compiled by Nicholas D. Kent
email: ndkent "at" optonline.net
Last updated 05.12.6
(@) these are the items I've listened to but don't own
(*) means I don't own this release and haven't listened to it
My friend Rodney
Alan Greenblat owns most of these albums. I suggested he get a
few (like all), which he did and he thinks they are loads of fun, as do I.
Informational thanks to Ben List , Terry Green and Frederic Guyader (noted as FG)
Denki Groove are Takkyu Ishino and Pierre Taki and
Yoshinori Sunahara left in 1999
Denki Groove are a highly successful techno act. They a far less strictly techno than the average act that gets pegged as "techno". Pierre Taki raps on tracks and the music is full of dub, rock, disco and pop material, not merely in a throw in some samples and loops in the mix attitude. Almost the opposite. I'd consider much of music almost like some other genre with techno elements. Ishino seems to be in charge on most releases. He shared the helm for a while with Sunahara and his lighter and more eccentric stylings but he has since departed.
Their first album. Indie release. Sunahara had not joined yet. Lineup is Tack Q Ishino, Pierre Taki, MMO Wakaohji, Nobuo A Takahashi. Includes earlier versions of pieces on the next few albums. A rock cover of YMO's Cosmic Surfin' the first of at least 3 of this song they've done over the years.
(*) 91.02.01 Sony: ESDB 3186
FG writes: This is the first real collaboration between Tack-Q, Pierre and CMJK (from the Cutemen). First track is an extended version of Rythm red Beat black remixed by Tetsuya Komuro himself. He's the T of TMNetwork. Now a multi-multi-millionaire, producer of all the major eurobeat teenage artists of the nineties (Namie Amuro, Tomomi Kahala, etc.). Second track is entirely reworked by Denki Groove. Nice mix, in fact.
1- Rythm red Beat black version 2.0 by TMNetwork
2- Rythm red Beat black version 300000000000 by Denki Groove
First major label album. Credited to TackQ Ishino, Pierre Taki, CMJK. They seem to be using British engineers. Considered a classic, though I like the next one a bit more. Still it is great listening. CMJK has quite a few fine credits of his own but departs after this one.
More accomplished than the prior one. My favorite. Has a groovy cover version of YMO's Cosmic Surfin'. Probably the most Technopop (compared to Techno) of all their albums.
All star family vs family snake battle has extremely cute vocals from one of the Go-Bangs.
more dub style than the other albums.
1- Snakefinger (album version)
2- Snakefinger (Omoshiroi kao mix = Funny face mix)
3- Snakefinger (Progreggae mix)
extra info: FG
carefully produced remixes by the band and various artists. holds together quite well and keeps a good pace. Sort of twists around the material on Flash Papa rather than just extends the grooves and changes the beats as most dance tracks do. Cafe de Oni shows up in an orchestral version, real amusing.
A drum and bass cover of Kingsley's Popcorn. Most tracks have retro/disco elements and drum and bass style sounds. This is the smoothest of their albums. The production is state of the art.
A compilation from Drill King Records. Great packaging and material. Has a wicked parody of Kraftwerk's Tour de France and also one of the most (probably intentionally) unlistenable tracks I've ever struggled through. ...And then there is the awsome Hardfloor techno meets enka style remix
FG writes:--> Most tracks make fun of old japanese pop bands. But track 2 is a REAL cover. The original track (Transistor radio, same name) is by a very famous japanese rock'n'roll band named RC Succession. Maybe you haven't heard of the band, but you might know it's mythical lead singer and guitarist, Kiyoshiro Imawano. He did a little single with Ryuichi Sakamoto called Kurenai/Rouge magic and co-wrote, co-produced and co-sang the Nippon no hito HIS album with Hosono in 1991.Track 6, the unlistenable track, is probably a sort of tribute to the Residents, one of Pierre Taki's favorite bands.
nick adds: Well the outfits could be the Residents style, though
Urban Dance had that look. Neither are anywhere near as irritably industrial
to listen to!
FG : Would you believe it ? The band's name, credited for track 7 means the group of people who like to smell farts !! I remember seeing an article in a magazine, for the release of this album, with pictures of Pierre dressed in a white tuxedo with fake moustaches, a strange machine strapped around his waist, with tubes going up to his nose !
(@) 93.8.1 Sony-Ki/oon promo CD3 KSD2 1042
The cover (which is taped to a printed but blank covered promo cd3 case) shows Denki Groove in disguise, all wearing the same facial hair, obviously a trying to impersonate someone Rolf Harris looking but who's identity unfamiliar to me. 3 mixes, very funny vocals and kazoos. A version also on Drill King Anthology
Got no idea what its about but its cool and funny. one of the alternate mixes prominantly features kazoo melodies. FG and I differ on the spelling of the band name in Roman letters.
1- Transistor radio
2- Transistor radio (Touched by the hands of Shimon'z mix)
3- Transistor radio (original karaoke)
Dragon94.12.1 Ki/oon Sony cd: KSC2 94
Real smooth techno. Has a real long version of their epic Niji. I'd say this is their best take on techno, though a fairly smooth and lush version of techno.
(*) 94.11.10 cd single
FG writes:--> Another great remix here of Cafe de Oni (=Devil's
cofee) : a sort of jungle, drum and bass hard-edge stuff. Really great. The
rest is good too. Unlike the album version, Popo has a fast tempo here.
1- Popo (radio edit)
2- Cafe de Oni (crater nikibi kao mix = pimple crater face mix)
3- Mujina II
(*)94.12.10 cd single
FG writes: Just like Popo, this single is a great buy ! Three
new mixes (unreleased elsewhere) of good songs. Disco union is from the Vitamin
1- Kame life (single mix)
2- Noi noi noi (remix)
3- Disco union '95
NIJI95.4.21 Ki/oon Sony cdS: KSD2 1083
Has female vocals in addition to presumably Taki. VERY cool. VERY memorable.
NIJI -THE MFS TWILIGHT REMIXES
(*) MFS/MFS 7098-3 (GER)
01.Niji(Go=Ten Forward remix)
FG writes: -->Niji was released in Germany with different versions under a totally different packaging (regular crystal single case), with a different cover, in two parts. Later on, these new remixes were re-released in Japan. These two singles were known as the MFS remixes. So, the three tracks that are on the original japanese single are unreleased elsewhere.
A boxed set with 2 Solo CDs (Dove Loves Dub, Crossover) which are available separate, an exclusiveCD3, a solo VHS tape (Mechano) and a talking toy.
Dove Lubs Dub(@) 95.8.2 Ki/oon Sony cd: KSC2 124 (early #?), KSC2-129
Aggressive grooves and dub beats. Deep, though sometimes repetitious. Dream Baby Dream, a cover I presume of Suicide is superb. Memorable cover art by Otomo (Akira). Also exists as a vinyl EP.
Crossover(@) 95.8.2 Ki/oon Sony cd: KSC2 125 (early #?), KSC2-130
1997 release on Bungalo Records (Germany with overseas dist)
Loops and collaged sounds, sort of jazzy lounge/exotica. Not all that memorable but a good listen. Opens with some Forry Ackerman narration off a record. Sandii guests on Clouds Across the Moon,, she is somewhat swamped by the thick music. While the engineering is okay, it's not up to the superb standards of the DG releases IMHO. MFRFM exists as a 12"
Animated 29 minute tape of 3 videos. Plastic Gun Man 3D character animation, which is a parody of Westerns and Anime. World Mechano Triangle which seems to be a Sun Electric remix, I've seen the main part of it on MTV's AMP. Finally a Japanese titled anime video which is violent and seeming satirical.
the bonus Denki Groove CD3 included in Parking (titles in Japanese as translated by TS)
(@)Sony-Ki/oon KSC2 127
FG writes: --> Great single! Unfortunately, none of these versions were released elsewhere. All is hard-edge drum'n'bass and jungle. The version of Noi noi noi that is found here was used on japanese TV to promote one of their tours. Note that this song's spelling changed later to Neu neu neu (german for new new new).
I perfer their earlier work. Their melodies are not as strong as they were earlier. Great CD design (it's using a technique I think is called thermoprinting whith a raised plasticy ink like on greeting cards). Also exists as a vinyl EP.
(*) 96.5.22 Ki/oon Sony cdsingle: KSD2 1132
They are going still further in a direction less interesting to me. While identifiable as Denki Groove, their beats are getting like everyone else internationally and arrangements more mainstream.
Shangri-La(@) 97.3.21 Sony-Ki/oon CD3 KSD2 1141
this single has vocals and a big disco feel with a string section
(*) Sony 667540.2 (EU release)
cdS: KSD2 1175
FG: Track 2 is by Ed "Upton DMX, from Rephlex and Breakin' Records labels. Ed is a great musician and producer. He's also a big fan of YMO and the japanese techno-pop scene. His remix is nice. Not as wild as i had expected.
(*) 97.12.01 Ki/oon Sony
1. Pocket cowboy (single edit)
2. Pocket cowboy (DMX Krew remix)
3. Pocket cowboy (karaoke)
4. Pocket cowboy (acapella)
(*) 12" SYUM-0066
A-Recycled98.3.1 Sony-Ki/oon cd: KSC2 202, 2LP: SYUM-45
remix of A by Thomas Schumacher, The Pulsinger/Tunakan Showoff, DMX Krew, Rummy Run, London Funk Allstars, Mijk Van Dijk, Quadra, DJ Missjah, Jimi Tenor, Doctor Rockit's Bubble Trouble, DJ You DJ Me (from Sukia).
somewhat more interesting than the original
(*) Sony 492895.2 (EU)
European 2CD release combining the album an remix disc.
|RECYCLED A side
01.WICKED JUMPER/THOMAS SCHUMACHER REMIX
02.VOLCANIC DRUMBEATS/PATRIC PULSINGER & ERDEN TUNAKAN REMIX
03.POCKET COWBOY/DMX KREW REMIX
04.NEVER/DUMMY RUN REMIX
05.PARACHUTE/LONDON FUNK ALLSTARS REMIX
06.GARIGARI KUN/MIJK VAN DIJK REMIX
07.CATY SUMMER/KORSAKOV REMIX
08.ASUNARO SUNSHINE/CAPTAIN FUNK REMIX
09.SHANGRI-LA/JIMI TENOR REMIX
10.SMOKY BUBBLES/SENSORAMA REMIX
11.LOOP ZOMBIES/SUKIA REIMIX
00.2.2 Ki/oon KSC2 324, 498084.2 (Asia), 498330.2 (EU)Well this one contains a record's worth of really great tracks, but the second half of the full 70+ minute CD gets monotonous with less substantial music and more comedy. They are definitely exploring vocal sounds in a techno context here. On the more interesting earlier part it strikes me that many of their sounds are much more innovative than the standard techno/d&b/big beat going on these days. I hadn't heard many sounds like they were doing just then.
|01.denki groove jigoku
02. eine kleine melodie
03. Nothing's Gonna Change
04. flashback disco
05. roukyoku inbeder
06. chicken sea
07. the homerun tiger in a bush
08. themes from the invader
09. suppe suppe inbe inbe
10. flashback J-pop countdown
12. jumbo tanishi
13. TKO tekno queen
14. TXL tekno queen
16. Hello! Mr. monkey magic orchestra
99.7.1 Ki/oon KSC2 294
A 3 song CD5, the first major post-Sunahara release I think. Continues the sort of disco meets 90s dance remix sound with trademark DG sounds interlaced.
The full lengh Niji remix is on the Wire 99 Compilation . It's not an improvement on an already excellent track IMHO. More stripped down and less laid back.
Nothing's gonna change
(*) 99.12.01 Ki/oon KSC2 311
FG: Another CD5 released three months later. More disco-techno fusion.
NK: a high end computer animated music video was made for this which got lots of airplay. The female vocals aren't common for Denki Groove, but when they happen the track tends to be more memorable
1- Nothing's gonna change
|12" 669366.2 (EU)
|(*) 01.7.23 CD5 669366.5 (EU)
01.Nothing's Gonna Change (Lexy & K-Paul Remix Edit)
02.Nothing's Gonna Change (short)
03.Nothing's Gonna Change (Lexy & K-Paul Remix)
04.Nothing's Gonna Change (original)
05.Nothing's Gonna Change (POPSODA remix 1)
|(*) 01.7.23 12" 69366.6 (EU re-issue)
A-1.Nothing's Gonna Change (Lexy & K-Paul Remix)
B-1.Nothing's Gonna Change (original)
B-2.Nothing's Gonna Change (POPSODA remix 1)
01.07.25 Ki/oon KSC2 394-5
info from FG: This first DG compilation was released to celebrate their first ten years in the business. It was originally issued as a double CD, in a vertical booklike case exactly the size of two CDs in height. The graphics of this release are gorgeous. It contains a full color, big size 32 pages booklet attached to the cardboard case. With full discography, videography, biography (in japanese only) and more crazy impostures of Pierre and Ishino dressed up as hippies, techno-pop idol singers, rock singers, etc. You can still find this version in second hand stores, but not that many were made (i think 5000 in all). Now, the only version available in store is the single CD version.
Of course, as you can expect from Denki Groove, this is not a mere compilation. Pierre and Ishino chose a few tracks they liked (most are recent) and asked some friends to rework on them. Exactly what they had done before with the Flash Papa Menthol album. But somehow, i find more density in this album. Every track sticks with the others quite nicely. You don't have the feeling that it's a remix album
nick adds: import stores tend to have them still floating around even in 2003 when I got mine at Tower Records' World Music Store, NYC, probably because of the relatively high selling price)
CD 1 (now the regular release)
1- Drill king anthology 2000 (by DG + DJ Takasa)
2- Ganso Rikiishi (reprogrammed by Yoshinori Sunahara)
3- Cafe de oni (mixed by CMJK)
4- Garigari kun (remixed by Cornelius)
5- B.B.E. (re-thought by DG + Kagami)
6- Edison-den (remixed by DJ Takasa)
7- 21st. century mo motetakute (re-thought by DG)
8- Eine kleine melody (remixed by Overrocket)
9- Scorpion 2001 (by Takkyu Ishino + Takashi Watanabe)
10- N.O. (re-thought by DG)
11- Neu neu neu (remade by Shigekazu Aida)
|CD 2 (bonus disk / only in the initial special edition)
1- Nothing's gonna change (Lexy and K-Paul remix)
2- Shinkansen (tab eater mix)
3- Dinosaur tank
4- Asunaro sunshine (Takkyu Ishino re-construction)
5- Dareda ! (Kagami's remix)
6- N.O. (performed by Polysics)
7- Technopolis (Denki's electropolis remix)
8- Motetakute (Amahisa capella)
Note that the first 5 tracks of this bonus CD were originally exclusively made for a limited vinyl release. They have never been released on CD format (apart from this bonus CD). All these mixes are long and made for discotheques. Track 3, Dinosaur tank, from the Dragon EP, was a huge success on Japanese dancefloors. The original vinyl is now as rare as it is expensive.
(*) KSC2 351, 499564.2 (Asia) 502141.2 (EU)
Seems to be a live album
01.Hello! Mr. monkey magic orchestra
SINGLES and STRIKES
(*) 04.3.24 KSCL-672-3
Double CD compilation of singles
Here, I guess, Denki Groove choose their favorite tracks (that Sony owns for the most part) and play Godzilla samples courtesy of Toho between tracks. A real nutty vintage selection by each member: Rocky's Theme, Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force's "Pranet Rock", Herbie Hancock, Melon, Picky Picnic (a kiddy-sonding record), The pre-YMO version of "Cosmic Surfin", Sakamoto's "Summer Nerves" etc.
Also check out Ishino's producer work with techno idol Tomoe
Shinohara. Highly reccomended
(@) 99.7.1 Loopa~Ki/oon~Sony KSC2 290
This seems to be some sort of German techno festival Ishino organized. The tracks represent the artists involved. These are all sudio tracks. A good representation of what Ishino is into these days. Some of the tracks just kind of sit there but in general the quality level is higher than average.
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