compiled by Nicholas D. Kent
email: ndkent "at" optonline.net
Last updated 03.09.6
(*) means I don't own this album
(*) means I've listened to this album but don't own it
1984 Victor lp: JMI-28002, cass: JMC-10002, cd: VDP-79, Pan East (Uk) lp: NEWLP101, cass:NEWMC101, cd: NEWCD101
Part of the Music Interior series. Similar in format to Sakamoto's Coda. Mostly solo piano with a touch of singing. She seems to play keyboards for guitarist Kazumi Watanabe at one point and also backed YMO on stage. Peaceful.
1985 Domo lp: KA8508
Watanabe produces and plays. First rate pop album which reminds me of Martha and the Muffins but is very original too. Great range of styles. I almost didn't buy it when I saw it. (I thought it was by just some young starlet) I'm very glad I did. My favorite album of her's so far.
(@)1986 Polydor cd:H33P20103
More sophisticated original pop. Fun cover of Land of a Thousand dances. All other tracks are written or co-written by her. A point of reference would be Sakamoto in the mid 80s.
(@) 1987 Polydor cd: H33P20164
On this album she does 3 Jobim tunes, some easy listening and a couple of original tracks in a smooth sophisticated acoustic orchestration. I have a problem with this album since many of the melodies have been overplayed by other artists to the point of cliche. I.H. takes it serious and shows finesse but does not transend the material. Maybe if she would have treated the material more eccentrically I would have enjoyed it even more.
1988 Polydor cd: H33P20280
More sort of classy pop with originals and covers like the Motown hit "Money". Contrary to the music I.H. looks quite angry in the album photos. Quirky - yes, as eccentric as I'd like it - no.
1992 Polydor cd: POCH-1230
Seems to be recorded in 1990. Contains 3 new tracks and 2 remixes. The rest is "best of" material. Doesn't really form an album. Just a bunch of tracks. Perhaps a good survey of her work if you haven't heard anything.
1994 Aeolus cd: APCD-S001
a sort of fluid classy approach to mostly bossa nova classics.
Recently she scored thr popular anime series RahXephon
1990 Midi cd: MDCT-99003 (reissue#)
This seems to be the first album. A 5 Song mini album. Self produced. A regular kind of funk rock sound, none of the electronics heard on the later albums.
1991.4.21 Midi cd: MDC8-1148
A 4 women act (2 of the 4 later became 2/3rds of Buffalo Daughter). Other english language sources usually described them as a funk act, but by this album, if I hear any one style more than others, its dub. Produced by Yann Tomita, it shows his influence and even some playing. Some of it is fooling around but there are some great and catchy numbers also a large number of raw synth sputters.
1991 Midi cd3: MDDS-54
3 track single from the above, one new 6 minute number.
1992 MIDI cd: MDC8-1175
This one is produced by Yasuharu Konishi (Pizzicato Five). Again very good in parts but some fairly loose and minimal jams.
(*)99.10.27 MIDI cd: MDCL-1358
Contains some unreleased tracks.
one of the original players on the technopop scene in the very late 70s. link to my page -
2001 rematter/lowres (US) REM001CD
They are a girl singing (Lena) and guy (Takeshi Ichikawa) on electronics duo who seemed to do a lot of shows with video projection in NYC a few years ago. I believe the name means 'sunflower' and I've never figured out if they are a couple, siblings or just collaborators. This is a very professionally made album on a detroit based label that is a sort of hybrid of Japanese pop and old techno, often the 8-bit game influenced variety, a couple touches of curent electronica styles too. The one thing that struck me is Lena's vocals are recorded totally clean and dry which isn't heard too often. I don't recall any reverb of fx on the singing, so it's different and not necessarily minus to get such a heavy dose of real Japanese girl singing with all the idiosyncratic english pronunciations, close and upfront.
91 Higher Octave Music (USA) HOMCD 7034
This album has bright and snappy distinctly oriental melodies. Prehaps a little too sequenced sounding. It brings to mind some of the fantasy video gaming music out of Japan. This album sounds ahead of the game sounds of the period it came out but certain bits sound like a sophisticated sound cards you hear in the later 90s. I've heard that in the early days Himekami was a multi-person band. By this point at least Yoshiaki Hoshi is the man behind the act. The booklet has a photo of him.
I've seen 3 US Himekami releases.
The group has a big catalog of releases. Very refined sequencing in the Kitaro mode, though original. Somewhat mechanical sounding but very rich and orchestrated too.
98.1.21 CD5: PCCA-01177
this one has a fantasy landscape drawing in pencils ink and watercolor as the cover and is a mini-album. Fairly fast tempo with ethnic style vocals. Neither the title nor Himekami is prominantly written in English characters on the cover
I've listened to another 1999 release. It reminds me of the better aspects
of Deep Forest in terms of elements.
here is a page in English with a full album listing.
Alfa lp: AR-L28069 cd: 32XA-58
Quiet jazz-like instrumentals. Sort of New Age in the better sense of the term.
1986 Alfa lp: ARL28077 cas: ALC-28069, cd: 32XA-59
I bought these on sale. These 3 albums sound similar and are from the same era.
1986 Alfa lp: ARL-28091
I'm not sure why they don't hold my attention, but they don't.
(*) 91.5 Shashin Ni Chu (ep: Toshiba EMI)
(*) 91.7 Com'on Summer (ep: Toshiba EMI)
(*) 94.5 Kaba No Otsumu - Soul of Hippomatus (Biosphere)
early releases I haven't heard
(*) 95 Biosphere/Kitty KTCR-1325
(*) 95 Biosphere KTCR-1572
(*) Body Meets Sing (single) cd3: KTDR 2133
(*) Kanashi Koto (single: KTDR 2162)
(*) Juryoku o nakushite (single: KTDR 2152)
(*) jyunsui muku no technician (ep: KTCR-1421)
(*) The Worst Days (cds: KTCR-1437, 12": KTJR-9047)
with Towa Tei.- this single was on on the Bungalow compilation Sushi 4004, a bit more uptempo than their typical albums
96 Kitty KTCR-1387
(*) 97 Kitty KTCR-1451
98 Nippon Columbia COCA-15175
This is an album of various light tropical styles played on synthsizers with miho's cooing voice. This one comes in an unusual but maybe crushable light cardboard box. The cover art leads one to expect this is high tech or scientific or something. Actually it has a good amount of orchestral instruments and is in the same style as prior albums with the mentioned light tropical beats. Certainly pleasant but nothing overly unusual or catchy. Nice in the background though.
(*) 99.3.20 kuchibue fuku no mou yameta (remix mini : COCP-50046) with F.P.M.
(@) 99 Contemp COCP-50122 U.S.released on TokyoPop
This seems to be the only pop album released by TokyoPop who seems to be most busy distributing anime videos in the U.S. these days. Towa Tei and F.P.M. are on here which make it a bit more uptempo and exciting than prior releases. It would have been nice if they would have released more quality pop like this... but while it might have been in anime shops who carry CDs I kept waiting for it to show up in quirky record shops and I never saw it. Guess I have to order it.
(*) jikken girl (cds: CODA-50121)
(*) JENNY IS BAD MOOD (7" single: R-0010529, cds: COCA-50242)
(*) SONAEYO TSUNENI (mini album: COCA-50333)
(*) 00 Contemp COCP-50352
features Jun Matsue (SPOOZYS)
-Body Meets Sing (KTCR-1325)3059Y
-Body Meets Sing Remix (KTCR-1572)$15
***cd single **
-Hi-Posi - Body meets Sing (KTDR 2133) 1020y
(*) 98 Ki/oon
decent techno. not that memorable.
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