Looks like we've pretty much spoilt you once more judging by what's on display this week. As a matter of fact we've secured to have a chat with none other than the one who've provided us with our current Album of the Month : Kenny Larkin ! On the 12" front, distinguished Italian stable Schema Records drop a fine appetizer of their Break'N'Bossa series # 7 of the likes with a 2 track sampler being our Single of the Week. As for our editorial's concern, back from Japan is Nik Weston with the latest developments concerning this much productive scene. Meanwhile Erik 'Waxgroove' Rug makes his long awaited debut on our French version with his very first monthly selection.
JAPAN CORNER by NIK WESTON
Another belated Japanese column from (your) Nippon Nik... Apologies, my little geisha's and samurai warriors out there in music land for the late arrival of this piece, but I've been away in the land of the rising sun for 3 weeks and been playing ''catch'' up since my return.
The latest trip took in the delights of Kumamoto, Fukuoka,Yokohama & of course Tokyo and had me diggin' deep in the record racks looking for nuggets to delight the aural pleasures of the global Nu Jazz Massive and the like and managing to fit in DJ Gigs with Kentaro Takizawa, Soul Source, Shuya Okino, Kei Kobayashi, Asayake & DJ Mitsu the Beats and fit in a couple of radio shows in Fukuoka & on Tokyo's Shibuya FM all promoting the Club Brasil 12'' that Japanese distributor P Vine look after the label in Japan clubbrasil.com
On the new release front the Kyoto Jazz Massive 10th Anniversary 12''s and albums ''Re KJM'' & '' For KJM '' releases have been doing well.1400 copies over 3 separate 12'' singles sold out in 4 days in London whilst the CD's have notched up over 2 releases a respectable 14,000 units in less than a month or two. The next Especial release will be from Sleepwalker with a remix of a KJM track ''Eclipse'' flipped with a ''River of Love'' track featuring Bembe Segue on the B Side. Elsewhere there's a great new 12 from Tatsuo Sunaga with 'Versilliana Samba'. Killer jazz and trust me if you have an inkling for Nicola Conte & the like just buy this... it's fabulous ! It has a fine Five Corners Quintet mix on the flip but for me it's all about the A-Side. Airbus (who used to record on the Brasil Nights label) released a limited 12'' version of ''Corean Chick'' which is fairly decent. Soil & Pimp who delivered the mighty jazz floorfiller '' Pimpin'' EP are just about (mid feb) to put out another album (less than 5 months after the last one) & again there will be a limited edition 12'' to accompany it. Loop Session are (as far as I know is connected the to the famous Loop club in Tokyo ) a new outfit and before xmas they put out the ''Shadows of the Sun'' 12'' and this 12'' is a collaboration with Bluey from Incognito with mixes from Yukihiro Fukutomi. Speaking of which there are seperate Fukutomi 12'' singles out in UK (on Pantone Music) & File in Japan. Fukutomi at the end of 2004 released his Equality album with guest appearances from Rich Medina, Lady Alma, Ernesto & Victor Davies.The full album will come out on Pantone in spring 2005. The first UK single ''Hooked'' & ''Peace'' is out now. Recommended !!
DJ Mitsu The Beats has a little promo only 7'' at the moment with "M.o.o.d For Otis" plus instrumental and a few copies have found their way into London so check that out if you love your hipity hop jazzy. There will soon be two more DJ Mitsu the Beats remix releases (parts 5 & 6 ) out on Planet Groove Records. Mitsu is part of the Jazzy Sport crew & the label of the same name release a Japanese exclusive track ''Worrsse Way'' from Tableek (an artist from the Maspyke stable) and two Exclusive Sa Ra 12''s.The latest are blowing up globally and it's good to see those Jazzy Sport guys already at the forefront of this music force again. The mighty Calm after 4 seperate Key Free project singles (one a promo only) on his Music Conception label releases drops this time a double pack ''Sunshower'' EP. It's a glorious celebration of deep organic house and has Calm at his most accessible yet... Trust me people, you need this record ! Studio Apartment have recently done a deal with King Street and will shortly release ''Journey'' flipped by a Stevie Wonder cover of ''Isn't She Lovely'' with Kenny Bobien on vocals. I bumped into Toshio Matsuura (ex UFO) in a plush Tokyo hotel and he over a remix he's just done on ''Stiff Jazz'' from dZihan & Kamien .
DJ Grinch put out a cheeky latin bootleg with versions of 'Cubano Chart' & 'Nightingale' which has been picking up a little interest and there's a funky 7'' Rock Up on Vivid on a latin tip from Asayake...a producer who I met on this trip whose 5 seperate 45's are all worth picking up. James Brown soundalikes, or rather JB's soundalikes ! The Osaka Monorail put out 2x45's last month .They authentically re produce the JB's sound albeit with japanese shouts and grunts. Big with Shadow & Quantic they are tricky to find but rewarding if you like that kind of thing....
After successful tours from Break Reform, Will Quantic with Alice Russell and Hird, Mad Mats (Raw Fusion) & Dom Servini (Wah Wah) look set to tour Japan in Spring. Often you find the same names coming back to Japan to tour as presumably ''safe bets'' so its healthy and refreshing to hear that other guys are coming through to grace their music to these shores...
NIK WESTON JAPAN CHART
SUNAGA T - Versiliana Samba - (Flower)
DJ MITSU THE BEATS - M.O.OD for Otis - (Planet Groove promo only 45)
TABLEEK - Worrsse way - (Jazzy Sport)
CALM re presents KF - Sunshower - (Music Conception 2 x 12")
ASAYAKE - Rock Up - (Vivid 45)
YUKIHIRO FUKUTOMI -Equality - (File)
AIRBUS - Corean Chick - (12")
SA RA - V/A - (Jazzy Sport)
GAGLE -Native - (Language Boxing)
DJ GRINCH - Cubano Chant - (12")