Julian Cope’s JAPROCKSAMPLER top 50 albums. Author: RamonesIstKrieg. Julian Cope’s top 50 “Japrock” albums, from his totally rad book. Julian Cope, eccentric and visionary rock musician, follows the runaway underground success of his book “Krautrocksampler” with “Japrocksampler”, a cult. Michel Faber tunes in to Julian Cope’s Japrocksampler.
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Japanese Independent Music, issued in by Sonore a French publisher is out of print. A pop star in the s, he has spent the subsequent decades crusading against “greedhead” values and commercial compromise. All have become prized by Western record collector fiends this past decade, especially now the Kraut Kosmiche seam has been mined beyond exhaustion.
Review: Japrocksampler by Julian Cope | Books | The Guardian
By contrast, the music discussed in Japrocksampler has made almost no impact outside Japan, partly owing to the barrier of an undecodably alien writing system. Cope himself is not a Japanese speaker, but his omnivorous LPcollecting and his friendship with some of Japan’s current rockers xope him a credible candidate to write this book. A young Yoko Ono attempts suicide in frustration at being upstaged by her first husband Toshi.
For that matter, Julian Cope’s Krautrocksampler is out of print too. Music books Julian Cope reviews. His ultra-vivid and hilariously over-the-top descriptions of a legion of German post-psychedelic records suggested that this prolific musician he’s just released his umpteenth solo album, You Gotta Problem With Me might have missed his true vocation as a Lester Bangs-style advocate.
There’s also a brief addendum on must-to-avoid clunkers, Cope astutely noting how collectors gull themselves to feel better about having shelled out so much dough, starting an inflationary cycle whereby ‘deadly rare foreign albums often become classed as classics merely because no one outside an elite few has even heard [them]’.
In our megastore marketplace, the familiar is endlessly recycled, while blinkered journalists reshuffle the same Top lists ad nauseam.
Passionate, pithy, and portable, Krautrocksampler was wittily styled as a pocket-sized field guide along the lines of the Observer Book of Birds. Strangely, though, Cope doesn’t make much of the parallels between Krautrock and Japrock: The incident where sword-waving members of Japan’s Red Army Faction including the bass player of the Radical Music Black Gypsy Band hijack a plane “to Cuba”, eventually landing to a heroes’ welcome in North Korea, is retold as a wacky caper, but the complex griefs and tensions that led to such gestures cry out for deeper analysis.
Japrocksampler is a far more substantial work, for better and for worse. The Taj Mahal Travellers hit the road in their runeinscribed Volkswagen minibus, searching for windswept beaches where they can provide musical accompaniment to the waves at dawn.
Japrocksampler – Wikipedia
The way he tells it, his psychedelic renegades were central to the violent unrest that gripped Japan in the late s, whereas in fact most of the clashes were between riot police and an army of Dylanesque protest singers. He raves about the ‘fascinating and wildly eventful’ multi-generic pastiches created by theatre score composer JA Caesar mostly only released as cassettes sold at stalls in the theatresand the bizarre jazz-rock tangents spawned out of the Japroclsampler cast of Hair.
Behind its showbiz gossip and shamanistic mythmaking, we catch glimpses of another Japan, a Japan that eludes understanding. Japrocksampler aims to do the same thing for Japan, although the context could hardly be more diff erent. It’s a heavier book more than twice the page count of Krautrocksampler and heavier-going, too.
Julian Cope presents JAPROCKSAMPLER.COM
Or did he just develop a taste for research while working on his highly-regarded ‘stone circle’ histories The Modern Antiquarian and The Megalithic European?
Context-setting is just dandy, but was it really necessary to start with the arrival of US vessels on Japanese shores, thereby ending centuries of cultural isolationism?
Japrocksampler divides into two parts. Was Cope maybe piqued into overcompensation by that smatter of niggardly experts who complained that Krautrocksampler wasn’t comprehensive or authoritative enough? Krautrocksampler and Japrocksampler are decidedly different, however. T welve years ago Julian Cope published his celebrated celebration of s German cosmic rock.
Big in Japan
In the introduction, the word ‘study’ crops up repeatedly, including the assertion that a ‘detailed study jilian this book will have you rethinking your attitudes to music, art, time Alan Cummings, the most knowledgeable and bilingual British scholar of Japanese alternative music, writes articles for the Wire but has not yet written a stand-alone text.
Cope astutely notes that for the Japanese, the entertainment industry was “a mythical hinterland wherein almost any opposing ideas could meet head-on”, an environment where a singer could contribute to an avantgarde freakout while maintaining a parallel career crooning Perry Como ditties in a velvet tux.
The first, really a prequel to the book proper, deals with the s, with chapters examining Japanese experimental music a scene hugely impacted by musique concrete, with Yoko Ono and her erstwhile composer-hubby Toshi Ichiyanagi prominent among the cast of charactersthe ‘Eleki’ japrockzampler for Shadows-style twangy instrumental rock, and the ‘Group Sounds’ movement jlian Japbands modelled on the British beat boom.
Krautrocksampler sought to rekindle an interest in music that was once widely appreciated in Britain but which had fallen into jarpocksampler due to changing fashions and fickle journalism. At first, Cope’s trademark hipster hyperbole seems to have been tamed by the challenge of elucidating a subject so obscure to most readers.
Julian Copeself-styled “visionary rock musician and musicologist, hip archaeologist and one-time frontman of the Teardrop Explodes”, is one japrocksam;ler Britain’s more colourful fi gures. Less adventurous readers may simply enjoy the anecdotes about a host of chancers, mad idealists, Buddhist gangsters, Monkees clones “Are We Not Crazy Cats?
It quickly became a cult item and was widely credited for kick-starting the Nineties boom of interest in Krautrock something of an over-estimation, given that groups like Stereolab had long been citing Neu! As a music commentator, Cope is passionately opinionated, which is both his strength and his weakness.