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

Kim Choo Ja (김추자) Mixtape ~ 2013

kim choo ja cópia

Born January 2, 1951, in the city of Chuncheon, the youngest in a family of 5 sisters, Kim Choo-Ja (김추자) is considered the first sex symbol of Korean pop music. Despite being an unknown worldwide, she’s one of the most influential artist’s from the Republic of Korea. Born with a lascivious curvy body, something unusual for an Asian, she was not afraid to show off in her dances, performances, clothes and record covers, wearing tight jeans or mini skirts, tops with cleavage-boosting and tall boots, a real foxy! During her career, Choo-Ja passed through a lot of personas and attitudes, that not only reflected on her appearance but also on her sound and sexuality, like the early beat-girlie, the stoned-rock-hippy, and ultimate ferocious diva!

Even didn’t write her songs, as an interpreter, she was much helped by Shin Joong Hyun, the godfather of K-Rock, through her career, especially in her first steps. They met each other in 1969 after she had won the first prize in a festival of Arts at the University of Dongguk, where she graduated in Theatre and Cinema.

1971
1971

In October’s same year, debuts her first album: Before Its Late (늦기 전에), produced by Shin and accompanied by the band The Donkeys, the record reached great commercial success, introducing a new face in Korean pop music. Based on the psychedelic combo bass-drums-guitars-keyboards they Americanize traditional folk/trot music, until then, sung only in a high pitch by singers that looked like plasticized mannequins with their stern-tacky Hanboks.

With more than 30 (!) albums released between 1969 to 1975, Kim Choo-Ja completely dominated the 70’s and has established herself as one of the greatest singers of an era. She had problems with the censors for her hit ‘It’s a Lie’, which was banned by the military dictatorship, on the allegation that it instigates distrust. The military government, ruled by the infamous Park Chung-heealso suspected her dance moves to be a hand signal for North Korean spies. (?!)

1973
1973

There was a period of blacklists and stronger repression, motivated by Shin’s charge and arrest for marijuana possession, in December 75. During those years she was out of the charts, but it won’t last much, her big comeback took place in the series of shows Recital 78, released on 1980, the album brings her greatest hits on some different live arrangements, but it’s probably the cover, its most iconic and extravagant leap, an incredible Korean Power Booty!!

For a society that has lived under a dictatorship for decades, Choo-Ja suffered constant boycotts from the government until its fall in 1988.

With the ’80s, she launches more than 15 (!) discs from live shows (mostly) and romantic collections; due to their children, a remarriage and family reasons, she retires from the market in 1988. But the legacy of Choo-Ja can be seen, in parts, with all those never-ending pretty dolls who littered the Korean pop music scene today.

Hippy 70
Hippy 70

Let’s go to our record:

Today’s album is actually a Mixtape, organized by myself, traversing many records, trying to go through all periods from our Korean Bombshell!

It’s a pop-psychedelic beginning, the encounter with the Soul and its variations, the Latin accent, their romantic-modern versions of Trots and even a medley from the aforementioned ‘Recital 78’, with several successes, such as ‘Sgt. Kim’, ‘Regret’, ‘Rumour’, and even a version from ‘Ani Holem al Naomi’, single that sold more than 1 million copies in 70s Japan, from the Israeli duo Hedva and David!

We would be unfair to Choo-Ja if we just label her as an exclusively psych-folk singer, such as Kim Jung Mi (김정미) was. What we see here are Big Bands and their orchestrations, Brass Funk-Soul, Psych, Rock, Trots, Ballads and a familiar Korean tendency to put a few spoons of sugar into the romanticism‘Nangman’ (낭만)!

Portrait
Portrait

Unfortunately, the translation and reading in Hangul are extremely difficult, the content of the lyrics is still an incognita, as well some of the albums where the songs came out. A large number of compilations, pirate and collaboration albums, contribute to make this a HARD work, but in almost all themes the year is indicated on the mp3 file.

The ‘IM’ highlights today are for: ‘No’ (아니) a megaton groove, with breakbeats, brass, and an outstanding guitar swing! This is a really infectious soul that could be covered by any funk masters, such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Tower of Power or even the pope James Brown! The other one is ‘Rain’ (비), one of the few that I couldn’t retrieve any info, what a pity! I’ve got a sentimental keen on that, a standard ballad, with Big Band accompaniment and a blue finale, an instant CLASSIC!

Lastly, don’t forget to check our special gallery selection, with some personal and rare photos. Phew! Perjalanan Yang Baik!

Rogério Duprat – A Banda Tropicalista do Duprat (1968)

capa cópia

Born in 1932 in Rio de Janeiro, Rogério Duprat, began studying cello at the early ’50s, a period that integrates the State Symphony Orchestra. In 1955 moves to São Paulo, becoming conductor and composer of the Symphony Orchestra. In the early ’60s, funds the classical avant-garde movement ‘Música Nova’, alongside Júlio Medaglia, Damiano Cozzella, Régis DupratGilberto Mendes.

still on the ’60s, travels to Europe, where he studied in France, with the composer Pierre Boulez, and in Germany with Karlheinz Stockhausen. (!)

Back in Brazil, he dedicated to creating experimental pieces on the computer, with Damiano Cozzella once more. At the University of Brasilia, where he taught, Duprat was part of happenings and manifestations of random music.

Still, on the sixties, he began working on several film soundtracks and is from there that he initiates contact with popular music, most especially with Os Mutantes!

III Festival de Música Popular Brasileira, TV Record
III Festival de Música Popular Brasileira, TV Record

Debut in 1967 with Domingo no Parque alongside Giberto Gil and Os Mutantes and bill the award for the best arrangement of the III Festival of MPB (TV Record). Thereafter, the proposal of Geléia Geral by Tropicalia enters the scene.

Pop Cannibalism. Revolution Consumerist. /// o sol se reparte em crimes, espaçonaves, guerrillas /// He works extensively with Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, Tom Zé, Lanny Gordin, Erasmo Carlos, Walter Franco, etc, of the records from Festivals, dozens and annual, recorded live.

Gil & Mutantes, Live Divino Maravilhoso (Tv Program)
Gil & Mutantes, Live Divino Maravilhoso (TV Program)

Let’s go to our record:

When asked of his first solo foray, the conductor is emphatic:

‘I do not really like that. In fact, they forced a lot. For starters, that picture, made ​​me climb on the table to beat photograph … Something so silly, naive, bitchy! Anyway, I ended up doing because I wanted to make the album, has some things I like. But it suffered from the fact that the record company forces me a bit on some international music repertoire, which was a bit more commercialized. Within the record company, they did not understand things well…’

Launched in the first half of 1968, riding on the musical-wave Tropicalia, the album was a commercial failure and saw over the decades to become a holy grail of all Tropicalista production from 67 to 69. Often compared to a tupiniquim George Martin, Rogério Duprat has his own vision of what you expect from American standards, pop, sambas, bossa, psychedelia and much more!

The Maestro
The Maestro

Both scholar and pop, coming from the leading arranger of Brazilian music, certainly the freest and inventive, the Tropicalia pope! The ‘IM’ highlights: ‘Flying’, roaming a psych landscape with reverse fuzz and an oniric feel. And ‘Quem Será?’, a samba from the ’40s in a luxury cinematic collage, amazing!

As if that were not enough, the album also features the always welcome participation of Os Mutantes in four tracks, wandering through all aspects of the disc. Bonum Iter!

Tracks Include:

A1. Judy In Disguise
(J. Fred / A. Bernard / J. Wessler)

A2. Honey
(Bobby Russell)
Summer Rain
(James Hendricks)

A3. Canção Para Inglês Ver
(Lamartine Babo)
Participação: Os Mutantes
Chiquita Bacana
(João de Barro / Alberto Ribeiro)
Participação: Os Mutantes

A4. Flying
(John Lennon / Paul McCartney)

A5. The Rain, The Park And Other Things
(Steve Duboff / Artie Kornfield)
Participação: Os Mutantes

A6. Canto Chorado
(Billy Blanco)
Bom Tempo
(Chico Buarque)
Lapinha
(Baden Powell / Paulo César Pinheiro)

B1. Chega de Saudade
(Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes)

B2. Baby
(Caetano Veloso)

B3. Cinderella-Rockefella
(M. Williams)
Participação: Os Mutantes

B4. Ele Falava Nisso Todo Dia
(Gilberto Gil)
Bat Macumba
(Gilberto Gil / Caetano Veloso)

B5. Lady Madonna
(John Lennon / Paul McCartney)
Participação: Os Mutantes

B6. Quem Será?
(Jair Amorim / Evaldo Gouveia)

Ficha técnica do disco sem créditos aos músicos da banda.

 Philips 765.048 (Mono)

Chacrinha & Caetano Veloso, 1971
Chacrinha & Caetano Veloso, 1971