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ARTIST
TITLE
BGM
FORMAT
LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
STUDIOMUL 018LP STUDIOMUL 018LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
5/10/2019

LP version. Mule Musiq's sub-label Studio Mule has formed a group of shifting members and are now releasing a debut album with eight tracks of reworked, obscure Japanese gems. BGM contains the three singles the group released so far, featuring Miyako Koda of the experimental pop band Dip In The Pool -- whose On Retinae was reissued by Music From Memory to great acclaim (MFM 010EP, 2017) -- on vocals and Mule Musiq staple Kuniyuki on production with direction by label head Toshiya Kawasaki. One of them, "Carnaval", is a cover of the Japanese dance classic by Taeko Ohnuki, produced by Yellow Magic Orchestra. "Shinzo No Tobira" is a remake of the track by Mariah, a band led by sax player Yasuaki Shimizu, from their album Utakata No Hibi (2015) -- which was one of the reissues that sparked the global interest in obscure Japanese music in the last few years. Studio Mule's version features Japanese lyrics rewritten by Miyako Koda. "Face To Face" is a cover of the ambient pop gem from the ultra-rare album by Yumi Murata of Mariah. Also included is a rework of "Kagami No Naka No Jugatsu", a song by Tamao Koike produced by YMO, turned into a dubby Balearic pop track -- dubbier than the version included on the Yen label compilation -- sang by Nanako Sato, one of the artists enjoying some newfound success following a string of reissues stemming from the "city pop" revival craze. The oriental ambient pop "Yugao" by singer songwriter Mioko Yamaguchi is covered by vocalist Saho Terao, who some describe as this generation's Taeko Ohnuki. "The April Fools" is a rework of Yukihiro Takahashi's track, which itself was also a cover of the original song by Burt Bacharach. This new version boasts a more experimental arrangement with Nanako Sato handling the vocals. YMO's "Ballet", originally with vocals by Yukihiro Takahashi, was reconstructed into a dancefloor-ready instrumental by Kuniyuki. Many say Yoshiyuki Ohsawa's "Soshite Bokuwa Toho Ni Kureru" is one of the greatest songs of the '80s. The 12" dance version is reshaped here into a melancholic Balearic house track. The album cover is by the increasingly popular hotshot photographer Kota Shouji.