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This Week's Free Lab Radio - Rare and Experimental Japanese 80s Pop

Words / Mix JEN MONROE + BRIAN SWEENY

The diversity of Japanese pop in the 1980s is astounding. Something magic happened; whether it was the sudden glut of Western culture after Japan’s strict isolation, the economic boom, the sudden availability of synthesizers, or a Japanese proclivity towards razor-sharp musicianship, the ’80s were a singular time for Japanese music. At the heart of the explosion was one of the most influential electronic music acts of all time, Yellow Magic Orchestra. Their music is usually described as technopop, but Yukihiro Takahashi, Haruomi Hosono, and Ryuichi Sakamoto were all deft genre-benders, both as a group and as solo artists. They experimented with folk, funk, house, electro, disco, hard techno, new wave, exotica, surf pop, and Indian synth ragas. Unsurprisingly, the three left their fingerprints on all the best music that was made in Japan at the time. In assembling this mix, we found that almost everything we loved was one degree removed from YMO, be it through their production, songwriting, an instrumental cameo, a collaboration, or their imprint, ¥EN Records.

This is a mix of Japanese pop songs, most of them with a synth funk backbone. The most exciting aspect of this era of music, though, is how unafraid these musicians were to push the limits of genre: They loved Van Dyke Parks, Kraftwerk and Martin Denny, but they were never confined by any one sound, nor were they afraid to poke fun at western constructs of the “oriental” or Japanese fascinations with Western cultural novelties.

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Track two of this mix, Miharu Koshi’s “L’amour…Aruiwa Kuro No Irony” (yes, a tri-lingual song title) is built around a funk bass line, but sitting on top is a looping sample of a woman panting, rattling synth textures, layers of Koshi’s airy vocals, and a sample of what might be an Indian electric banjo. Colored Music’s “Heartbeat” sounds like a cassette that got melted in the sun, with a faraway pirate chant and agitated house beat shredded in half by an almost unlistenable piano meltdown. Minako Yoshida’s “Tornado” is a showcase of achingly clever songwriting and wicked funk musicianship wrapped in a delicate marimba gauze. Sandii’s “Zoot Kook” is a warped, lush, slo-mo rollerskate disco track. Elsewhere, we hear traditional Japanese drumming, jungly synth washes, oil-slicked city-pop, an orchestra, and new wave guitar, often stacked together in skewed ways with a sly sense of humor.

We hope that the recent resurgence of interest in this era will continue, and that more reissues will push these artists to become household names outside of Japan. The candy-coated appeal of these songs can’t deflect from their progressive (and often deeply subversive) nature, and their importance in the global musical dialogue.
 

TRACKLISTING:
Chiemi Manabe – Untotooku
Miharu Koshi – L’amour…Ariuwa Kuro No Irony
Hiroshi Satoh – Say Goodbye
Colored Music – Heartbeat
Minako Yoshida – Tornado
Ryuichi Sakamoto – Kacha Kucha Nee
Mariah – Shinzo No Tobira
Yukihiro Takahashi – Drip Dry Eyes
Sandii – Zoot Kook
Haruomi Hosono – Ohenro-San
Osamu Shoji – Jinkou Station Ceres
Neo-Plant – Kisagari Koharu
Inoyama Land – Wässer
Aragon – Horridula
Asami Kado – Kagami No Naka No Zyugatsu
Tamao Koike & Haruomi Hosono – Automne Dans Un Miroir
Hiroyuki Namba – Hiru No Yume


First printed in Listen To This! is a Brooklyn music blog centered on resuscitating rare Japanese and New Age records.  

Broadcasts Times: 

On air on 104.4FM across London, online and on digital.



Saturdays 11-midnight UK time, (2-3am GST Gulf Standard Time)

Repeats Tuesday 4am UK time (7am GST)
LISTEN ONLINE HERE



On digital across Brighton and online: 

The following Friday 19:30-20:30 UK time (10:30-11.30pm GST) on Resonance Extra



Podcasts: 

Visit www.mixcloud.com/Fari 
Check last weeks show from Indian electronica producer Annirudh Menon.

This Week's Free Lab Radio Show - Guest Mix from Aniruddh Menon


Tonight at 11pm British Summer Time (2am Gulf Standard Time) this week's eclectic Free Lab Radio mix comes from Aniruddh Menon in Bangalore, India. 

An emerging producer and musician with just one solo EP release, Another Summer, the next is Lovesongs, an LP releasing soon on Consolidate

Menon also performs as a duo in Machli and we have played out his unique sounds previously on both on Resonance104.4fm in London, UK and DubaiEye103.8fm, UAE. 

Broadcasts Times: 
On air on 104.4FM across London, online and on digital.

Saturdays 11-midnight UK time, (2-3am GST Gulf Standard Time)
Repeats Tuesday 4am UK time (7am GST)

LISTEN ONLINE HERE

On digital across Brighton and online: 
The following Friday 19:30-20:30 UK time (10:30-11.30pm GST) on Resonance Extra

Podcasts: 
Visit www.mixcloud.com/Fari 
Check last weeks show!


This Week's Free Lab Radio - Disquiet, Afternoon Music for Day or Night

 Afternoon Music for Day or Night

This week founder of Disquiet Marc Weidenbaum brings us a special mix for Free Lab Radio. This seasoned selector and music reviewer put thought into this mix, as he is familiar with the Resonance104.4FM audience and has unfathomable archives, created by himself, at his disposal.

"This is mix of afternoon music that can be listened to at any time of the day — the work played here, 21 tracks in all by 13 artists, is generally ambient and electronic in nature, and yet it’s fairly rhythmic at the same time, some of the tracks more explicitly so than others. There are fractal algorithms from Erika Nesse, and refrigerator drones by Nystada. There’s elegantly layered sameness by Marcus Fischer and fourth-world blues by Yasuo Akai. Several of the recordings heard here are drawn from the music community called the Disquiet Junto, which I’ve moderated since 2012. The hour starts off with some brief dank techno miniatures by Vladimir Conch. Conch’s pieces are so brief, between 23 and 38 seconds each, that I’ve chosen to repeat a few of them, turning the five short original tracks into a suite of nine that begins where it ends."

dɪsˈkwʌɪət/
noun
noun: disquiet; plural noun: disquiets
  1. 1.
    a feeling of worry or unease.

    "public disquiet about animal testing"

    synonyms:unease, uneasiness, worry, anxiety, anxiousness, distress, concern; More
    nervousness, agitation, restlessness, fretfulness, jitteriness;

    "there has been grave disquiet about the state of the prisons"
    antonyms:calm
verb
verb: disquiet; 3rd person present: disquiets; past tense: disquieted; past participle: disquieted; gerund or present participle: disquieting
1.
make (someone) worried or uneasy.

"she felt disquieted at the lack of interest the girl had shown"

synonyms:perturb, agitate, upset, disturb, unnerve, unsettle, discompose, disconcert, ruffle, startle; More


Broadcasts Times: 
On air on 104.4FM across London, online and on digital.

Saturdays 11-midnight UK time, (2-3am GST Gulf Standard Time)
Repeats Tuesday 4am UK time (7am GST)

On digital across Brighton and online:
The following Friday 19:30-20:30 UK time (10:30-11.30pm GST) on Resonance Extra

Podcasts: 
Visit www.mixcloud.com/Fari

New #FreeLabRadio Podcast - Cheh, Beirut

A bespoke mix for Free Lab Radio by Cheh with tracks by Overshift, Ahmet Mecnun, Ahmet Mecnun, Aney F, Exander, Luis Mora, Giacomo De Falco and Hassio (col), Luca Lento and Nukem. Chech favours Techno and some of its derivatives.


 Abdalla Chahine a DJ and producer from Beirut, recently returned to Beirut's music scene after time in Abu Dhabi. He cites his influences as Richie Hawtin, Kruder and Dorfmeister and Trentmoller, Ricardo Villalobos and Steve Lawler amongst others. Cheh performs at Minimal Effort alongside other breakthrough DJs. In 2011, he released on the Lebanese label, VL Records.

Broadcast Times:

On 104.4FM + digital radio across London:
Saturdays 11-midnight UK time (3am GST)
Repeats Tuesdays 4am UK time (8am GST)

Online as above:
http://radioplayer.resonancefm.com/co...

Also on digital in Brighton, and online on Resonance Extra, Fridays 19:30-20:30 UK time
http://radioplayerhosting.com/station...

www.mixcloud.com/Fari

New Free Lab Radio Podcast - 'Electro Congo' on ResonanceFM

This week to mark an important new release, we feature contemporary Congolese dance music on Electro Congo, a Free Lab Radio special.

Selected electro-Congolese tracks alongside derivatives of Congolese drum 'n bass and other forms of apt-sounding electronica, pepper an almost album-length listen to a new release by legendary Grammy award winning band Konono formed 1966, Kinshasa, DRC.

"Konono No1 Meet Batida" released this April 2016. For the album Konono who use instruments made with found objects, worked with acclaimed Angolan/ Portuguese artist Batida, in Batida’s garage-cum-studio in Lisbon, reflecting the city’s vibrant, cosmopolitan music life. Also featured this week are derivatives of Congolese drum 'n bass and other forms of apt-sounding electronica.

Konono No1 and Batida in Lisbon
Tracks by Konono No.1 and Batida, DRC Music, Anchorsong (the new release on Tru Thoughts), Manu Delago, Petrona Martinez, Ba-Benzélé and Miriam Makeba.

Broadcasts on air, on digital and online:
Sat 11:00 - midnight on Resonance104.4FM in London
Repeats Tues  04:00-05:00am GMT

Free Lab Radio also broadcasts on digital radio in Brighton, Fridays 19:30-20:30 GMT on Resonance Extra, ResonanceFM's offshoot station, on digital and online in Brighton, UK

Find our podcasts on http://www.mixcloud.com/fari

This Week's Free Lab Radio -Mississippi Prison Songs Reimagined

Mississippi State Penitentiary
30 ARTISTS REIMAGINE THE SOUNDS OF PRISON LIFE IN THE 1940S

The Prison Songs Project invited 30 artists such as Laurence Colbert, a member of the band Ride, and Karhide a post-rock circles musician to rework the original folksongs recorded and written in the Mississippi State Penitentiary in the 1940s. The results are both subtle and dramatic.

The project examines the lives of the prisoners of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in the late 1940s, by reimagining the work songs recorded and sung there in the 40s and 50s.

The Mississippi State Penitentiary founded in 1901, is the oldest prison in the USA and was and is known by its inmates as “Parchman Farm”. As well as a prison, thanks to Alan Lomax’s pioneering work, the prison is also an important location in the history of field recording as a practice and folk music as a culture.
Mississippi State Penitentiary

From ‘Eighteen Hammers’ to ‘No More My Lawd’, the songs are a moving portrait of prison life, and defiant statements of hope and unity in the face of appalling conditions. The project is one part of a global field recording and sound art project called Cities and Memory, which aims to present and remix the sounds of the world through a global sound map. Each location on the map has two sounds: a documentary field recording and a reworking of that sound. 

Since its launch in 2014 the Cities and Memory project has had nearly 300,000 listens, records both the current reality of a place, alongside its imagined, alternative counterpart, a processing or an interpretation that imagines that place and time as somewhere else, somewhere new - "a remixing the world, one sound at at time".  More than 240 field recordists and sound artists from as far afield as Calcutta, Los Angeles and Cape Town have taken part, providing field recordings and radical reimaginings of global sounds.
Mississippi State Penitentiary
Playlist:
Weigh Five Hundred - Anthony Lyons   
Barney Spigel - Prettiest Train (Spigelsound version)   
18,000 Hammers - Cities and Memory   
Fernando Ramalho - You Better Stay Off Ol' Parchman Farm   
If The Rest Was Dead (Whoa Buck) - Jeff Dungfelder
Whoa Fuck - Laurence Colbert       
No More My Lawd (I Am With You) - Walker Wooding   
No More My Lawd (Alex Hehir version)- Alex Hehir   
Old Alabama (Karhide version) - Karhide   
Old Alabama (Ian Haygreen version) - Ian Haygreen   
Penitentiary Blues - Andy Lyon       
RMM - Solo1
The Wrong Side of the Tracks (My Baby Got to Go)- Nick St. George   
Trapped in the Void (No Way Home)- Mark Taylor  
  

Broadcasts Times: 
On air on 104.4FM across London, online and on digital.

Saturdays 11-midnight UK time, (2-3am GST Gulf Standard Time)
Repeats Tuesday 4am UK time (7am GST)

On digital across Brighton and online:
The following Friday 19:30-20:30 UK time (10:30-11.30pm GST) on Resonance Extra

Podcasts: 



New Podcast - Kairo is Koming

 A Free Lab Radio takeover by producer Ismael from Cairo, Egypt of his own and other tracks mostly made in Cairo.  Ismael, an electronic musician from Cairo, Egypt is part of the arts collective Kairo Is Koming (KIK).

For this ambient, electronic radio show, Ismael recorded a mix featuring works from his two EPs Odd On Out, and PreData, with works buy artists from Cairo and the region. Long and rolling, sometimes distorted sounds, with Arabic and Maghrebi tones over ambient industrial and sometimes domestic noise is what you can expect from Ismael. 


The set was made in March 2016, Egypt.

Broadcasts Saturdays 11-midnight GMT, (3-4am GST).
Repeats Tuesday 4am GMT, 8am GST.


Visit www.mixcloud.com/Fari
for Free Lab Radio podcasts.


Also broadcasting on Fridays 19:30-20:30 GMT on ResonanceFM's sister station Resonance Extra, which broadcasts on digital and online only in Brighton, UK.

Track listings below:



1. Intro
2. MSYLMA - العين بالعين
3. Ismael - Same day, backwards.
4. Ismael - III
5. ZULI - 150825Bv2(9.5)
6. Nur - live @ Noizmachin (exceprt)
7. Bosaina - Tokyo 6 LIVE Version
8. ZULI - 150329Bv3
9. MSYLMA - ظل تحت شجرة الزقوم
10. Ismael - Detour (A)
11. ZULI - 150428Cv2(9.5)
12. Ismael - IV
13. transition I
14. Ismael - prdt (2)
15. Nur - Beyond Visuals: An audible exploration of Divine Representations in Islam (excerpt)
16. Ismael - untitled
17. transition II
18. Ismael - untitled
19. transition III
20. Ismael - untitled