Radio is a Foreign Country

Mix of 78rpm and vinyl from Japan.

You can listen HERE

The surface noise pulls me back through time: Tsugaru samisen, Buddhist chants, gagaku, flutes, folk song, popular tunes, street music, and more…mostly from scratchy noisy Japanese 78rpm records (with some vinyl thrown in for good measure) that managed to survived the turbulent 20th century for your listening pleasure here in the 21st. If 78rpm surface noise interests you, I recently finished an LP for SUBLIME FREQUENCIES called Sound Storing Machines: The First 78rpm Records from Japan (1903-12). Out in April 2021. The first records made in East Asia at the dawn of man’s ability to record and the beginnings of what would become one of the largest physical record industries in the world—Japan.

Impossible without the fantastic work done by Riyo Mountains:
Not to mention DJ Pallaksch, Soi48, Yuichi Kishino and many others. Look their work up.

I love the sound of these tracks, outside of context or translations and I have imposed on my Japanese speaking friends more than enough lately and the labels are in Japanese kanji—old Japanese kanji at that. So write to me with specific questions and I’ll see what I can trace down for you.

~ by Robert Millis on 2021.