Credits

I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Anri -- Windy Summer



I was writing about Miku Hatsune's(初音ミク)"City Pop" last night and made that reference to that small artistic movement called Vaporwave. Well, I wanted to get down another summer tune before July 2015 finishes up in a few hours, and then I thought about Anri's(杏里)6th album, "Timely!!" which is one of the classic Anri/Toshiki Kadomatsu(角松敏生)collaborations from the early 1980s.

Anri's big anime hit, "Cat's Eye" is the opening track but I also remember the 2nd track quite well, "Windy Summer". Having just had a bit of exposure to Vaporwave, I can probably tell fans of the genre that they can listen to this dynamic summery cone of musical ice cream to find out where the folks who came up with it got inspired. Basically, Kadomatsu can be considered to be one of the godfathers.

Indeed it was singer-songwriter Kadomatsu who came up with the music and lyrics for this example of the Resort Pop subset of City Pop. The horns, the backup singers and the Jake Concepcion sax solo weave that picture of a chaise lounge by the Pacific seashore next to the beach umbrella and table with the cocktail on top. I also enjoyed the way Anri stretches out the title in the refrain "Here we are! Windy Summmmmmmer" (although the liner notes have it transcribed as "Here we're Windy Summer!!").

The trio of Anri, Yumi Yoshimoto and Yasuharu Ogura made a great trio during the late 80s and early 90s with their brand of American-style R&B, but I also have quite the affection for the work of the Anri/Kadomatsu pair.



7 comments:

  1. Actually, this isn't quite vaporwave! This is called Future Funk, which was initially a subgenre of vaporwave, but has recently pushed itself out of that umbrella term. I'd say a good half of the producers take old japanese city pop songs and samples it with a more modern flare, making it more disco-house in a sense.

    Here's a few more examples of Future Funk if you're interested:

    Sample: Anri - Remember Summer Days
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idipMrfAZHk

    Sample: Mariya Takeuchi - Plastic Love
    https://soundcloud.com/nighttempo/plastic-love

    Sample: Anri - Goodbye Boogie Dance
    https://soundcloud.com/thoughts-7/goodbye

    Sample: Mariya Takeuchi's version of Miracle Love
    https://soundcloud.com/ceruleancerise/moonlight-miracles
    (shameless self-promotion, haha...)

    Vaporwave nowadays refers to drone-ish, stretched out, disembowled loops of slowed down city pop (or anything vintage-sounding, really). Like, this track made by a popular vaporwave artist (I think you might know what the sample is!)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKu316i8nV4

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    1. Hey, James.

      Thanks very much for the correction. To be honest, it's hard for me to get caught up on these various new genres and sub-genres. Can't even distinguish between old drum n' bass and house music.

      I'm a big fan of Mariya's "Plastic Love" so I'm definitely going to be listening to that soundcloud excerpt. So, how long has Future Funk been around now?

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    2. Well, not sure, I think the one of the earliest "labeled" example of Future Funk is "Better" by Skylar Spence (FKA Saint Pepsi).

      https://saintpepsi.bandcamp.com/album/better

      Saint Pepsi popularized the use of additional percussion & effects to create something less abstract and easier to digest compared to vaporwave. (There might be earlier examples, so I apologize if I'm wrong.)

      It's only ~2 years old, and I don't think I can say this without being pretentious, but there's 2 sects of Future Funk nowadays. One being a more western disco style using english samples and the other using asian (usually Japanese) city pop /synth pop songs with a lot more house influence. I'm totally generalizing the genre separation right now, but you can definitely hear the difference between Saint Pepsi and the examples I mentioned previously. :)

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  2. Just wanted to comment and say how I found your blog because of the Futurefunk scene, where I stumbled upon Anri - Remember Summer Days (Macross 82-99 Bootleg) and have been hooked ever since! I've been tracking down the samples and remixes and it's led me to your blog here, where there is so much information on fantastic Japanese music from the 80s on here. I really love Anri's album Timely!! I've only listened to a few other artists though, as the tagging on the files makes it hard to know where many of the samples come from, though Night Tempo usually posts the original artist that he's remixing. Through Futurefunk I've been turned on to tunes by Mari Ijima, Mariya Takeuchi, Babe, Anri, as well as many others who I'm sure I don't even know who the original artist is due to the sampling nature of the FutureFunk genre.

    Do you have any recommendations for other artists similar to Anri's output produced by Toshiki Kadomatsu? It's just so good. Reminds me a lot of the Level 42/Swing Out Sister/European pop and disco that I've been listening to for the last few years.

    Thanks again for this great website!

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    Replies
    1. Hello, Baloo and thanks very kindly for your comments. It's been a fun 4 years since I started "Kayo Kyoku Plus" up and have been able to talk about some great stuff and meet some good people because of it.

      As for other singers who have collaborated with Kadomatsu, I think the other big name has been Miho Nakayama in the late 80s, particularly with her "Catch The Nite" CD (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu5SrpFHyfs).

      Also, there are a couple of tracks on my favourite Akina Nakamori album "Bitter & Sweet" titled "Unsteady Love" and "So Long" which were created by Kadomatsu that you can take a look at (http://kayokyokuplus.blogspot.ca/2014/08/akina-nakamori-bitter-and-sweet-follow.html).

      And of course, there is the man himself. I especially like "Sea Line Rie" which I think actually got onto one of those Future Funk YouTube video mixes (forgot which one). Here is the link for that one: http://kayokyokuplus.blogspot.ca/2015/02/toshiki-kadomatsu-sea-line-rie.html

      Oh, I'm also a big fan of those folks you mentioned such as Level 42 and Swingout Sister. I also enjoy my ABC and Hall & Oates (took a look at your blog there):). Have you also come across any other J-singers in City Pop/Future Funk that you've enjoyed?

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    2. That Sea Line Rie track is great! Reminds me a lot of the Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour stuff that was going on in the 80s, very jazzy, upbeat stuff. I really liked what else was going on in that mixtape by Architecture in Tokyo as well, with Midas Touch and Kool and the Gang, those tunes to me are great ones, I've been listening to a lot of that 80s electro-funk kind of stuff.

      The Miho Nakayama track is definitely the speed that I'm looking for though, with the horns and the bassline, that is just a fantastic track. Thanks for linking me to it!

      One track in particular that I've found that I've really liked is Kanako Wada - Sunday Brunch. Such a funky little tune!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-akuHHopkKM

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    3. Yup, "Sea Line Rie" would probably be the one song that folks making Future Funk/Vaporwave refer to. And I think I've seen Lee Ritenour's name a lot on the liner notes for many a Japanese musician during that decade.

      My pleasure on "Catch The Nite". I'm a big fan of Kanako Wada as well and not just for her contributions to "Kimagure Orange Road". I've already written an article about "Sunday Brunch" as well: http://kayokyokuplus.blogspot.ca/2015/06/kanako-wada-sunday-brunch.html

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