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Akiko Yano Vinyl, CD & Tape 5 Items

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Akiko Yano - Iroha Ni Konpeitou
Akiko Yano
Iroha Ni Konpeitou
LP | 1977 | EU | Reissue (wewantsounds)
24,99 €*
Release:1977 / EU – Reissue
Genre:Rock / Indie
Wewantsounds continues its Akiko Yano reissue programme with the release of "Iroha Ni Konpeitou," another superb Akiko Yano album and one of her funkiest, highlighting her unmissable singing and songwriting talents. Recorded in Tokyo and New York City, the album features a superb line up of the best musicians from both cities and sees Yano mixing Japanese pop with funk and a touch of electronics, playing a wide array of keyboards programmed by YMO synth wizard Hideki Matsutake. This is the first time the album is released outside of Japan and this deluxe LP edition includes remastered sound, download card plus the original 4-page insert with poster, lyrics and full line-up.
"Iroha Ni Konpeitou" is perhaps Akiko Yano's best known album in the Western world not just because of its striking front cover - a shot by famed photographer Bishin Jumonji featuring Akiko holding an inflatable dolphin (legend has it all the props and clothes were borrowed from the set of an Issey Miyake ad), but because the album is one of Akiko's funkiest ones. A slick mix of Japanese Pop and New York funk, the album was recorded in Tokyo except for the "Iroha Ni Konpeitou" title track which was recorded in NYC with an all-star line-up consisting of Rick Marotta, David Spinozza, Will Lee and Nicky Marrero.

For the rest of the album, Akiko is accompanied by some of the best musicians from the Tokyo music scene gravitating around the groups Happy End and Tin Pan Alley: the ubiquitous Haruomi Hosono on bass, Tatsuo Hayashi on drums, Shigeru Suzuki on guitar to name just a few. Interestingly two Hosono compositions are featured on the album, "Ai Ai Gasa" which he recorded on his 1973 landmark debut "Hosono House" and "Hourou" originally recorded in 75 by singer and musician Chu Kosaka (on the eponymous album “Horo”).

Last but not least Hideki Matsutake is handling the keyboard programming duties on the album as Yano is playing a wide array of keyboards: Moog IIIc, Mini Moog, String Ensemble, on top of the Fender Rhodes, Clavinet, Yamaha CP7C. Matsutake would soon become programmer in chief for YMO, touring and playing with them around the world (like Yano herself). Although the album feels very accessible and funky, there are complex keyboard layers underneath as on the first short introduction 'KAWAJI', a short electro fantasy, or on such tracks as "Ai Ai Gasa" and “Kino Wa Mou" on which Akiko is playing bass with her Moog, making the album a richly textured and inventive one once you scratch its surface. The tracks on the album flow effortlessly also highlighting Akiko Yano's superb songwriting and knack for creating fascinating pop song.

"Iroha Ni Konpeitou" sounds as fresh and beautiful as when it first came out more than forty years ago and will please the growing circle of Akiko Yano fans around the world as a welcome addition to her brilliant discography.
Akiko Yano - Gohan Ga Dekitayo
Akiko Yano
Gohan Ga Dekitayo
2LP | 2020 | EU | Original (Wewantsounds)
33,99 €*
Release:2020 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
When "Gohan Ga Dekitayo" came out in 1980, Akiko Yano had been touring with Yellow Magic Orchestra for more than a year. She'd play keyboards alongside the three founding members, Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi, plus guitarist Kenji Omura and Synth wizard programmer Hideki Matsutake (as part of the 1980 North American tour, she'd also feature in the group's cult TV appearance on Soul Train for a memorable rendition of "Tighten Up") and they are all present on "Gohan Ga Dekitayo."
The double LP, whose title could be translated by "Dinner is ready," was co-produced with Ryuichi Sakamoto and recorded at two legendary studios: Tokyo's Alfa Studio "A" and Los Angeles' Sound City. It was Akiko's first shift towards a fuller synth sound following four studio albums mixing Pop and Jazz Funk, including her landmark debut from 1976, "Japanese Girl". A shift that would continue with the release of "Tadaima" in 1981, also featuring the YMO musicians.
?The fourteen tracks featured on "Gohan Ga Dekitayo" find Akiko in top form mixing her singer-songwriter's sensitivity with the electro-pop sound of YMO. It's interesting to note though that it is very much an Akiko Yano album even if the group is present on the album (interestingly they do also play analog instruments on the album). Akiko is clearly the one in charge with a string of beautiful compositions and the rendition of one of the group's classics, "Tong Poo" which she reinvents as a slower, less metronomic-paced song adding her own lyrics.
?Other highlights on the album include "Dogs Awaiting..." an hypnotic composition featuring fascinating electro arrangements or "Coloured Water" sung in English by Akiko accompanying herself on Fender Rhodes with subtle percussion by Tatsuo Hayashi and electronics by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
There are many more great moments on this superb album which announces the further experiments of "Tadaima". "Gohan Ga Dekitayo" is an album that urgently needs to be (re)discovered by her growing international fanbase and Wewantsounds is happy to reissue it worldwide for its 40th anniversary.
Akiko Yano - Tadaima
Akiko Yano
Tadaima
LP | 1981 | EU | Reissue (wewantsounds)
23,99 €*
Release:1981 / EU – Reissue
Genre:Pop
Following the success of Hiroshi Sato’s reissue, Wewantsounds is proud to announce an ambitious programme to release Akiko Yano's albums outside of Japan starting with her 1981 synth-pop masterpiece 'Tadaima.', co-produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto and featuring YMO. The reissue includes original artwork by cult illustrator King Terry, a 2-page insert and OBI Strip (LP) plus a new introduction by renowned Electro DJ Joakim.
Japan's best kept secret, Akiko Yano is one of the most ground-breaking artists to come out of the 70s Japanese music scene along with Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto. A piano child prodigy, Yano started her solo recording career in 1976 at just 21, recording her debut album "Japanese Girl" with no less than Little Feat as the backing band. This album created a stir on the Japanese scene and Yano was on the map. She went on to record a series of superb albums mixing Funk, Electro and City Pop featuring the cream of Japanese (and sometimes American and English) musicians; The fact she was producing, writing and composing herself made her a true maverick in a very male-dominated industry. These albums, incredibly, have never been released outside of Japan to this day.
"Tadaima." ("I'm home" in Japanese) recorded in 1981 is Yano's fith studio album co-produced by her then husband Ryuichi Sakamoto and featuring all the musicians from YMO (Haruomi Hosono, Yukihiro Takahashi and Sakamoto), the group she was touring with at the time. "Tadaima." is Yano's first attempt to leave the acoustic piano aside and delve into the synth sounds of the early 80s. The result is a fascinating electro pop masterpiece showcasing her talent as a writer, musician and singer, creating her own unique universe.
Mixing Japanese and English lyrics, Yano crafts perfect pop songs such as"Tadaima" "I Sing", "Harusaki Kobeni" (which became one of her most famous songs after its use in a Japanese cosmetics ad), while "Taiyo No Onara" is a suite composed of nine short stories written by Children.
Contributors on Tadaima also include Shigesato Itoi, one of Japan's most famous copywriters (for Studio Ghibli among others) who wrote two tracks on the album and his friend legendary illustrator Teruhiko Yumura - aka King Terry - who revolutionised underground manga in the 70s with his 'heta-uma' (bad-good) style, as showcased on the album's striking artwork.
“Tadaima.” is the perfect entry point to Akiko Yano’s unique body or work!
Akiko Yano - Gohan Ga Dekitayo
Akiko Yano
Gohan Ga Dekitayo
CD | 2020 | EU | Original (Wewantsounds)
16,99 €*
Release:2020 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Preorder 28.02.2020
When "Gohan Ga Dekitayo" came out in 1980, Akiko Yano had been touring with Yellow Magic Orchestra for more than a year. She'd play keyboards alongside the three founding members, Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi, plus guitarist Kenji Omura and Synth wizard programmer Hideki Matsutake (as part of the 1980 North American tour, she'd also feature in the group's cult TV appearance on Soul Train for a memorable rendition of "Tighten Up") and they are all present on "Gohan Ga Dekitayo."
The double LP, whose title could be translated by "Dinner is ready," was co-produced with Ryuichi Sakamoto and recorded at two legendary studios: Tokyo's Alfa Studio "A" and Los Angeles' Sound City. It was Akiko's first shift towards a fuller synth sound following four studio albums mixing Pop and Jazz Funk, including her landmark debut from 1976, "Japanese Girl". A shift that would continue with the release of "Tadaima" in 1981, also featuring the YMO musicians.
?The fourteen tracks featured on "Gohan Ga Dekitayo" find Akiko in top form mixing her singer-songwriter's sensitivity with the electro-pop sound of YMO. It's interesting to note though that it is very much an Akiko Yano album even if the group is present on the album (interestingly they do also play analog instruments on the album). Akiko is clearly the one in charge with a string of beautiful compositions and the rendition of one of the group's classics, "Tong Poo" which she reinvents as a slower, less metronomic-paced song adding her own lyrics.
?Other highlights on the album include "Dogs Awaiting..." an hypnotic composition featuring fascinating electro arrangements or "Coloured Water" sung in English by Akiko accompanying herself on Fender Rhodes with subtle percussion by Tatsuo Hayashi and electronics by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
There are many more great moments on this superb album which announces the further experiments of "Tadaima". "Gohan Ga Dekitayo" is an album that urgently needs to be (re)discovered by her growing international fanbase and Wewantsounds is happy to reissue it worldwide for its 40th anniversary.
Akiko Yano - Japanese Girl
Akiko Yano
Japanese Girl
LP | 1976 | EU | Reissue (wewantsounds)
25,99 €*
Release:1976 / EU – Reissue
Genre:Organic Grooves
Wewantsounds is pursuing its ambitious Akiko Yano reissue program with the release of "Japanese Girl", her landmark debut album from 1976. Backed by Little Feat with Lowell George and by the cream of Japanese musicians (including Haruomi Hosono), Japanese Girl is one of the most important Japanese albums of the 70s, mixing pop, rock, Japanese folk together with Little Feat's superb classic sound. This is the very first time the album is released internationally. The deluxe LP edition includes remastered sound, tip-on LP sleeve, download card plus the original 4-page insert with lyrics and full line-up!
When Akiko Suzuki left her home town of Aomori for Tokyo in the early 70s aged just 15 to become a professional musician, she quickly started making waves on the local music scene performing at the jazz club Rob Roy. In 1973 she released a 7" with the group Zariba and caught the attention of A&R man Koki Miura. She then recorded one song, "Oinaru Shiino-ki" with Haruomi Hosono on bass and drummer Tatsuo Hayashi (who features on many Hosono albums and also Hiroshi Sato's 1979 album Orient) with a full album in mind.

After a marriage with musician/producer Makoto Yano and the birth of her son (named Fuuta), Yano and her team resumed the recording of the album and decided to pitch Little Feat for a collaboration as she loved the group. Against all odds they said yes and Yano left Tokyo for Los Angeles in March 1976 to record a full side with them. The legend has it they found it so difficult to keep up with Yano's compositions they returned some of their fee. The Session was nevertheless stunning and Lowell George even compared Yano to Stevie Wonder. The Little Feat blend of New Orleans groove matched Yano's melodies perfectly, as witnessed on "Funamachi-Uta Part 2." Originally a traditional song from The Nebuta Festival in her hometown of Aomori (part I on side 2 gives a good idea of what the original form sounds like), the Little Feat version is a formidable slow-funk workout not dissimilar to their classic, "Spanish Moon", serving Yano's beautiful vocals and sense of groove to perfection. The whole side is a match made in heaven, showcasing the classic Little Feat line up at their funkiest with Yano's unique Japanese twist.

The Japanese side on the album gives a great snapshot of the Tokyo music scene of the 70s with many musicians gravitating around Haruomi Hosono (and present on his 1973 classic album 'Hosono House' including sound engineer Kinji Yoshino) and also several musicians from Japanese band, The Moonriders.

Recorded at the legendary Onkyo Haus studio in Tokyo, the sessions mix singer-songwriter sensitivity and pop with traditional Japanese sounds and instruments like the shinobue transverse flute, the koto string instrument or the Tsuzumi hand drum as played on "Hekoriputaa" by the legendary percussionist Kisaku Katada who was appointed Living National Treasure by the Japanese state in 1999; together they create a beautiful east-meets-west mix masterfully driven by Yano's creativity and unique talent.

A breathtaking debut album that made Akiko Yano one of the most important artists to emerge from the 70s, Japanese Girl has since become a milestone in Japanese music with a recent documentary on NHK TV telling the whole story behind this classic. Wewantsounds is now proud to present this essential album to the rest of the world.
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