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.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Tokyo Ensemble Lab -- Lady Ocean

Yes, indeed, welcome to summer! It wasn't too hot here, though...just around 23 degrees for a high today but there are 89 more days to go in the season.

Considering it is the first day of summer, I couldn't have found a better song to start things off, and again, it was all thanks to the usual browsing around YouTube. Just saw this video on the right that was recommended with the name Tokyo Ensemble Lab, and since I've had great success with Tomita Lab(富田ラボ), I decided to give it a try.

Well, lightning did strike twice. Tokyo Ensemble Lab's lone single "Lady Ocean" is fabulous fusion. It was released in June 1988 and was performed by this group of musicians led by trumpeter Shin Kazuhara(数原晋). I can't pinpoint specifics since I'm no musicologist but this is the one 80s summer instrumental that just represents the times. It's just so bright and brassy and summery, and probably reflects all those Bubble good times in Japan by the beach. The video could almost be the opening credits for a detective show in Hawaii like "Magnum P.I." or "Hawaii Five-0". And as the actual credits say at the end, Toshiki Kadomatsu(角松敏生), one summery guy himself, handled the music and arrangements. As one fellow put it as a comment, Vaporwave enthusiasts probably swooned.

Tokyo Ensemble Lab had their time in the sun between 1988 and 1992. Along with their single, there were two albums "Breath From The Season" (1988) and "Sidewinder" (1992) of which the former included "Lady Ocean". Incidentally, one of the saxophone players is Makoto Hirahara(平原まこと)who is the father of singer-songwriter Ayaka Hirahara(平原綾香).

May be going shopping again pretty soon.

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