PRINT December 2014


Shintaro Sakamoto

Eric Cooke and Myron Glasper from Myron & E. Photo: William Perls.

1 MYRON & E WITH THE SOUL INVESTIGATORS, GOING IN CIRCLES (Timmion) I love Myron & E’s “Broadway” and “Everyday Love” seven-inch vinyls from 2013, so I was excited to follow their other recent projects. But when I first heard this record, I thought it was a reissue because of its vintage sound. I was surprised to discover that it was actually their latest release, from this year. The restrained quality of the two vocalists is right up my alley.

2 NED DOHENY, SEPARATE OCEANS (Numero Group) I like listening to demo versions of songs I’ve loved for a long time. When I found out that Numero Group—one of my favorite labels—was putting out Doheny’s unreleased demos along with cuts of songs from previous albums that I’d never heard, I was thrilled. They’re amazing. Because the songs have yet to be finished, they sound vividly fresh and raw. When I saw a photo inside the package of Doheny sitting on a rock and getting hit by a big wave, I felt like he might be a little insane.

3 DOT WIGGIN BAND, READY! GET! GO! (Alternative Tentacles) I am impressed by how the Shaggs still sound like the Shaggs—even though the sound of this famous band of sisters has changed over the past forty years and it’s now named after the only sibling still in the group, Dot Wiggin. The last song, a cover of Skeeter Davis’s “End of the World,” actually sounds like the end of the world. It’s brilliant.

4 OSCAR YOUNG BAND, DAMP CIRCUITS: THE GOLDEN ERA OF SYNTHESIZERS IN EAST ASIA, VOL. 1 (Sham Palace) This seven-inch is a reissue of obscure recordings made in 1976 by Oscar Young, a synth/instrumental musician in Hong Kong. When I listen to its strange combination of mood music, disco, and funk, my knees give out and my head starts to spin.

5 DISCOGNOSIS, DISCOGNOSIS (AVI) I often buy reissues of old disco records, but this reissue of an album released by Lavrin Rinder & W. Michael Lewis in 1977 really stands out. The song “Step By Step” is fantastic.

Keiji Haino performing at ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn, NY, September 26, 2014. Photo: Bradley Buehring.

6 JACQUELINE HUMBERT & DAVID ROSENBOOM, DAYTIME VIEWING (Unseen Worlds) Another reissue I love, this one of a record that the artists released themselves in 1983 on their in-house label Chez Hum-Boom. I have a soft spot for music like this, featuring female vocalists, and made by electronic or experimental musicians who take a more pop approach.

7 EIKO ISHIBASHI, CAR AND FREEZER (Drag City) Jim O’Rourke produced this double-CD package, with songs on one disc (Freezer) sung in English and those on the other (Car) in Japanese. Like Daytime Viewing, it shows a pop approach from an artist who usually makes improvisational music. It’s beautiful in a simple way, but listening carefully, you can hear how intricate it is.

8 SEIICHI YAMAMOTO, FALSETTO (P-Vine) Yamamato has many musical styles, some of them decidedly avant-garde, but on this solo album he focuses on more straightforward songs. His vocals are hauntingly delicate.

9 KEIJI HAINO, EXPERIMENTAL MIXTURE/IN THE WORLD (Youth) Haino intends all three discs of this experimental DJ mix to be played at the same time, and when you follow his instructions, a sort of order emerges from the chaos. This set is like a crystallization of Haino’s love of music.

10 YO LA TENGO (EX Theater Roppongi, Tokyo, May 9) Yo La Tengo is one of a handful of ideal bands. Seeing them play makes me happy and motivates me—their passion for music is easy to feel at their shows.

Shintaro Sakamoto is a composer, producer, writer, and singer based in Tokyo. This year, he released his second solo album, Let’s Dance Raw (Zelone/Other Music).