December 5, 2012

Modcast #253: East Meets West with the Shibuya-kei Soul Sound

East meets west with Shibuya-kei taking center stage in the mod world this week. Shibuya-kei was a 1990s music movement that wasn't about Tokyo's ultra-trendy and fashionable Shibuya district as it was about a rather lucky gathering of Japanese musicians who mixed bossa nova, soul, funk, jazz, techno and synthpop into a retro-futrist sound that was redundant yet fresh.

Shibuya-kei's most prominent artists -- Flipper's Guitar, Pizzicato 5, Love Tamborines, Kahimi Karie, Fantastic Plastic Machine and others -- mixed together everything from sixties pop and motown, to acid jazz, krautrock, French ye-ye and twee. The result was something like if Sergio Mendes and Burt Bacharach had a Japanese love child.

So this week I'm exploring the soul and style of Shibuya-kei and also exploring a few of the scenes influences, as well as some of it's offspring and distant cousins.

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Karen Aoki --- The Paris Match (2010)
Love Tambourines -- Spend The Day Without You
Towa Tei Feat. Bebel Gilberto -- Batacuda (2001)
Pizzicato 5 -- Baby Portable Rock (1995)
Crazy Ken Band -- Bibimop
Fantastic Plastic Machine -- Bachelor Pad (1997)
Flipper's Guitar -- Young, Alive, In Love (1990)
Cloudberry Jam -- Cliches (1996)
The Style Council -- Long Hot Summer (1983)
Swing Out Sister -- Am I The Same Girl (1993)
Kahmi Karie -- Candyman (1998)
Melting Holidays -- Timebird
Instant Cytron -- Summer Wine
Karen Aoki -- Smooth Operator (2009)


Ty Ku Suave Tini
  • 2 parts Ty Ku Liqueur
  • 1 part citrus vodka
  • 1 part aloe juice
  • 1 part soda water
    Mix all ingredients together in shaker with ice, strain into pre-chilled cockail glass


  • Kahimi Karie - Elastic Girl


    Fantastic Plastic MAchine feat. Ms. Nomiya Maki - Dear Mr. Salesman


    Cornelius - Chapter 8 ~Seashore and Horizon~


    Flipper's Guitar - Blue Shinin' Quick Star


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    2 comments:

    Tracy Ball said...

    Thanks so much for putting this together. I hadn't made all the connections between the groups so this was a solid education. It also clears up why I had to pay through the nose for Swing Out Sister albums . . . from Japan. Know there's probably no chance but oh how I wish SOS would tour the States.

    H2 said...

    I love this Modcast!
    Thank you for enlightening me to Shibuya-kei.
    I've already acquired a few of your selections, including the live SOS, to add to my library.
    Cheers, Harper.