mixtape: house mix – tim blann
︎Mixtape, Music, Japanese   
︎ Tim Blann

“Domestic new age from the musical wilderness of the late 1980s. Having already found a career exploring urbanising rural areas, dystopian cityscapes and psychedelic exoticism, 1984 saw musician and producer Haruomi Hosono perform what would be a conceptually ambitious land grab for the centre of Japan's commercial output.” 

His country's emerging status as a postmodern commercial superpower became the subject of his next project, and with it a new mode of creative production he dubbed Globule. Introduced in a manifesto published alongside the multimedia release The Making of Non-Standard Music, Hosono presented a vision of a flattened cultural landscape in which commercial BGM was indistinguishable from a kind of radically ambiguous ambient music. By the end of the decade and half a dozen Globule inspired releases later, high 80s pop sheen had given way to something closer resembling Hosono’s flattened cultural landscape. Advancements in synthesiser voicing technology had given electronic sounds a more nuanced emotional palette and the emergence of the consumer grade synth had changed the texture and scale of electronic music.


01. Haruomi Hosono – Hare no Hi
02. Motohiko Hamase – Symptom
03. Yutaka Hirose – Through the Window
04. Gontiti – Another Mood
05. Interior – Timeless
06. Real Fish – Yoru no Tokki-mono
07. Yoshio Ojima – Corridor
08. Yoshio Ojima – Innocent Future
09. Satsuki Shibano – Dancin' on My Sofa
10. Ryuichi Sakamoto – Sakana Tsuri
11. Saeko Suzuki – Baobabu Hito
12. Hajime Tachibana – Piano Pillows Going Abstract
13. Toshifumi Hinata – Memories
14. Ken Muramatsu – A Brand New Sea
15. Mio Fou – Gohho no Itosugi

Sampling had entered the Japanese pop lexicon and a growing francophile leaning (later manifesting itself as the Shibuya-kei movement) gave producers a new mine of inspiration in Musique concrète and French Impressionism. The result was a sample heavy, textural new age music that seemed more concerned with earthly experience—electronic music on a domestic scale. While Hosono’s ambitious vision of a reconfigured consumer culture may not have been fully realised, its effects are evident in a localised musical scene whose output reveals a mass culture in transition.