Friday, January 10, 2014

Tetsuro Kashibuchi featuring Akiko Yano - Hotel Lilas (Canyon, 1983)

Released 6.21.1983

The hotel seems to have had a special appeal for Japanese musicians in the synthpop era. On a trip down the highways and byways of this music, you will end up visiting many of them, perhaps beginning with Yokoo and Hosono's neon-lit pan-Asian Marienbad, the Malabar, then checking out for the nightlife at Tsuchiya's Hotel Atlantis, following that up with a rest at Yano's homey Elephant Hotel or Hosono and Koshi's serene Hotel Etoile. Most pleasant of all is Tetsuro Kashibuchi's seaside Hotel Lilas. The name's fragrance evokes the breezy, relaxing feeling of spending time with this record. A day's itinerary listed in the chorus of "Friends" is instantly enervating, though the 8:30 wake up call may be early for some. The brilliantly catchy "Himawara" and "The Two Mice in the Attic" could help with that. Kashibuchi hosts some superb collaborators too, including Akiko Yano, who duets, co-produces and shares piano and synth duty with Ryuichi Sakamoto, as well as fellow Moonrider Ryomei Shirai on electric guitar and Haruomi Hosono on electric bass. A late citypop classic.

A1. ひまわり / Himawari / Sunflower
A2. リラのホテル / Lila no hoteru / Hotel Lila
A3. Friend
A4. 冬のバラ / Fuyu no bara / Rose of Winter
A5. 屋根裏の二匹のねずみ / Yane-ura no nihiki no nezumi / The Two Mice in the Attic
B1. Listen To Me, Now!
B2. 朽ちた恋 / Ochita koi / Fallen Love
B3. 恋ざんげ / Koi zange / Love Confession
B4. 憂うつな肉体 / Yu-utsu na nikutai / Melancholic Body
B5. 春の庭 / Haru no niwa / Garden of Spring


  1. Do you own 'Dear Heart too'? It's another great release from Kashibuchi; an EP, 6 tracks long; released in 1985. Mind you, I much prefer it over Hotel Lilas. The songs on Dear Heart are even more laid-back, I'm far more inclined to that style of his; I think it's what Kashubuchi excels at, rather than three minute technopop ditties. It also has a new version of 'S・EX (SENSUOUS EXPERIENCE)'. I don't know how familiar you are with Moonriders, but that song was originally on 'Amateur Academy'; released in 1984. Kashibuchi's Hotel Lilas and Dear Heart were recently re-issued & remastered on CD, but I only own the former; I have Dear Heart on vinyl.
    I also bought El Jaguar Del Bandoneon a few months ago –obviously I'm only mentioning this since you've posted it on your blog–, but, anyway, it also came with a 10in² piece of protected card with Morio Agata's signature, which he signed on the 20th of January 1987. The record and signature sheet only cost 1800jpy (before shipping). Have you seen Morio's signature? It's a terribly messy thing, but it's an interesting item to own.
    I also haven't the slightest clue how well you know Tokiko Kato, so I'll recommend her anyway, or, at least, two albums of hers from the eighties: 'Miłości Wszystko Wybaczy', 1982 (in collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto), and 'Yume no Ningyo', 1983. The former is more akin to Hotel Lilas; the latter is similar to the former, but with the new addition of tango; in this regard, it's actually more comparable with some of Kazuhiko Kato's solo-work. If you're in to Kashibuchi, Agata, Yano and whatever, I don't think there's any reason why you wouldn't like those two albums.

    1. Don't know "Dear Heart". I assume there's some relation to the label that put out a bunch of Ohnuki, Saeko Suzuki and Moonriders? If you spot a vinyl copy around anywhere please let us know.
      That signed "Bandoneon" would've probably given me a heart attack. Almost glad you got there first. Never seen a picture of his signature but I can imagine it's a little frenzied.
      I'm glancingly familiar with Kato, having heard a few songs off the Polish album at some point. Will bold the two you mention on my bible length shopping list.
      Thanks for the recommendations.