Izabela Trojanowska ‎– Układy (1982)

Today’s artist does not have an extensive musical career, but as it always here on the IM’ it is worth checking it out! Due to political problems at the height of its popularity she was forced to leave Poland only to return after 7 years, close to the fall of the USSR. Also a talented actress Izabela remains today as an active performer, with a 2016 latest release.

Let’s go to our artist:

Izabela Ludwika Trojanowska (born Izabela Ludwika Schütz; 22 April 1955) is a Polish singer and film actress, she first appeared in a short-running 1979 TV series Strachy and subsequently played the title role in the feature film Carmilla. She rose to fame in 1980 with the hits “Tyle Samo Prawd Ile Kłamstw” and “Wszystko Czego Dziś Chcę”, the latter performed to a big success at the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole, accompanied by the legendary Polish rock band Budka Suflera. In a meteoric rise up Trojanowska became one of the most popular singers of the early 1980s in Poland.

Izabela, The Actress in 1979

At the very beginning of this decade, Izabela established trends in music. As an artist, she traveled the world, watching her peers live abroad. In the stores, on the shelves, however, there were only vinegar, and potatoes with kefir given to eat. She wanted to sing about what was bad in the country, what really hurt Poles. Soon, she became the enemy number one for power and a hero for society. With an androgynous look, backed up by an astounding band and acid lyricists Izabela started her upswing with Romuald Lipko, Budka Suflera’s leader. He composed eight tracks for her debut album, simply entitled Iza and released in 1981. The record was ordered in a record circulation of nearly one million copies, however, due to technical reasons, only 50,000 were sold on the market copies and a cassette tape. However, the singles promoting her spread over 300,000 copies (!!)

Who Loves Iza?

The same year Trojanowska teamed up with another rock band, Stalowy Bagaż, with whom she recorded an EP and performed at the Opole Festival. Their performance drew controversies as she was wearing a red tie on stage, typical for the outfit of the members of Union of Polish Youth (ZMP). The organization accused her of desecrating the symbol of the Union as its performance of ‘Song of the Brick’ caused that Solidarity also turned away from her. After the scandal broke out she began being persecuted by the authorities.

By early 1982, Izabela finished recording her second LP, Układy. The album showcased a rockier sound and spawned hits “Brylanty” and “Karmazynowa Noc” with more than 100.000 copies sold. Later that year, she paired with Tadeusz Nalepa for the album Pożegnalny Cyrk (released commercially in 1993), whose politically charged lyrics strongly criticized martial law in Poland. That record was withdrawn by the censorship office. Burned by Solidarity, persecuted by the authorities she emigrated in 1983.

The Star in 1982

In the following decades, Izabela only released 5 records being Na Skos the latter and also it’s best, placing the good old rock n roll ahead of more Pop-English oriented songs.

Izabela stated: ‘At the beginning of the crazy and wonderful eighties together with Romuald Lipko and Andrzej Mogielnicki we were able to prepare a repertoire that electrified people. Then there was a lot of electricity in the air… Then came the next records … I am always happy to come back to singing, even after a long break. I take it as seriously as I do acting, maybe even more frightened… One thing I know: I would never want someone to say that I am the best singer among actresses and the best actress among singers.’

Let’s go to our album:

‘Na Skos’ Cover

Everyone seems to forget this second album always recurring to the first one Iza to talk about her but here in the IM we go deeper! This one is a fav of mine, with a strong post-punk and synth-pop feelings, showcasing how things were more liberal in countries such as Poland and Yugoslavia, at least in musical terms as we know it. Chodź Usłysz!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Obejdzie Się Bez Łez and Nic Naprawdę

Tracks Include:

A1 Układy
Backing Vocals: Bogdan Gajkowski / Guitar: Aleksander Mrożek

A2 Obejdzie Się Bez Łez
Backing Vocals: Jan Borysewicz

A3 Mało Siebie Znam

A4 Brylanty

B1 Karmazynowa Noc

B2 Daj Boże Daj
Backing Vocals: Bogdan Gajkowski

B3 Nic Naprawdę

B4 Obce Dni
Guitar: Aleksander Mrożek

B5 Układy
Guitar: Aleksander Mrożek

Credits
Bass: Wojciech Bruślik
Drums: Andrzej Dylewski
Guitar, Guitar (Solo): Jan Borysewicz
Keyboards: Janusz Grzywacz
Lyrics By: A. Mogielnicki

Music By: A. Mrożek (tracks: A1, B4), B. Gajkowski (tracks: A4, B3), J. Borysewicz (tracks: A2), W. Bruślik (tracks: B2), W. Trzciński (tracks: A3, B1)

Arranged By: A. Mrożek (tracks: A1, B4, B5), B. Gajkowski (tracks: A4, B3), J. Borysewicz (tracks: A2, A3, B1, B2), W. Bruślik (tracks: B2)

Engineer: J. Mastykarz
Engineer (Assistant): W. Żywioł

Notes
Recorded at Studio Nagrań ZPR Teatru STU, Kraków 1982. Tonpress ‎– SX-T 12

Solidarność Rally

Akiko Yano (矢野顕子) ‎– There Must Be Love (愛がなくちゃね。) [1982]

Simple and direct this is one of the Top 5 albums that I’ve been listening to nonstop since our departure in 2014, a wild collaboration between Akiko, YMO and David Sylvian’s Japan. East + West = Gemstone! There will be more Akiko’s albums throughout our trip, she is a VERY special composer, singer, and performer that is still rocking on so this is just the beginning. This LP is a fav of the Blog so get ready…

Let’s go to our artist:

Akiko Yano (3 February 1955) was born in Tokyo and raised in Aomori, Japan. She began playing piano at the young age of three (!) and demonstrated promising talent. When she was only fifteen, Akiko moved to Tokyo on her own and entered into Aoyama Gakuin High School where she pursued her musical career. She later began performing in jazz clubs where her masterful skill at the piano brought her popularity among other musicians. Akiko joined a band with roots in Tin Pan Alley.

Nihon Shōjo

Akiko recorded her debut album, Japanese Girl, primarily in Los Angeles with Lowell George and Little Feat. When it was released in 1976 many reputed her to be a “girl with a musical wonder.” She then began collaborating with Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO).
They continued to play on her next recording projects and invited Akiko to join them on two of their worldwide tours. Akiko expanded her musical collaborations with YMO on her subsequent LP releases, she continued to release LPs joined by Japan and Pat Metheny and has performed on albums by Thomas Dolby and other artists.

YMO Tour

In 1990 Akiko relocated to New York where she collaborated and toured with some of the world’s most renowned musicians including The Chieftains, Toninho Horta and Jeff Bova on his project The Hammonds. August 2007 marked her second debut as yanokami a pop unit with Rei Harakami, an electronic musician and sought-after producer.

To date, Akiko has released more than 30 (!) original albums, being Welcome to Jupiter her last in 2015, latter ones such Soft Landing are reissues or even Live records.

Let’s go to our album:

1982 Promo

The following text is taken from Jansen Photography Blog, so I will take a short extract from it, thank you for the Infos and photos!

‘In 1978 YMO performed as Yano’s back-up band for a Japanese tour, and at this time she became romantically involved with Sakamoto, following the breakup of her marriage. Although at the time this wasn’t noted in the press, once YMO became famous the story was spread across the papers, something that Akiko further highlighted herself by including clippings from the tabloid reports in a tour program. In 1979 Akiko became a support member of YMO; taking a break in early 1980 when she gave birth to daughter Miu Sakamoto, before returning for the second YMO world tour.

Japan the band first became aware of Akiko Yano because Japanese fans gave the group mixtapes of music they thought they would like. At that time, they did not know that there was a connection between YMO and Akiko. This soon changed when Japan attended a YMO concert and was introduced backstage. David Sylvian, Sakamoto and Yano started to exchange letters, something referred to in the song “David” released later in the 80s.

Japan

For her 1981 tour, Akiko recruited Masami Tsuchiya as a guitar player, and he went on to play on her album “Tadaima”. Both artists came to London in early 1982 and booked time at Air Studios, Masami to record “Rice Music” and Akiko “Ai Ga Nakucha Ne”.

Akiko specifically chose to work with Japan members and to record at Air because of “Tin Drum”; she liked the clarity of sound and the feel of the album, and wanted that for her own recording. To that end, not only did Akiko recruit the Japan members, but she employed Steve Nye and David Rhodes for the duration of the recording.

The producing role would be performed by fiancé Ryuichi as the couple would marry before the album was released in 1982.06.25.’

Akiko Yano + Ryuichi Sakamoto

So finally let us drink the waters from a synth-pop masterpiece with multiple touches you will hardly find it in any Western release!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Onnatachiyo Otokotachiyo and Donnatokimo Donnatokimo Donnatokimo.

Tracks Include:

Side A うし (Ushi – Cattle)

A1 愛がなくちゃね (Ai Ga Nakucha Ne – There Must be Love)

A2 悲しくてやりきれない (Kanashikute Yarikirenai – Unbearable Sadness)

A3 What’s Got In Your Eyes?

A4 おいしい生活 (Oishii Seikatsu – Small Time Crooks)

A5 みちでバッタリ (Michi De Battari – I Ran Straight on the Road)

Side B ぞう (Zō – Elephant)

B1 女たちよ 男たちよ (Onnatachiyo Otokotachiyo – About Women and Men)

B2 あいするひとよ (Aisuru Hitoyo – Overnight Love)

B3 Sleep On My Baby

B4 Another Wedding Song

B5 どんなときも どんなときも どんなときも (Donnatokimo Donnatokimo Donnatokimo – Anytime, Anytime, Anytime)

B6 Good Night

All songs and lyrics by Akiko Yano

Except for A2 by Kazuhiko Kato & Hachiro Sato / A5 by Yuji Takahashi & Masafumi Oka.

Credits

Arranged By: Akiko Yano, Ryuichi Sakamoto
Bass: Haruomi Hosono, Mick Karn
Drums: Steve Jansen, Yukihiro Takahashi
Guitar: David Rhodes, Kenji Omura, Robbie Mackintosh
Keyboards: Akiko Yano, Ryuichi Sakamoto

Engineer: Shinichi Tanaka, Steve Nye

Mixed By – Steve Nye

Co-producer: Ryuichi Sakamoto

Producer – Akiko Yano

This album was recorded in London with members of Yellow Magic Orchestra and Japan.

Nowadays

JAGATARA (暗黒大陸じゃがたら) – Nanban Torai (南蛮渡来) [1982]

Nanban Torai
Nanban Torai

JAGATARA (Jacatra, romanized), is an exclusive 80’s band from Japan, so they didn’t participate the 60/70’s Avant rock scene as their eldest predecessors, like Happy End, Sadistic Mika Band, Speed, Glue & Shinki, Haruomi Hosono, Jacks, Maki Asakawa, and Yoshiko Sai. Thus, our usual background for Japanese rock, early context, and its characters’ stories will appear throughout our galaxy, not today! Further that, this is an odd kind of rock, especially for an oriental one.

Japanese rock is primarily founded on folk and blues, later, southern rock and psychedelia, all these wisdom, are set aside to give chance for a new wave aesthetics! Like all great band, they deserved a continuous rewriting and rediscovering of its sound, live performances, and biography, all CD re-releases made by BMG Japan are quite new, ergo, all digital archives found on the net today. This fact, made them formerly unknown worldwide, also, the original Lp’s (released on an independent label) are rather expensive treasures in today’s heated market of vinyl. Hereupon, welcome to the outstanding world of JAGATARA!

Let’s go to their story:

Having on its key figure, your deceased singer, writer, and composer, Edo Akemi (July 1, 1952 – January 27, 1990)JAGATARA, are an incredible mix of genres, backed on a punk rock basis (drums, bass, guitar). They moved away from the usual rock that was being made back then, to debut as one of the greatest bands from Japan, audience and commercially speaking. Edo’s performances are a separate chapter in their history, his visceral punk anima, shocked the public due to extreme actions, such as constant injuries, bleed out, golden showers and live defecations! (!!)

But it’s the music power combo and its lyrics, their greatest development. Coming from a restless hyperactive frontman, themes like loneliness, madness, life in the big city, drug abuse and satirical social issues were present throughout his short career.

Early Formation
Early Formation

Born in Nakamura, a Kochi prefecture, near Tokyo, Edo Masataka (birth name) was the fourth from a five sisters family. Since childhood, an intelligent, fastidious and sore loser used to play tricks with its friends and learned early to question authority. A famous episode was a discussion with the priest from his Junior High School, he doubted and alleged some ‘big mistakes on the bible’, horrified the cleric expelled him from the church. That event was his Christian withdraw!

During the period of 1971 until 1979, he entered at Meiji University, on Tokyo, to attend on Letters and History course, the fact that it took twice as long until his graduation, shows us a loosely mind not so fitted with the common and boring status quo. But it was there, that the embryo from JAGATARA would be formed, more precisely in his eight and last admission, on august 79, together with Ebby (guitar) and Pan (bass) they debuted on live stages.

Thenceforth, the band began his ascent to the mainstream, their anarchist live performances on April 1980 at Shinkuku Theater called the national media attention: Akemi’s tearing up and eating in the raw a live chicken and a Shimahebi (sort of snake) (!!). The season concerts extend sold out throughout the year with dozens of publications from specialized magazines and even a Playboy famous interview.

Punk Samurai
Punk Samurai

An Ep (Last Tango in Joku) is released in April 1981, the live exposures continue. Due to mass media coverage plus high expectations from the audience (only) for Edo’s freak shows, with months, they realize the monster that they birth: a ZERO interest in their music! The band had become a fancy bourgeois product. Aware of it all, later that year comes the shift that would transform the band’s whole proposal. Alongside with OTO‘s (guitar) entry, the pure punk sound is left a bit aside, gaining new colors with the funk and afrobeat. During September/October they began the production of their first full-length album, that would take until April 1982.

With Nanban Torai release, they consolidate their status as real musicians and composers, from that on, the band entered in another suicidal domestic tour, by the end of 1983, Edo was diagnosed with a harsh mental disorder. Hospitalized and later discharged with his parents in Shikoku, simultaneously on Tokyo, the Dark Continent Jacatra band would see a two-year hiatus (1983-85) caused too, by many quarrels among its members and multiple charges for drug possession.

A live release occurs in the interval and in 1986 the band returns with a new formation, on the same basis, but more close to the big band formula: horn sections, keyboards, percussion and female choir dancers!

Final Formation
Final Formation

Until 1990, more than 6 albums hits nihonjin music charts, unfortunately, in early January 90, Edo is found dead at his home, the Mortis causa: accidental drowning while bathing. The astonishing news suddenly hits all band members, though he had offered to leave the band just before death, JAGATARA broke up instantly due to lack of its central figure. As if not enough on April 8, 1992, Pan dies of acute pneumonia, eight months later Shinoda (sax) passes by myocardial infarction (!).

Let’s go to our record:

Considered the 22nd greatest album by Rolling Stone 100 JapanNanban Torai (Barbarian Introduction) is a contagious mix. Ranging from diverse personal genres, such as Frank Zappa, southern rock, funk, afrobeat, reggae, punk rock and post-punk. The album, released on May 1982 for Dr. Records, an independent label, got a strange live feeling and it was an instant success on Japan, being aired on Tokyo Channel 12 and transmitted by NHK-FM.

For instance, during a live TV performance the vocalist from a punk band called Gism, entered underhand and had an aggressive struggle with Edo. That would cause one of the greatest disagreements, the band didn’t even try to mend the fight, on the contrary, the song was played until the end, with both on the floor!

The ‘IM’ highlights for today will be straight: End of Season, an urban post-punk, with lots of fuzz, dancing uptempo, singing way manifesto and dissonant ending. A direct shot! And Baby, simply the greatest groove so far, an homage to everything that jumps: soul, funk, disco, boogie. Nile Rodgers swing guitar feels, heavy solos and the greatest mantra chorus for your party time, please enjoy.

God Tur!

Track include:

A1 でも・デモ・Demo

A2 季節のおわり(End of Season)

A3 Baby

A4 タンゴ (Tango)

B1 アジテーション (Agitation Vagina)

B2 ヴァギナ・Fuck

B3 FADE OUT

B4 クニナマシェ (Kuninamashe)

Music, Songwriting: Edo Akemi /////// Arrangement: Dark Continent Jacatra

Members:

Akemi Edo ~ vocals /// SAMMY ~ drums /// Pan ~ (bass)

Ebby ~ guitar /// OTO ~ guitar

Guest musicians:

  • Yoshida (Yoshida Tetsuji) (trumpet) 1, 3
  • Smiley (baritone sax) 1
  • Shinnosuke (alto sax) 1
  • Beginning Band (Chorus) 1
  • P · C · E & C (Aso Rabbit) (chorus) 1
  • Jacatra Girls (Chorus) 1, 3, 7, 8
  • Yutaka Fukuoka (Chikada Haruo & Biburatonzu) (percussion) 1, 5
  • Benkei (Tokyo Grand Guignol) (alto sax) 3, 7
  • Masashi Yamamoto and Oblique Eye Patch (chorus) 3
  • Kenji Ono (trumpet) 7
  • Sadagawa Aya (voice) 7
  • George Kawabe (Kawabe Noriyuki)
  • Kai (drums) 8
  • Kid in The Neighborhood (chorus) 8
Edo Akemi
Edo Akemi