PACIFIC BREEZE 2: JAPANESE CITY POP AOR AND BOOGIE 1972-1986.

Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop AOR and Boogie 1972-1986.

Label: Light In The Attic Records.

Release Date: ‘15th’ of May 2020.

In May 2019, Seattle-based Light In The Attic Records released Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR and Boogie 1976-1986 to widespread critical acclaim. This lovingly curated compilation was what many music fans had been waiting for. 

Many of the tracks on the compilation were rarities that were impossible to find outside of Japan. Even many record dealers in America and Europe struggled to lay their hands on the these rarities. To buy the individual tracks on Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR and Boogie 1976-1986 would prove prohibitively expensive and mostly likely impossible to find.

That was unless you knew record dealers who specialised in the type of music Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR and Boogie 1976-1986. Even then you’ll need deep pockets as these are rarities that change hands for large sums of money. It would be an expensive exercise and in reality one that would be impossible to accomplish.

The only people who might be able to find the tracks on the compilation were record buyers who regularly travelled to Japan. They could spend their spare time searching record shops for the rarities on the compilation. They may strike it lucky and find a couple of the tracks on the compilation. It would be a long shot, and most likely prove a fruitless and frustrating search.

The disappointed and frustrated record collector will end up wishing they had saved themselves a lot of heartache and bought a copy of Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR and Boogie 1976-1986. They won’t make that mistake again, and will have preordered their copy of  Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop AOR and Boogie 1972-1986 which is out on Light In The Attic Records on the ‘15th’ May 2020 on CD and LP. Just like the first instalment in the series it features tracks from familiar faces as well as hidden gems and rarities.

There’s a total of sixteen tracks on Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop AOR and Boogie 1972-1986. This includes contributions from Bread and Butter, Eiichi Ohtaki, The Mystery Kindaichi Band, Anri, Tomoko Aran, Sadistics, Piper, Eri Ohno, Kyoko Furuya and Yuji Toriyama.

Bread and Butter released their debut album Moonlight  in 1972. Two years later, they released their third album Barbecue which saw the pop duo make a breakthrough. The album featured Pink Shadow, which is an irresistible slice of proto-city pop funk. It’s the perfect way to open Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop AOR and Boogie 1972-1986, and sets the bar high for the rest of the compilation.

Nowadays, Eiichi Ohtaki, who passed away on the ‘30th’ December 2013 is regarded as one of the most talented singer-songwriters of his generation. When he began recording his 1972 eponymous debut album he was still a member of the Japanese language rock band Happy End. They joined Eiichi Ohtaki in the studio and feature on many of the songs on his album. This includes the sultry, soulful and funky Yubikiri which was one of the album’s highlights. 

In 1970, Kimiko Kasai released her debut album Just Friends on London Records. By then, she was twenty-five and previously, had been the singer in several jazz bands. This she continued to do over the next few years, collaborating with Gil Evans, Cedar Walton and Oliver Nelson in 1974. Three years later, Kimiko Kasai released her album Tokyo Special which featured Vibration (Love Celebration). It’s a sensual sounding track where her band combine jazz and soul on what’s one of the highlights of the compilation. 

The Mystery Kindaichi Band was a studio band who recorded an album that was inspired by the Detective Kindaichi Kosuke book series. It was released in 1977 and featured Kindaichi Kosuke No Theme which combines seventies disco orchestras with funk, a breathy vocal and blistering, searing rocky guitar. This hidden gem is welcome addition to the compilation and a tantalising taste of The Mystery Kindaichi Band’s 1977 album. 

Anri was only seventeen, when she released her debut single So Long, in Los Angeles in 1982. Four years later, Anri released her fourth album Last Summer Whisper on For Life Records. It features the beautiful ballad Last Summer Whisper, which showcases a talented singer-songwriter whose enjoyed a long and successful career

When Tomoko Aran released her third album Fuyü-Kükan in 1983, it featured I’m In Love. It features a tender vocal delivered against an arrangement which combines eighties new wave, city pop and even a hint of funk.

In 1977, the Sadistics released their eponymous debut album on the Invitation label. One of the album’s highlights was the memorable hidden gem Tokyo Taste, which marries elements of fusion, experimental and pop.

After releasing their debut album I’m Not In Love in 1981, Piper returned in 1984 with their long-awaited sophomore album Summer Breeze. It featured Hot Sand, where Piper combine boogie, funk, city pop and rock to create a truly memorable track that has stood the test of time.

Rainy Saturday Coffee Break is track from Junko Ohashi and Minoya Central Station 1977 sophomore album. It’s a slick, soulful and jazz-tinged ballad with a hint of proto-boogie and rock in the carefully crafted genre-melting arrangement.

Closing Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop AOR and Boogie 1972-1986 is Yuji Toriyama’s Bay/Sky Provincetown 1977. It’s a quite beautiful, atmospheric and mesmeric track from their 1985 album Taste Of Paradise that combines electro and fusion.

Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop AOR and Boogie 1972-1986 picks up where the first instalment in the series left off and is another lovingly curated compilation  of quality music from Light In The Attic Records. Just like its predecessor, it’s there’s no filler on what’s a truly eclectic compilation. There’s elements of AOR, boogie, city pop, disco, electro, experimental music, jazz, funk, fusion, new wave, pop, rock and synth pop on the sixteen tracks on Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop AOR and Boogie 1972-1986. 

There’s many rarities and hidden gems on Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop AOR and Boogie 1972-1986 and after hearing  these tracks, you’ll want to hear more from the artists involved. Hopefully, we’ll hear more from these artists in the future, and Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop AOR and Boogie 1972-1986 is just the latest instalment in what will be a long-running series.

Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop AOR and Boogie 1972-1986.

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