Published Nov 14, 2018Coming in the wake of a stunning series of essential Haruomi Hosono reissues, Light in the Attic is continuing with its Japan Archival Series, announcing the new electronic-geared compilation Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990.
The sprawling new comp is set to arrive early next year via LITA on February 15. Among the artists included on set are Japanese electronic legends Yellow Magic Orchestra, as well as members Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono. In addition, the comp includes Studio Ghibli soundtrack MVP Joe Hisaishi, Yasuaki Shimizu and Jun Fukamachi, along with pioneering ambient artists such as Inoyama Land, Interior, Hiroshi Yoshimura, Yoshio Ojima and Satoshi Ashikawa.
In other words, the comp features a who's who of classic but underrated '80s Japanese electronic artists, with many of the recordings only now getting their first-ever release in North America.
Kankyō Ongaku will arrive as a 3-LP vinyl set, with the package including extensive liner notes and artist bios, including an essay by compilation co-producer and Japanese music scholar, Spencer Doran of Portland-based duo Visible Cloaks. The comp will also arrive as a 2-CD package housed in a custom 7"x7" hardbound book. The cover art, meanwhile, features a photo by Osamu Murai depicting buildings designed by famed architect Fumihiko Maki.
A press release further explains the following of the comp:
Kankyō Ongaku, which translates to "environmental music," is an umbrella term used to describe the soundscapes, architectural acoustics, and incidental music that soundtracked the spaces, products, and experiences of 1980s Japan. As money from Japan's booming manufacturing, design, and export businesses continued to roll in, corporations began to invest in art and music, principally in an effort to enhance the user and consumer experience, thus opening a lane for artists to subtly infuse the everyday world with their avant-garde musical forms: from in-store music for the Japanese high-end retailer Muji, to the companion music for a Sanyo Air Conditioning Unit, opportunities to create and innovate were everywhere. The net result was to empower some of the greatest musicians in the world to create with virtually unlimited financial resources, thus giving rise to broad new musical perspectives.
You can pre-order the collection now over here, where you can also listen to samples of each song on the comp.
Kankyō Ongaku follows Light in the Attic folk-geared Japanese music comp Even a Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973, which arrived in 2017.
Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990:
1. Satoshi Ashikawa - "Still Space"
2. Yoshio Ojima - "Glass Chattering"
3. Hideki Matsutake - "Nemureru Yoru (Karaoke Version)"
4. Ayuo Takahashi - "Nagareru" *
5. Joe Hisaishi - "Islander"
6. Yoshiaki Ochi - "Ear Dreamin'"
7. Masashi Kitamura + Phonogenix - "Variation・III"
8. Interior - "Park"
9. Yoichiro Yoshikawa - "Nube"
10. Yoshio Suzuki - "Meet Me In The Sheep Meadow"
11. Ryuichi Sakamoto - "Dolphins" *
12. Toshi Tsuchitori - "Ishiura (Abridged)"
13. Shiho Yabuki - "Tomoshibi (abridged)"
14. Toshifumi Hinata - "Chaconne"
15. Yasuaki Shimizu - "Seiko 3"
16. Inoyama Land - "Apple Star"
17. Hiroshi Yoshimura - "Blink"
18. Fumio Miyashita - "See the Light (abridged)"
19. Akira Ito - "Praying For Mother / Earth Part 1"
20. Jun Fukamachi - "Breathing New Life"
21. Takashi Toyoda - "Snow"
22. Yellow Magic Orchestra - "Loom"
23. Takashi Kokubo - "A Dream Sails Out To Sea - Scene 3"
24. Masahiro Sugaya - "Umi No Sunatsubu"
25. Haruomi Hosono - "Original BGM"
* LP only