Plastician – Japan
Guitar – Naoki
Ryukyu Underground – Koi no Michi Kusa
Vector Lovers – Tokyo Glitterati
Takuji a.k.a. Geetek – 十九の春 (Spring Ninety)
Ryukyu Underground – Soi Soi
DJ Krush with Tetsuro Naito – Univearth
Takuji a.k.a. Geetek – エイサーメドレー （仲頭流～久高～スーリー東り）
DJ Krush with Shinichi Kinoshita – Beyond Raging Waves
Guitar – Wash Me Away
Ryukyu Underground – Akata Sundunchi
Vector Lovers – Boulevard
Basic Soul Unit – Candle Lit
Herrmann & Kleine – Leaving You Behind
Well it’s been exactly two months since the earthquake and tsunami devastated the Northeast part of Japan. It’s never too late to reflect on such a profound catastrophe. I lived in Japan from late 1999 to mid 2002 save for a 3 month period in between. I met many great people and experienced a multitude of wonderful things that altered my life deeply in countless ways. I rather spontaneously decided to do a continuous mix of tracks that are Japanese or have some connection to Japan. The order and mood of each song chronicles a personal story and timeline of my experiences in Japan and continues on with my interpretation from afar of the recent disasters.
The first 2 tracks combine the modern form of dubstep and hip-hop beats with traditional sounds to recall the ancient past of a country that fuses the old with the new in almost every aspect of life. “Koi no Michi Kusa” and “Tokyo Glitterati” conjures up my weekly solo explorations all over Tokyo discovering the urban intricacies, oddities and curiosities of a city I love. “Spring Ninety” and “Soi Soi” are the unfettered joy of meeting new people, going to music events, falling for a woman and traveling throughout Japan (both songs have an Okinawan spirit). The DJ Krush song with the Japanese drums foreshadows the darkness to come – personally and nationally which is given a brief reprieve with the calm before the storm in Takuji’s second song. The rumbling sounds of the aptly titled “Beyond Raging Waves” and the swoon of “Wash Me Away” are me glued to my TV and computer watching with sadness from the safety of Toronto. “Akata Sundunchi” feels like a mournful requiem for the dead and displaced.
“Boulevard” and “Candle Lit” are the sound of hope, rebuilding and resilience. Proceeds from “Candle Lit” by our very own Basic Soul Unit go to a Japan benefit project. Shingo and I were just discussing “Leaving You Behind” the other night and how emotive the song is. It’s a nostalgic closer that will give anyone whose ridden the Japan Rail (JR) shivers or at least put a knowing smile of reminiscence on one’s face.
Thanks for reading and hopefully listening to this special mix I really enjoy.