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Hiroshi Yoshimura - Music For Nine Postcards HHV Exclusive Swirled Vinyl Edition
Hiroshi Yoshimura
Music For Nine Postcards HHV Exclusive Swirled Vinyl Edition
LP | 1982 | US | Reissue (Empire Of Signs)
34,99 €*
Release:1982 / US – Reissue
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Preorder available from 12.02.2021
Limited to 300 copies on blue, black, clear swirled vinyl. Only at HHV. Only one per customer.

Despite his status as a key figure in the history of Japanese ambient music, Hiroshi Yoshimura remains tragically under-known outside of his home country. Empire of Signs – a new imprint co-helmed by Maxwell August Croy, Spencer Doran and distributed by Light In The Attic – is proud to reissue Yoshimura’s debut Music for Nine Post Cards for the first time outside Japan in collaboration with Hiroshi’s widow Yoko Yoshimura, with more reissues of Hiroshi’s works to follow in the future.
Hiroshi Yoshimura - Music For Nine Postcards
Hiroshi Yoshimura
Music For Nine Postcards
LP | 1982 | US | Reissue (Empire Of Signs)
27,99 €*
Release:1982 / US – Reissue
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Preorder available from 29.01.2021
Only one copy per customer!
The late Hiroshi Yoshimura, a pioneer of Japanese ambient music. Yoshimura was involved in a wide range of fields, such as sound design for public installations, graphic design, visual poetry, free improvised performance (using his own body) and inventing his own instruments, right up until he passed away in 2003.
The seven songson this album were created for a fashion exibition held at a warehouse in the Tokyo bay area. He released it on cassete tape on Japanese label ‘Fukusei Gijutsu Kohboh” ran by Yoshio Ojima who produced the album.
Referring to the Loft: "As the time goes by, the Loft that was swept away ( forgotten) from the City but it somewhat has a look of a " City of Ruins" that reminds you of something you have forgotten. Something nostalgic. Sounds from the City and the vast landscape gave me a great opportunity to take a fresh look at Tokyo." says Yoshimura.
Referring To the Pier: His look towards Tokyo bay takes on the shape of sonic particles....tickling down gently while tinged with change. A landscape of Seven Sounds.
This is the first-ever vinyl release, 34 years after it's recording. The sleeve image is the same as on the original cassette release.
Hiroshi Yoshimura - Music For Nine Postcards Clear Vinyl Edition
Hiroshi Yoshimura
Music For Nine Postcards Clear Vinyl Edition
LP | 1982 | US | Reissue (Empire Of Signs)
35,99 €*
Release:1982 / US – Reissue
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Preorder available from 05.02.2021
Despite his status as a key figure in the history of Japanese ambient music, Hiroshi Yoshimura remains tragically under-known outside of his home country. Empire of Signs – a new imprint co-helmed by Maxwell August Croy, Spencer Doran and distributed by Light In The Attic – is proud to reissue Yoshimura’s debut Music for Nine Post Cards for the first time outside Japan in collaboration with Hiroshi’s widow Yoko Yoshimura, with more reissues of Hiroshi’s works to follow in the future.

Working initially as a conceptual artist, the musical side of Yoshimura’s artistic practice came to prominence in the post-Fluxus scene of late 1970s Tokyo alongside Akio Suzuki and Takehisa Kosugi, taking many subsequent turns within Japan’s bubble economy afterward. His sound works took on many forms – commissioned fashion runway scores, soundtracking perfume, soundscapes for pre-fab houses, train station sound design – all existing not as side work but as logical extensions of his philosophy of sound. His work strived for serenity as an ideal, and this approach can be felt strongly on Music for Nine Post Cards.

Home recorded on a minimal setup of keyboard and Fender Rhodes, Music for Nine Post Cards was Yoshimura’s first concrete collection of music, initially a demo recording given to the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art to be played within the building’s architecture. This was not background music in the prior Japanese “BGM” sense of the word, but “environmental music”, the literal translation of the Japanese term kankyō ongaku [環境音楽] given to Brian Eno’s “ambient” music when it arrived in late 70’s Japan. Yoshimura, along with his musical co-traveler Satoshi Ashikawa, searched for a new dialog between sound and space: music not as an external absolute, but as something that interlocks with a physical environment and shifts the listener’s experience within it. Erik Satie’s furniture music, R. Murray Schafer’s concept of the soundscape and Eno’s ambience all greatly informed their work, but the specific form of tranquil stasis presented on releases like Nine Post Cards is still difficult to place within a specific tradition, remaining elusive and idiosyncratic despite the economy of its construction. This record offers the perfect introduction to Hiroshi’s unique and beautiful worldview: it’s one that can be listened to – and lived in – endlessly.
Inoyama Land - Commissions: 1977-2000
Inoyama Land
Commissions: 1977-2000
2LP | 2019 | US | Original (Empire Of Signs)
36,99 €*
Release:2019 / US – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
First time on vinyl / Remastered from original tapes in cooperation with the artist / Interview with Makoto Inoue and Yasushi Yamashita and liner notes by Spencer Doran / Maxwell August Croy / Includes mycological photos courtesy of the Tokyo National Museum of Nature and Science / Lacquers cut by John Golden and vinyl plated & pressed at RTI

Makoto Inoue and Yasushi Yamashita’s Inoyama Land project spans nearly four decades, still active to this day. A portmanteau of their family names, the “Land” of Inoyama hovers between imagined mythical space and concrete reality, extending beyond physical releases into installations, site-specific sound design and theatre scores. After their famed Haruomi Hosono-produced 1983 release Danzindan-Pojidon, the duo became involved in the budding environmental music business that was taking shape in Tokyo during the development boom of the asset bubble – working directly with figures like Hiroshi Yoshimura (with whom they developed sound design for the International Stadium in Yokohama) and Takashi Sekiguchi (Bamboo from Asia). This collection expands upon their sound heard on Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990 (LITA 167) to illuminate material that is even lesser known outside of Japan – some of it presented publicly for the first time.
Working initially with Munetaka Tanaka’s Sound Process Design (an acoustic consulting company formed by Tanaka with Satoshi Ashikawa, before Ashikawa’s tragic death in 1983), their commissioned work mirrors the sound world first fleshed out on Danzindan: chiming synthesizers, pastoral hues, childhood memory – all pulsing with a distant, emotional resonance. This material – culled from limited CD issues of the material on Tanaka’s Crescent label, Kazunao Nagata’s Transonic Records and self-released CDRs – presents a window into this process, illustrating how Inoue and Yamashita’s idiosyncratic musical identity gelled perfectly with all of the disparate environments of their commissions. Included is music written for the Kankaku (Sense) Museum in Miyagi, an exhibit on slime molds at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno park, the 1977 stage performance Collecting Net (which also included music that would later become Danzindan-Pojidon) and their score for a Tokyo re-staging of New York avant-theatre pioneer Richard Foreman’s post-modern stage piece Egyptology.
Masahiro Sugaya - Horizon, Volume 1 Colored Vinyl Edition w/ Artprint
Masahiro Sugaya
Horizon, Volume 1 Colored Vinyl Edition w/ Artprint
LP | 2019 | Original (Empire Of Signs)
52,99 €*
Release:2019 / Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Indie Retail Version coming with an artprint.

First time on vinyl and digital
Remastered from original tapes in cooperation with the artist
Liner notes in Japanese and English by Masahiro Sugaya and Spencer Doran / Maxwell August Croy

Almost completely unknown in the west, Masahiro Sugaya has been composing and producing music since the 1980s in an exceptionally wide range of fields and practices. From arrangements for musical acts like the acoustic guitar duo Gontiti to acousmatic diffusion at spaces like Paris’s Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), Sugaya’s reach is almost exhaustive in its breadth, but it was in the 80s bubble-era kankyō ongaku scene that he first found his musical voice. Horizon, Volume 1 presents a window into these works, culled from Sugaya’s early scores for experimental Tokyo theatre group Pappa Tarahumura.

As a teenager, Sugaya would visit the avant garde hub of record/book shop Art Vivant run by Satoshi Ashikawa of Sound Process, guided by Ashikawa’s recommendations into the worlds of experimental composition, jazz and ethnographic music. It was there he also met musician Yoshio Ojima—the two would become close friends and contemporaries, working within a circle of Tokyo musicians that also included Midori Takada, Hiroshi Yoshimura and Satsuki Shibano. Ojima, an early adopter of new musical technology, would introduce Sugaya to the possibilities of composing with computers, synthesizers and samplers, which would become a trademark in Sugaya’s early works. Surprisingly, the sound sources on Horizon are entirely digital, showcasing Sugaya’s ability to organically recreate complex musicianship approaches via keyboard using hyper-realistic samples. Much like Ojima and Yoshimura’s work, the results eschew electronic music’s usual coldness for something more warm and inviting, the feeling of a human in deep conversation with technology.

Flourishing within the boom of experimental theatre subsidized by corporations during the bubble economy, Pappa Tarahumura forged a unique dream-like style that merged performance art, modern dance and fantastical installation-like stage sets. Sugaya fashioned multiple soundtracks for their productions in collaboration with director Hiroshi Koike, the first two of which, The Pocket Of Fever_ (熱の風景) and Music From Alejo_ (アレッホ – 風を讃えるために), he self-released in 1987 on cassette, handing them out at Tarahumara performances. The third, The Long Living Things (Zoo Of The Sea) (海の動物園) followed in 1988 as a CD on Yukio Kojima’s ALM records. Aside from his brief inclusion on Light in the Attic’s Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990 (compiled by Empire of Signs’ Spencer Doran), Horizon presents this work outside of Japan for the first time.
Inoyama Land - Commissions: 1977-2000 Clear Vinyl Edition
Inoyama Land
Commissions: 1977-2000 Clear Vinyl Edition
2LP | 2019 | US | Original (Empire Of Signs)
41,99 €*
Release:2019 / US – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
First time on vinyl / Remastered from original tapes in cooperation with the artist / Interview with Makoto Inoue and Yasushi Yamashita and liner notes by Spencer Doran / Maxwell August Croy / Includes mycological photos courtesy of the Tokyo National Museum of Nature and Science / Lacquers cut by John Golden and vinyl plated & pressed at RTI

Makoto Inoue and Yasushi Yamashita’s Inoyama Land project spans nearly four decades, still active to this day. A portmanteau of their family names, the “Land” of Inoyama hovers between imagined mythical space and concrete reality, extending beyond physical releases into installations, site-specific sound design and theatre scores. After their famed Haruomi Hosono-produced 1983 release Danzindan-Pojidon, the duo became involved in the budding environmental music business that was taking shape in Tokyo during the development boom of the asset bubble – working directly with figures like Hiroshi Yoshimura (with whom they developed sound design for the International Stadium in Yokohama) and Takashi Sekiguchi (Bamboo from Asia). This collection expands upon their sound heard on Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990 (LITA 167) to illuminate material that is even lesser known outside of Japan – some of it presented publicly for the first time.
Working initially with Munetaka Tanaka’s Sound Process Design (an acoustic consulting company formed by Tanaka with Satoshi Ashikawa, before Ashikawa’s tragic death in 1983), their commissioned work mirrors the sound world first fleshed out on Danzindan: chiming synthesizers, pastoral hues, childhood memory – all pulsing with a distant, emotional resonance. This material – culled from limited CD issues of the material on Tanaka’s Crescent label, Kazunao Nagata’s Transonic Records and self-released CDRs – presents a window into this process, illustrating how Inoue and Yamashita’s idiosyncratic musical identity gelled perfectly with all of the disparate environments of their commissions. Included is music written for the Kankaku (Sense) Museum in Miyagi, an exhibit on slime molds at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno park, the 1977 stage performance Collecting Net (which also included music that would later become Danzindan-Pojidon) and their score for a Tokyo re-staging of New York avant-theatre pioneer Richard Foreman’s post-modern stage piece Egyptology.
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