Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tanoshii Ongaku - Yappari (Kurichan Record, 1983)

Released 7.83

This 8" EP's title roughly translates to "Just as I Thought". Put the title and band-name together and the cover reads "Just as I Thought, Fun Music". Which is about right. From the mesmerizingly catchy first track through to Owakare Suingu's giggling sayonaras, Tanoshii Ongaku's premiere record startles with a perfect balance of pop and perversity. It's childlike, nonsensical, funny, as well as sneakily affecting. The title track, a lullaby murmured by Agata over intermittently clarified radio static, seems wistful, affectionate, and adult, for all of its faux-naivety. And despite their brevity, home-studio engineering, and simple melodies, each of these songs is densely packed with both synthesized and analogue instrumentation, multiple vocals, and samples that are as unsettling as they are silly.

In addition to regular members Katakuriko and Katô, Morio Agata sings and Yoichiro Yoshikawa (of D-Day and Yapoos) appears on tracks 5 and 9. Comic artist and actor Yoshikazu Ebisu provided the liner manga and the lyrics for Pirania Boy. The cover is by Emiko (Carol) Shimoda. Each copy came with a different (probably repurposed) trading card. Ours was a kaiju.

A1. にっぽん絵葉書模様 / Nippon Ehagaki Moyou / Japan Picture Postcard Design
A2. ピラニア・ボーイ / Pirania Boy / Piranha Boy
A3. 道でばったり動物たち / Michide Battari Doubutsutachi / Suddenly, Animals in the Street
A4. まわるよ / Mawaruyo / Spinning
A5. やっぱり / Yappari / Just as I Thought
B1. お茶の間 / Ochanoma / Living Room ('Ochanoma' is the specific word for a traditional Japanese-style living room, with tatami and zabuton and a low table, etc., almost any of the rooms in Ozu's films. Its literal translation is "place to have tea." So you can make the english title "Living Room" or "Japanese Living Room" or "Tea Room," really.)
B2. プラネタリウム投影機 / Puraneteriamu Toueiki / Planetarium Projector
B3. オール怪獣総進撃 / Ōru Kaijuu Soushingeki / Destroy All Monsters 
B4.いやいやニコニコ / Iya Iya Niko Niko / No No Smile Smile
B5. スピークスペル / Supiiku Superu / Speak Spell
B6. おわかれスイング / Owakare Suingu / Goodbye Swing (or you can call it 'Separation Swing' or 'Parting Swing': in the song the singer is just saying, "well that's the end of Tanoshii Ongaku, thank you for listening, goodbye....")

Panel 1 - THE STORY OF KURI-CHAN THE BIG LIAR by Yoshikazu Ebisu

P2 - "Hey, do you know the difference between fun music and modern music?"
P3 - "Is something wrong Ichiro-kun?"
P4 - ...
P5 - Slap
P6 - Slap slap slap slap slap slap slap slap
P7 - "Kuri-chan I don't like you because you're a liar!!"
P8 - Azeeen
P9 - Ichiro-kun, you misunderstood me..." "Pun punContinued...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tanoshii Ongaku

MEMBERS: Katakuriko, Ryosuke Katô

We don't know much about this pair, beyond that they had cool friends; their two known releases feature members of D-Day, Yapoos, Katra Turana, and Morio Agata himself. The result is synth driven childrens' music for brave adults, a more melodic but equally zonked Picky Picnic.

Yappari, (Kurichan Record, 1983)