Antal’s Top 10 records from Japan

For a label to reach “buy on sight'”, its output needs to be so consistent that consumers don’t think twice before parting with their money. The consistency comes as much in the calibre of music as it does in the aesthetic of the record and common sound running through the releases. It’s a much hard feat when your aesthetic and sound is so unpredictably varied, yet with Antal at the helm, this is exactly what Rush Hour has achieved.

Now 16 years to the good, the label reigns supreme as much for its new music as its re-issues. No corner of the world is out of reach as they set trends in what new artists we should be listening to and remind us about long-lost, under-appreciated veterans who’s light no longer shines as bright. One such character who falls into the latter category is Soichi Terada, the Japanese electronic composer whose music has filled millions of homes as part of the Ape Escape games, but who has also been running one of Japan’s most respected house labels for over two decades. This year Hunee compiled his favourite Terada tracks for Rush Hour’s Sounds From The Far East, pushing the Tokyo producer back into the limelight.

This weekend the ever-dependable Tief give the people what they want, welcoming Terada for a much-anticipated live set as part of a Rush Hour showcase in London. To celebrate all things Japanese, Antal has put together a playlist of his favourite records from the Land of the Rising Sun.

Eri Ohno – Skyfire

Picked this record up at a little, but very cool recordshop in Kobe, Japan called Hangesha. The guy has a real nice selection of stuff in his shop. This tune ‘Skyfire’ is one favorite disco tunes from Japan.

Mariah – 心臓の扉 (Shinzo No Tobira)

Recently got reissued by Palto Flats, although that edition is now also hard to get as well..

Ruriko Ohgami – Fuwari Fuwafuwa

House heads might know this groove from a Rick Wade tune, but here is the original version of a very sweet and funky midtempo soul tune that I dig a lot.Will get a reissue on 7″ soon!

Tatsuro Yamashita – Dancer

Tatsuro Yamashita has a bunch of tunes that are all wicked. Picked this up on my last trip when we played the Rainbow Disco Festival in May.

Sandii – Zoot Kook

Some weirdness that doesn’t really match the cover of the album. Great tune. Got this at a very good shop named Rare Groove Osaka.

Colored Music – Heartbeat

This one was reissued on a limited 7″ taken from the Shibuya Jazz Classic series. I picked it up on one of our first DJ trips to Japan, which must have been around 2002/2003.

Ryuichi Sakamoto – Riot In Lagos

One of the first thing I loved coming from Japan. I am also very much into the soundtrack of a film called Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, which features David Bowie and Sakamoto, while Takeshi Kitano is also starring the movie.

Ryo Kawasaki – Hawaiian Caravan

Very cool spacey electronic synth tune. I also really like his LP, Mirror Of My Mind, which holds the sweet rare groove tune, ‘Little One’.

EP-4 – dB

Another tune that was featured on the Shibuya Jazz Classics series that came out in the early 2000s. Amazing 80s funk new wave tune.

Terumasa Hino – Send Me Your Feelings

Just a lovely disco tune that was featured on the Master Cuts series Japan that got reissued at the end the 90s/early 00s. Classic Japanese rare groove.

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