the album “My Dear” from 1981, which had Side 1 of the LP produced by Akiko Yano (矢野顕子), who brought in all that bubbly technopop for Sakurada to try. Lots of great songs there, but the one that captivated me the most is “Kitto Kitto”. Although the music itself has Yano written all over it and in the refrain Sakurada copies her fluttery manner of delivering the lyrics, she interpreted it in her own way with that mature womanly voice of hers. Whereas Yano sounds sweet like the kindest friend, Sakurada goes for the sultry. Makes for an interesting combo with the music. You can call me addicted to the rapid refrain and the strings riff that follows it. It's just cleverly crafted in general with all these delicate details in the arrangement. Better not dissect them.


3. Chiemi Manabe -- Nerawareta Shoujo [真鍋ちえみ -- ねれわれた少女] (1982)
Chiemi Manabe had a very short idol career in the early 80's first as a member of the group Pansy (パンジー) and then as a soloist before she switched to modeling and acting and then disappeared from media altogether later in the decade. Techno-kayo enthusiasts refer to her as the original techno idol since she was one of the first along with Starbow to specialize in the sound. “Nerawareta Shoujo” was her debut single, which was written by the eminent Aku Yu (阿久悠) and composed/arranged by Haruomi Hosono (細野晴臣). What can I say... That synth line is a killer. And the melody has a unique eeriness to it that's unlike your generic pop song. Manabe's vocals are rather thin, but they don't bother me at all when set against the solid techno backdrop. Unfortunately, she didn't pursue singing for long only leaving us with three singles and one album, but what she had was very nice.


4. Imokin Trio -- High School Lullaby [イモ欽トリオ -- ハイスクール・ララバイ] (1982)
I couldn't help it, it's just too darn infectious. J-Canuck wrote an informative entry on Imokin Trio and the song, so I don't have any factual information to add. It's a pretty silly and classic Takashi Matsumoto (松本隆)/Hosono work for a group of boys who just wanted to make people laugh. The hilarious choreography, which had Kojio Nishiyama/Waruo (西山浩司) playing air drums as if he were Yukihiro Takahashi (高橋幸宏) and Ryoichi Yamaguchi/Yoshio (山口良一) behind the air synths in the position of Ryuichi Sakamoto (坂本龍一), probably played a huge role into making this song a winner, but even on its own, it has some strong synth lines that make it a quality techno tune. What was meant to be a novelty tune happened to turn into a classic. It hasn't worn itself out in my ears yet. When I sang it in karaoke, my friend remarked that it sounded girly with all those “suki suki baby” parts so I showed the performance to surprise her. She's been hooked ever since.


5. Mari Iijima -- Love Sick [飯島真理 -- Love Sick] (1983)
Mari Iijima's debut album “Rosé”, which was produced and arranged by Ryuichi Sakamoto, is notable for being of interest to both techno and City Pop enthusiasts, judging by some responses I came across online. Couldn't miss that pretty pink cover while flipping through the pages of Japanese City Pop either. Just listen to “Love Sick” and you'll know what the deal is. It's a loungy nightime melody with a digital/string arrangement and it's wonderful. Every time I listen to it, I can't help but be charmed by the way the classical strings in the opening give way to the synths that take over from there. Kudos to Sakamoto for that clever arrangement. Iijima's voice is sweet like the purest honey but it also has a mature flair to it, which you can pick out easily in this song. It's not often that you find a singer who had it right from the very start, but I'm happy to say that her debut was great. And she wrote and composed the whole thing herself.


6. Hiromi Go -- Dakara Spectacle [郷ひろみ -- だからスペクタクル] (1983) 
http://music.163.com/#/song?id=450912
Just to prove that YMO practically owned Japanese pop of the early 80's, they had to involve themselves with Hiromi Go or else their control wasn't complete. Ryuichi Sakamoto produced his 1983 album “Hiromi-Kyou no Hanzai” (比呂魅卿の犯罪), inviting the rest of YMO and its family including Kenji Omura and Akiko Yano to play the instruments. The album cover and the booklet images feature the idol in a New Romantic getup complete with blush and lipstick. It was a bit of an oddball entry in Go's discography but it was also the one that convinced me to get over my embarrassment of liking his music and give it an earnest try. Of all the tracks there, however, I decided to go with the one that he wrote and composed himself (and did it well) while Sakamoto let his arranging magic do the rest of the work. “Dakara Spectactle”, as you can tell from the title, is quite theatrical and somewhat cheesy but in a good way. Even though it's just little over 7 minutes long, it never drags. I like everything about this: the chorus, the verses, the instrumental bits. Despite Sakamoto's influence, it's very much a Go piece and he owns it like a dandy heartthrob that he is.


7. Kilala & Ulala -- Yume, Fushigi Ikaga [キララとウララ -- 夢・不思議いかが] (1985) 
http://music.163.com/#/song?id=26123420
Like Chiemi Manabe, I would have liked for Kilala & Ulala go further but alas they only lasted for two years. Their only album “Double Fantasy” doesn't feature the usual techno composers save for Hosono and Masaya Matsuura (from PSY-S) on a couple of tracks but it's still memorable. My personal favorite number from it is “Yume, Fushigi Ikaga”, which was written/composed by EPO and arranged by Nobuyuki Shimizu (清水信之). Just listening to the futuristic melody and synths and the girls' bold voices makes me want to launch a rocket into the stratosphere. Although it was a CM jingle for some cosmetics company, I think it would make a fine theme for a tokusatsu show. Just an observation. You can read more about the duo in my entry here.


8. Chiemi Hori -- Wa Shoi! [堀ちえみ -- Wa・ショイ!] (1985)
According to J-Wiki, this was considered an unusually experimental for an aidoru tune due to all the sampler effects, but being accustomed to random noises and grunts in Morning Musume's songs, I wasn't that fazed when I first heard it. I just thought it was really catchy. Maybe it's because of Hori's happy-go-lucky vocals and the bouncy melody that it fits with all the sugary idol pop of the time. The arrangement and the effects are still pretty interesting though, so they make this stand out for me. The lyrics were provided by Hirofumi Suzuki (鈴木博文) and the music/arrangement by Ryomei Shirai (白井良明), both from Moonriders. I'm not sure if that was Shirai's intention, but those buzzing synths remind me of cicadas in the summer. Then again, the single was released in the midst of July heat, so it was crafted for the summer anyway. J-Wiki also notes that he created it with matsuri and ondo music images in mind. “Wasshoi” itself is sort of like Japanese equivalent of “heave ho” and is usually chanted at matsuri when carrying floats and portable shrines. I can just picture Hori herself taking part in the festivities while singing this. Oh, and the way she chirps “kira kira” is adorable. You can read more about the singer through generasia. Marcos V also wrote a great article on her last single here.


9. Yukiko Okada -- Wonder Trip Lover [岡田有希子 -- WONDER TRIP LOVER] (1986) 
http://music.163.com/#/song?id=22645858
Here's a Sakamoto creation that has popped at me in various incarnations over the years, but it's Yukada's glorious opening track to her final album “Venus Tanjo” (ヴィーナス誕生) from March 1986 that I'm partial to. The other two are Sakamoto's self-cover with different lyrics titled “Ballet Mecanique” which came out a month later and Miki Nakatani's “Chronic Love” from 1999, an opening to the quirky mystery drama Keizoku that she has starred in. Those unique melody chords cannot be mistaken for anything else. It's one of Sakamoto's quintessential compositions, in my opinion. Combine that with Okada's cute and quivering vocals and you have an idol masterpiece. I've never seen her perform this which I doubt even happened considering the brief time between “Venus Tanjo” and her death, but I think it'd be a lovely sight. She had a lot of nice songs in her brief but legendary career, including the acclaimed “Kuchibiru Network” (also created by Sakamoto), and she also passed the test of keeping up the good work beyond the singles. That's why I decided to highlight “Wonder Trip Lover” aside from the fact that it happens to be a fine techno-kayo song. The other two names involved with it were EPO behind the lyrics and the late Tetsuro Kashibuchi (かしぶち哲郎) from Moonriders behind the arrangement. That galloping drumming in the refrain and the sax are unique to Okada's version and make it the special one for me.


10. Kyoko Koizumi -- Tsuretette Phantasien [小泉今日子 -- 連れてってファンタァジェン] (1987)
I just like the spunky Kyon Kyon in general, so it really made my day when I found out that she teamed up with folks like Hosono and Masami Tsuchiya (土屋昌巳) who composed and arranged this tune. It was a leading track on her eleventh studio album "Phantasien" from July 1987. Being released later in the decade, it doesn't really resemble that early techno-kayo style, but it still has enough happy synthesisizer in it be their relative. Being a sucker for anything fantastical, I obviously enjoyed “Tsuretette Phantasien” for the whole “girl lost in a fantasyland” theme. And that German bit in the bridge specifically transplanted me to the fairytales of Brothers Grimm. I particularly enjoyed the toy military drum rhythm combined with that adventurous melody in the refrain. And the way it wraps up at the end is magical. The promotional video of Kyon Kyon in wandering in the forest and encountering various creatures is very fitting.


That's it, folks. If you're interested in sampling more techno-kayo, you can check out P-Vine's impressive compilations where they selected a bunch of songs on various labels from Polydor and Teichiku to Victor and Kind Records. More about those here. Unfortunately, For Life Records and Sony didn't participate in the project, so names like Chiemi Manabe aren't represented there. Those are still extensive compilations though that include both aidoru tunes and more experimental fare. My playlist here has many of the artists featured there, though I didn't necessarily go for just the signature tunes. Hopefully you found something of interest.