Sunday, July 30, 2006

Audio Active (from the outer space)

So I wanted some Audio Active tracks beyond what I've got on the Pay It All Back comps and the Slash & Mix CD. I was at Tower anyways to pickup a magazine so I go down to the 4th floor and look throught the Reggae section. No dice. Over to "club music". Bupkus. Try the touch screen info kiosk. After battling the interface wich was about 2cm off in terms of registering any touch, no info as to where to find anything. Ask a clerk... he cant understand me whether I pronounce it right or in katakana. He thinks I want ABBA, RUN DMC or sports music. Write down "audio active" on a slip of paper. "OHHHH. Its in the JPOP section, 2nd floor".

For the first time in my life I go to the JPOP floor. Cant figure out how things are organized, its not particularly by "alphabetical order", so once again ask a clerk. Get pointed to the club music section and low and behold, 4 CDs. Of course the anti theft cases and the "obi" manage to obscure the tracklists on all of em except Slash & Mix so I couldnt tell which one might or might not have the songs I wanted. No sale.

Come home and check iTMS-J. One album, none of the songs I want.

Time to flip a coin to see if I check Amazon or say screwit.

Footnote: Someone recently cleared something up for me. The Massa in Audio Active is not "Mighty Massa". Mighty Massa came from a japanese ska band whose name I did not catch.

Monday, July 24, 2006

new Kodama and the Dub Station CD

"More" CD with bonus DVD now out. 13 tracks, but 3 are new versions, (Fiolina, Jenka, Kiyev No Sora). Only one dud on first listen. Not heavy dub but a good CD. The version of "What A Wonderful World" is fast like the Joey Ramone version but with a ska/reggae skank to it. Rico Rodruigez blows guest on the title track as well.

The bonus DVD has some live footage as well as some in the studio/interview material. Heres the link

I'm still damn glad that Kodama is back to stage and studio.

record shops

Lemme say the obvious, we have alot of reggae record shops in Tokyo and lots of other places to find reggae records.

A few weeks ago I found an old JA 7" on the Black Ark label of Mikey Dread's "Dread at the Control"
. Beat to hell and the shop clerk had the balls to blow his cigarette smoke on it while it was spinning, but I wanted it anyways. Thats in Shibuya, cant remember the name of the store but its in the same building as Jammers. From that window you can see at least four other places to get the latest and oldest JA 7s, 10s and 12s.

Place in Koenji where the shop clerks think they are better than all who dare enter sell lots of JA repress and plenty of UK dancehall as well. Picked an odd LP of Roots Radics mixed by Scientist "Roy Cousins Presents Kings & Queens of Dub" but not credited as a Scientist record. Some boring tracks but some good Radics riddims too.

West Shinjuku has at least two good places.

Shimokitazawa has a few places as well, but no names leap from my mind right now.

Lotsa Earl Sixteen 10s around town right now since he was here a while back. Plenty Jammyland vinyl all over town.

See the thing is though, most of these places have a very elitist attitude. They will stock a shit JA 7 over the hardest plate from a local or often a UK and you pretty much never see any EU plates. "だめだよ!われはJAだけだろ!” Commerce rules supreme in most places and many clerks can rattle off the names of 50 sides of the same riddim but have no ears to hear a one.

Sound like bitching on my part? Just reporting the facts as I see em. I could care less how they look down their noses at me, I can still get some good chunes. Anyways, we got good record stores here.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

DMX does theater

This last sunday I went to a Japanese surrealist play "Hitsuji no Shippo" which was scored by Dub Master X. I cant say anything nice about it so I wont say nothin at all. The only good point was I got to briefly meet DMX and act like a fanboy.

test tone

I said something before about Scientist giving us the test tone "dub beep". I might be wrong. I found a track credited to King Tubby "A Heavy Dub" which I think uses the test tone. Now theres a few things about this which make me uncertain: the famous Tubbys mixer was a self built 8 channel unit and in the pictures I've seen, there is no test tone button, maybe this was done later since the track wasnt dated; the other thing being is that it could have been a Scientist mix while he was working for Tubbys. No date on the track so hard to know. I cant find a reference as to when Scientist started working under his own name so I have no way to check this. If anyone knows please comment.