Check out my used Japanese CDs for sale @ TechnoPopShop.com
Check out the CDs I'm selling this week on Ebay
Nicholas D. Kent is available to interview, write or research.
e-mail me -- ndkent "at" optonline "dot" net
Streaming audio of my interview with Puffy AmiYumi
(Yes, yes, I know they aren't really synth music…
but who'd turn down a Puffy rendezvous!)
I'm Nicholas D. Kent. I'm a part time film composer who uses synths and electronic sounds. I'm based in New York. I've been collecting synthesizer music albums by Japanese artists since around 1982. I started this site in 1995 when I first discovered the web and also discovered that at the time there was very little info on many artists I liked. Things are much better now but still, reasonably complete info in English on many of these artists is rare
What am I trying to do? (What can you do?)
My main goal is to describe Japanese albums with a lot of synth sounds. This often winds up being a bit like a review and in that respect I'm biased by the kind of music I like. I'm attempting to keep the emphasis on a description of the music on each album, something I wasn't seeing on plain discographies or reviews with adgendas. Also, I know I've always wondered what certain often expensive and hard to get albums sounded like and judging from e-mails I've received many people also wonder themselves. And then after you find an album you like, sooner or later you naturally want to know if there are others like it.
While a straight discography with track listings and times is fascinating for all the already dedicated collectors of a specific artist, a discography is pretty dry reading and near meaningless if you are unfamiliar with the artist. (Well here's a list of 30 albums. So now which ones should I make an effort to get??)
I've included any albums I know exist but haven't listened to. They marked with a (*). This allows my pages to function as a discography. Also I don't own every :-) album, so some that belonged to friends that I've listened to have a (@) to point out that here is an album that I know about and have listened to but don't have in my collection.
I list non-synth albums by artists well known for their use of synths because it helps figure out what kind of music is on an album. On the other hand, as we all know there are piles of albums that have some synths and samplers on them, so I'm kind of intentionally ignoring many perhaps good artists that simply don't have a synth-based sound.
I'm not really nuts about collecting all the different pressings or formats with the same music. So I'm concentrating on listing releases with actual differences (like extra tracks) and try to determine if certain albums are released outside Japan ("Overseas") or if its still in print (sometimes real tough to figure out) Where to buy 'em??
Assume all albums are Japanese pressings unless I add a country name next to it. Since I bought these albums over many years I'm sure some are out of print and many more have had their catalog numbers changed. I try to give any other numbers I know and try to figure out if an LP had a CD reissue and which CDs are known to be out of print (which is kind of tough).
A confusing practice that many labels use is to print reissue dates on CD album reissues instead of being clear on the original date the album was released. Of course that makes it tough to put the albums in chronological order and confuses some people into thinking they are buying recent works when they see a current date. I use the original release date on the albums even if they were later reissued. I've tried to list albums in chronological order. I usually try to list "best of albums" around when the newest piece contained was recorded even if it came out later, but there are cases when "best ofs" get tough to place, so I just list them where they came out if they cover a broader part of an artists career.
Come on! Type something up on a specific Japanese album, send me the cat# if you have it. Describe what its like (not just "this is great") and I'll post it with your credit as contributing the listing.
No one has contributed anything inappropriate yet, but I can think of stuff that's outside the range of this site. I'm looking for stuff that really features synths not just has a couple in the mix.
If you catch some errors or omissions you think belong on the pages, please type them out and I'll try to edit them in. You'll get a "thanks" with your name posted (unless you don't want that). Some of this info I'm certain came from the YMO mailing list or at times another web page. If I missed crediting info that I obviously obtained from you, please let me know and I'll credit it. (or even remove that info it if you wish).
A lot of people write me saying "You should check out Band XYZ and include them on your site", while I sure don't know every band and am happy to hear about someone good, I'd say the odds are 50/50 that I'm familiar with their work at least a bit and that they aren't on my site because, hey I can't spend all my free time writing. My collection actually is larger than what I've had time to write about.
So what I'd really love is if you write about some cool synth act you know a bit about and send that in. No one sends me much lately. They are either keeping it for some future website they might build or even if I ask nicely, they don't e-mail me more info than "I really liked album XYZ". Please, you don't have to be an expert, all I'm after is info on the kind of music on a particular CD (or even DVD). I'm just not after public relations blurbs or a generic "this rocks" or "that's cool".
I'd be happy to talk to anyone who collects this kind of material. Al
A lot of people read these pages so contributing stuff backs helps everyone.
Review CDs are always cool. >> hint hint <<
e-mail: ndkent "at" optonline.net
These images from mid-1990s Sony techno/club mix album covers were all painted by the late great S. Komatsuzaki who was the king of plastic model kit box art in the 60s and 70s and had an illustration career that spanned from the 1940s through these album covers from the 90s.