Various Artists - Kankyo Ongaku (Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990) - 3x LP Vinyl Box Set

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Artist, Album, Batch, Format,


Kankyo Ongaku (Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990)
Box Set


2020 repress on black vinyl - Light In The Attic’s Japan Archival Series continues with Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990, an unprecedented overview of the country’s vital minimal, ambient, avant-garde, and New Age music – what can collectively be described as kankyō ongaku, or environmental music. The collection features internationally acclaimed artists such as Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Joe Hisaishi, as well as other pioneers like Hiroshi Yoshimura, Yoshio Ojima and Satoshi Ashikawa, who deserve a place alongside the indisputable giants of these genres.

In the 1970s, the concepts of Brian Eno’s “ambient” and Erik Satie’s “furniture music” began to take hold in the minds of artists and musicians around Tokyo. Emerging fields like soundscape design and architectural acoustics opened up new ways in which sound and music could be consumed. For artists like Yoshimura, Ojima and Ashikawa, these ideas became the foundation for their musical works, which were heard not only on records and in live performances, but also within public and private spaces where they intermingled with the sounds and environments of everyday life. The bubble economy of 1980s Japan also had a hand in the advancement of kankyō ongaku. In an attempt to cultivate an image of sophisticated lifestyle, corporations with expendable income bankrolled various art and music initiatives, which opened up new and unorthodox ways in which artists could integrate their avant-garde musical forms into everyday life: in-store music for Muji, promo LP for a Sanyo AC unit, a Seiko watch advert, among others that can be heard in this collection.

Kankyō Ongaku is expertly compiled by Spencer Doran (Visible Cloaks) who, with a series of revelatory mixtapes as well as his label Empire of Signs (Music For Nine Postcards), has been instrumental in shepherding interest in this music outside of Japan. Together with Light In The Attic’s celebrated anthologies I Am The Center and The Microcosm, Kankyō Ongaku helps to broaden our understanding of this quietly profound music, regardless of the environment in which it’s heard.
A1Satoshi Ashikawa - Still Space
A2Yoshio Ojima - Glass Chattering
A3Hideki Matsutake - Nemureru Yoru (Karaoke Version)
A4Ayuo Takahashi - Nagareru
B1Joe Hisaishi - Islander
B2Yoshiaki Ochi - Ear Dreamin'
B3Kitamura Masashi, Phonogenix - Variationăƒ»III
B4Interior - Park
B5Yoichiro Yoshikawa - Nube
C1Yoshio Suzuki - Meet Me In The Sheep Meadow
C2Ryuichi Sakamoto - Dolphins
C3Toshi Tsuchitori - Ishiura (Abridged)
C4Shiho Yabuki - Tomoshibi (Abridged)
C5Toshifumi Hinata - Chaconne
D1Yasuaki Shimizu - Seiko 3
D2Inoyama Land - Apple Star
D3Hiroshi Yoshimura - Blink
D4Fumio Miyashita - See The Light (Abridged)
E1Akira Ito - Praying For Mother / Earth Part 1
E2Jun Fukamachi - Breathing New Life
E3Takashi Toyoda - Snow
E4Yellow Magic Orchestra - Loom
F1Takashi Kokubo - A Dream Sails Out To Sea - Scene 3
F2Masahiro Sugaya - Umi No Sunatsubu
F3Haruomi Hosono - Original BGM