Local Men Go In Search Of Something Called “Japanese Boogie Disco,” And Actually Find It
It was news to us, too: Japanese “Boogie Disco,” better known as “City Pop,” just could be one of the world’s last under-discovered musical genres. And as it turns out, it’s a delight at every level. Imagine the fuselages of Dad Rock and Weather Report-style jazz fusion sewn onto a Yacht Rock frame (with a heavy emphasis on each and every trope of the Steely Dan catalog), and you’re getting near the neighborhood, until you also realize the whole thing is, of course, in Japanese. These records were made at a time when Japan was having a massive economic boom in the 1980s, so there are definitely some audible shoulderpads, too. Today, you’re not likely to hear them in many places outside, say, an audiophile bar in Tokyo. (Philly, can we have one of these, too?)
All of this, of course, is just a quick busman’s tour of this writer’s recent Google history; for something deeper, do check out the above mixtape by Nippon Leagues, the chosen name for Philly crate-diggers Nick Stropko and Alex Tebbs Mitchell. (Who, by the way, so love the City Pop genre that last year, they visited the source and went digging in Japan themselves.) The results are in these Nippon League mixtapes posted to Mixcloud, but they’ll be in full view on Thursday January 25th when Nippon League DJs upstairs at the Barbary with Sean Hearn (and The Yachtsman’s Tommy Up, providing cocktails). As the Nippon Leagues mixtapes show, City Pop runs a full gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous. May your evening enjoy the same.