Dub - the music, bands, mixes, remixes- has been around for so long in Japan it's almost become a tradition. In March 2015, an event 'Asamoto Lovers Aid' was held to raise money for Hirofumi Asamoto, a musician and lover of dub, who was in hospital at the time receiving treatment after being involved in a bicycle crash. Unfortunately Asamoto later passed away. At this event several veterans of the dub scene got together including Watsui (bass) Gota Yashiki (drums) Aida Shigekazu (guitar), Emerson Kitamura (keyboards) Akihito Masui (trombone) which eventually resulted in Dubforce and this EP. Some of these musicians were in the group Mute Beat (who Asamoto played with) pioneers of the dub scene from the 1980s. These musicians have always remained popular and this latest dub band has been enthusiastly received in Japan by lovers of dub and reggae Tracks range from those written by by Holger Czukay, Jah Wobble to Aswad and originals.
1. Robinson Crusoe 2. Dub Fire 3. How Much Are They? 4. Tokyo Dub 5. Shabon Tama
Sandii has long since wanted to record with UK reggae/dub master Dennis Bovell. Thirty seven years to be exact, after they met in London in 1980. It seems to have been worth the wait, as joining Sandii are ex-Sunsetz members Hideo Inoura and Keni Inoue, as well as over twenty musicians who have contributed to the Japanese dub and reggae scene since the 1980s. Musicians include Masahiko Kitahara (Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra) Kazufumi Kodama (Dub Station) KonKen, Rankin Taxi and Little Tempo.
1. Yorokobi no Uta 2. Moonlight Hula - Kawika 3. Row Row Row 4. Love Song of Kalua 5. Island of Love 6. Worry Beads 7. Star Crossed Love 8. Walk Away 9. Fire 10. Ring the Living Bell 11. Nami 12. Keep on Coming 13. Pua Lililehua 14. Nowhere to Hide 15. Hula Interlude 16. Hula Dub
KORIKIMARU & SAKAIYA RIDDIM SECTION FEATURING POWA CONNECTION
Ondo Fi Gwan - Kawachiondo Meets Reggae Muzik
Kawachi Ondo has found a natural mate in reggae music, the two combining with great effect for at least 25 years beginning with classic albums by Kawachiya Kikusuimaru. Now a new generation is doing the same with young musicians. Watch a video of the singer in more orthodox mode this summer. 1. Osaka Ninjo Machi Aruki 2. Kawachi Juningiri 3. Osaka Walk Dub
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Odore Osaka So Odori / Kimochi Yo Hoi Hoi
The latest style of Kawachi Ondo, the dance style from Osaka that keeps evolving in the hands of younger singers and musicians. Includes dub version by Jamaican engineer/producer Steven Stanley (Tom Tom Club, Talking Heads, Black Uhuru). Watch the videos including Stanley in the studio.
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#N/A (produced by Adrian Sherwood)
Nisennenmondai are a three piece female instrumental band who play a sparse groove oriented noise rock. This album was produced by UK dub producer Adrian Sherwood and mastered by German engineer Rashad Becker. Probably their most minimal album to date.
1. #1 2. #2 3. #3 4.#4 5. #5
Down Beat Connection - Taiwan - Ryukyu Vol.1
Compiled by Little Masta, brilliant album exploring connections between the close neighboring alternative music scenes in Okinawa and Taiwan, with ska, reggae, dub, cumbia, afrobeat, and other unclassifiable styles. Artists include The Bartox featuring the guitarist from Mongol 800 who record their brand of ska in 1960s vintage style, Tenugui Brothers with Orlando from Ghana and Little Masta, Taipei based Cumbia band La Cumbia del Sol and Otaku3 from Taiwan a collective of musicians living an alternative lifestyle.
1. The Barcox (Okinawa) - Miss Okinawa 2. Gintendan (Okinawa) - CV-6 Ver.1.0 3. Tenugui Brothers (Okinawa)- Mandela 4. Mad Over (Okinawa)- Set if Off (feat. Yoojee & Shin) 5. La Cumbia del Sol (Taiwan) - Revolucion 6. Skaraoke (Taiwan) - Ska Train to Okinawa feat. All Japan Goith (Okinawa) 7. Dubjuana Midnight System (Japan) - Titan 8. Little Masta (Okinawa) - Ass Hole 9. Otaku 3 (Taiwan) - Seven & A Half
Mestizos y Cumbia Musicos de Extremo Oriente (Mestizos and Cumbia Music from the Far East)
Compiled by Little Masta, extraordingary album of Columbian Cumbia inspired music from Japan, Okinawa and Taiwan with dub, reggae, salsa, afrobeat, ska, thrown into the mix.
1. afro BOOGALOO SKA ACADEMY (Tokyo) - Kaze ga Fuku 2. KATUSI from EL SKUNK DI YAWDIE &EXTRAVAGANZA feat. CHAN-MIKA+SHOGO NAGASAKI (Iwate) - Garlic Holic 3. OBRIGARRD(HAZU main pass) (Nagoya) - X-Dance Cumbia 4. La Cumbia Del Sol (Taipei) - La Cumbia Balkanera 5. LITTLE MASTA (Naha/Kawasaki) - Chon Chon Kijimuna 6. iYABASTARDS!(Koza,Okinawa) - Calavera Waltz 7. THE ZOOT16 (Tokyo) - iR 8. Rojo Regalo (Osaka) - Bambi 9. EKD (Tokyo) - Cumbia Sobre El Puerto 10. SKYLARKING (Nagoya) - Movement 11. Min-yo Crusaders (Tokyo) - Kushimoto Bushi 12. DUB BASTARDS (Tokyo) - Center Guy
WATCH ALBUM TRAILER
Kitaguni no Haru
Likkle Mai, former female vocalist of acclaimed dub band Dry & Heavy, plays ukulele and sings on this wonderful mini-album. She sings folk songs that she mixes with elements of dub and reggae into an effervescent sound. Likkle Mai is accompanied on guitar, drums, bass, percussion and by Wataru Ohkuma and Miwazow Kogure from Jinta-la-Mvta on clarinet and chindon.
1. Akita Ondo 2. Souma Bushi 3. Chagu Chagu Umakko 4. Nonki Bushi 5. Kitaguni no Haru
WATCH ALBUM TRAILER
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Song Book Dub
Keyboardist, composer, producer, DJ, Hirofumi Asamoto is one of those musicians who goes under the radar, but whose influence is over a lot of great records. He plays with, and has written songs for, the wonderful singer UA, has played with dub band Mute Beat, Ram Jam World and many others, as welll as making solo dub records from time to time. On this album he plays kind of soft, piano dub versions of his own compositions. Definitely one for dub lovers.
1. Jounetsu 2. Natural Born Dub 3. Here Alone 4. Kajitsu No Tsuki 5. Kanashimi No Hana Ni 6. Nothing Without You Feat.speech 7. Island Of Dreams 8. Parade No Theme 9. After The Rain 10. Milk Tea
JINTA-LA-MVTA WITH LIKKLE MAI
Heiwa Ni Ikiru Kenri (CD single)
Jinta-La-Mvta, (the smaller version of Cicala Mvta) perform Heiwa ni Ikiru Kenri - The Right to Live in Peace, wiritten by Victor Jara, with Japanese lyrics by Takashi Nakagawa of Soul Flower Union (who performed the song on their album Electro-Asyl Bop) together with Likkle Mai, ex-singer of dub band Dry & Heavy. Infectious.
1. Jinta-La-Mvta with Likkle Mai version 2. Jinta-La-Mvta version
GROOVY SITUATION DUB
Groovy Situation Dub
Drum & bass album in the literal sense from drummer Gota Yashiki and bassist Takayoshi Matsunaga, both of the group Mute Beat. Mute Beat were one of the most influential bands in Japan, in the fields of dub and reggae. Gota went on to perform with Simply Red, and collaborated with Soul II Soul, Sinead O'Connor and Seal among others. Mostly drums and bass with some keyboards, guitar samples, and effect vocals.
1. Here it Comes 2. It Takes Two 3. Dub Elephant 4. Dragon Master 5. Shall we Dance? 6. Flavor of the Ark 7. Up to the Sky 8. Sun Still Shining
Post dub trio Miimo's fourth album creating minimal, electronic but analogue music using steel pan. Includes cover of Bjork's 'Hyperballad'. Group members are Tatsu (bass, electronics), Yoshio Machida (steel pan, electronics) and Norihide Saji (drums, electronics).
1. Miolio 2. Hyperballad 3. Zanitomki 4. Sabo 5. Purain 6. Euratibe 7. Sogante 8. Lesnoir 9. Akuru
All the big names from the Japanese reggae and dub music scenes get together and record 10 new tracks. Artists are from Mute Beat, Little Tempo, Major Force, Determinations, Dry & Heavy, Audio Active, Dubsensemania and other bands.
1. DJ Yogurt & Koyas vs. Strange Reitaro Travel Swing Band / Kikenna Oshite Okureyo Dub 2. Hakase Sun with Coba-U / Traveling Dub 3. K.U.D.O./ Turquoise 4. Dub Master X / For Whom the Music 5. Mitsuhiro Toike / Distant Thunder Dub 6. Ras Takashi / Bright Future Dub 7. Icchie / December 8. MASAMatix /Spooky Dub 9. Likkle Mai / Straight To Yellow Cinderella's Head 10. Dr. Echo Logic / Quiet Night (Dub of Live Mix)
OKI DUB AINU BAND
Remix by OKI and dub engineer emperor Naoyuki Uchida (Little Tempo, Dry & Heavy) of Sakhalin Rock released in 2010. Brillaint album of hard and spacy dub.
1. Dub Sakhalin 2. Dub Monimahpo 3. Dub Omap 4. Phoenix Dub 5. Humpe 6. Kokon Dub 7. Iyororo 8. Babylon Tawki Dub 9. Blue Aynu 10. Atuy Riri 11. Kunashiri Dub
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Dubdub On-Seng are one of the hippest acts in Japan right now. They are the duo of drummer Manabu Sakata, son of the renowned saxophonist Akira Sakata, and guitarist Yasuhiko Tanaka aka Marron. Calypso On-Seng has become quite a big dancefloor hit with it's punchy drumming, steelpan riff and qawaali intro.
1. Dubdub Paradise 2. Surf On-Seng 3. Dubdub Hammock 4. Swith On-Seng 5. Calypso On-Seng 6. Ofro 7. High School On-Seng 8. Tropical Garage 9. Calypso On-Seng [Based on Kyoto Remix]
Solo project of Toshimi Watanabe of Tokyo No. 1 Soul Set is a dub/reggae/ska mix.
1. Emerald 2. Hizumikaru 3. Key Word 4. Red Motel No Asa 5. Santa Malta De Koi Wo Shite 6. Sayonara Barcelona 7. Clean Up Babylon 8. Hitotsu No Hana 9. Esmeralda 10. Gasteiz No Yoru 11. Luna 12. Moonlight
Fourth album from Japanese ragga artist who has built up a steady following since his first album in 2006. Hip-hop/reggae mixture on what has been a breakthough album.
1.3 Star`s Intro Feat.asian Star / Ari-t From Blast Star / Godzilla From Seven Star 2. Emperor Selassi-1 3. Queen & Don Dada Feat.youngshim 4. Love Song For You 5. Far East Japan 6. Money Money 7. Badness No Pay Feat.tomo 8. Wine For Me -arif Cooper Remix- 9. Disco-back To The 90s Style- 10. Japanese Gal-back To The 90s Style 11. A1 Driver Feat.akane 12. Lyrical Murderer 13. Dancehall Killa 14. Reggae Reggae
COOL WISE MAN
Cool Wise Man have been through a few incarnations since they first got together in 1993. This latest, seven piece version of the band, with a great horn section, plus bass, drums, guitar and keyboards is probably the best yet, with a really tight and original sound. Played a well received set at Fuji Rock festival 2009.
1. Chase The Feel 2. Feel Fool Struttin 3. Melody Life Featuring Likkle Mai 4. Ska Fiesta 5. Deep Red 6. Rollin' On 7. Song For My Grandfather 8. Sharing A Mood 9. Journey 10. Now Growing
Jama-Ichi is the band of Akira Umezu, ex-drummer with Jamaica Ichi Chome. They describe themselves as an acoustic riddim band, playing dance hall, roots and dub. This album features an impressive support cast including Rankin Taxi, Cocoa Tea, Bukky Rankin, Kurtis Fly and, intringuingly, Kazutoki Umezu Kiki Band. 12 tracks.
1. Naniwa Bushi Raggamufin Featuring Bukky Rankin 2. Hanareteru One Night Featuring lecca 3. Blazing The Fire Featuring Furin 4.Three Little Birds Featuring Cocoa Tea 5.Chase The Devil Featuring Makoto Karukaya 6.Dear Glady Featuring Gladstone"Glady"Anderson 7.Itawasa Featuring Umeckman from Jama-ichi 8.Jama-ichi Rockers 9. Raga Jama-Ichi Rock Featuring Kurtis Fly 10. Caribbeab no Wataridori Featuring Rankin Taxi 11. Western Picaro Featuring Kazutoki Umezu 12.The Devil In Dub Dubwise Ryu 'ARI' Matsumoto
Born in 1984 Chehon is a rising star of the Japanese reggae scene. Ragga, dub, hip-hop mix.
1. Intro 2. Power 2K8 3. Change 4. Eiko ni Chikamichi nashi 5. 1000 no Violin 6. Legend feat. Peter Man- Special Vibes Mix 7. Rhyme Life 8. Likkle More- Meguri Eye 9. Skit feat. Tony the Weed. 10. Impact 11. Code Name ABC feat. Arm Strong, Big Bear 12. Shoshin - Hase-T Remix 13. Smoke City 14. Flower Road - Hanamichi 15. Baby Don't Cry 16. Outlaw 17. Bonus track - Midori
Dubs on the Corner
Excellent first album from Ratville, a 3 piece dub band (guitar, drums, dub mix/melodica) based in Kyoto. There is beauty in the simpleness of their music, with deep sounds and dynamic grooves and a punkish and free jazz atmosphere. Some tracks are mixed with funk and tribal with guests on trumpet and soprano sax.
1. Screaming Butterfly 2. Kernel 32 3. Bum Plate #1 4. Gestalt Dub 5. 3. Bum Plate #2 6. Output Dots 7. Giraffe Side Walk 8. Giraffic Dub 9. Beyond Evil
BAGDAD CAFE THE TRENCH TOWN
Excellent 11 piece reggae outfit. Good tunes, good singing, good musicians. Doesn't break new ground, but hugely enjoyable.
1. We're Living 2. Family 3. Hey My Bad Boy 4. Joyfully 5. You are Everything 6. Five Star 7. My Little Girl 8. Back Yard 9. Bon Dance 10. Shake my Down 11. Trippin' Sky 12. Sky Dub 13. Jump the World 14. Discover 15. We're Dubbing
Superb third album from the female roots reggae singer, and former singer with dub band Dry & Heavy. High quality dub and roots album with great vocals, strong melodies and tight horn section.
1. Come Together For I & I 2. My Yellow Cinderella 3. Tomoni Yukou 4. Put it On 5. Whatever will Be 6. Someone Loves You Honey 7. Starlight Says it's Alright 8. Amai Toki 9. Ijiwaru World 10. Zion Eye 11. Guide and Protect 12. Willow Tree 13. One Life to Live (album version)
Hakase-sun is a keyboard player, specializing in reggae and dub. He started off as a member of the excellent Fishmans, joined Little Tempo, worked with UA, played as a support member with Brilliant Green and has done remixes for Bonnie Pink. This is his sixth solo album, and includes guest Tica from Little Tempo.
1. So Many Colours 2. Tenshi no Yubi - mellow shrimp 3. Beer's Cheers 4. Reggae Diary 5. Bridge's View 6. Marinair Trail 7. Yaeyama Shoto nite 8. Echodrops 9. Luxury (featuring Kaori Takeda) 10. Pisara Pisara 11. Taragawa Rock 12. Water Lily Blues 13. Sunconscious People 14. Soshite Ongakue
Japan has for several years now, been one of the centres for dub music. Influenced by King Tubby, Lee Perry and others, Japanese dub artists have gradually formed their own identity and sound. One of those innovators is Takeshi 'Heavy' Akimoto, former bassist and leader of a dub band, Dry & Heavy. The Heavymanners are the latest group formed by Akimoto in 2002. 'Heavy' has supposedly been holding them back from performing and recording until last year, and this is their first album recorded in Jamaica. Guests include Shing02, King Yellowman, Killer-Bong and Sly (from Sly & Robbie).
1. Cut the Babylon System 2. Stop the Killing (feat. Linval Thompson) 3. Banzai Charge 4. Militant Bass 5. We a Soldiers (feat. King Yellowman) 6. Eternal Light 7. Riot 8. Taiyo (feat. Shing02) 9. Terroriddim (Rudeboy Anthem) feat. Killer-Bong 10. You Must Hear / Sly & Heavy feat. Skully 11. Rebel / Sly & Heavy
Bananamuffin is a reggae/raggamuffin dj living on Amami island, Kagoshima. There's not much local 'island' music evident; more of a island reggae/comedy/ska dj mix although the wonderful Maricamizki guest on the infectious 24/7, plus keyboards, bass, drums and various horns. Infectious. 10 tracks.
MIGHTY MASSA & THE SKA REVOLUTIONARIES
The Ska Revolution
Some of Japan's top reggae musicians get together under the guidance of Masakazu Nagai to create a unique sounding ska album. Musicians include Masakazu Nagai, keyboardist with Ska Flames.
S Reggae! Japanese
Reggae has always had a following in Japan, a trend that continues until today. Compilation of young Japanese reggae artists. These include Chee, Chehon, Rickie-G, Domino Kat & Romir, Nissin, Da Pump, Arare and more.
KODAMA AND THE DUB STATION BAND
Japan's dub pioneer is back with a new album of his cool trumpet dub doodling. New versions of tunes originally recorded by his seminal group Mute Beat, Bob Marley (Jah Live Dub, Sun is Shining) and Gregory Isaacs (One More Time) covers and even versions of What a Wonderful World and From Russia with Love, the theme song for the Bond film. Comes as a set with a 30 minute DVD of live performance, recording with interviews.
KODAMA AND THE DUB STATION BAND
Kazufumi Kodama is back in a new guise as Kodama and the Dub Station Band. Not much change in the music though. More of the brilliant reggae/dub trumpet sound set over a cool backing from a brilliant band. 10 tracks.
A Silent Prayer
Latest album from trumpet player, with his usual cool, laid back dub sound. His trumpet lays over mainly programmed beats and synthesized sounds. Comes with an extra video clip and deluxe packaging envelope style booklet. Up to the usual high standard of this highly respected musician, who influenced a new generation of Japanese dub musicians.
Kodama(Echo) From Dub Station 1982-2002
Superb compilation of songs taken from throughout the trumpet playing dub master's illustrious career from his Mute Beat days to solo including fairly rare tracks such as Mute Beat's first singles, and every significant album since. Kodama has always been backed by talented musicians, including Takayoshi Matsunaga on bass, Gota Yashiki on drums, Hirofumi Asamoto on keyboards, and guests including UA, Rico Rodriguez, Hakase (Little Tempo) and many others. A great introduction to the work of a significant artist, still remembered for his scintillating show at WOMAD in the UK.
Out takes and tunes that Kodama recorded for soundtracks. Features Tico from Little Tempo and Yoshie Nakano of the excellent Ego Wrappin. Atmospheric and brilliant from the dub trumpeter.
KAZUFUMI KODAMA A.K.A. "ECHO" FROM DUB STATION
Heavy, dark dub from one of Japan's dub originators, with distinctive trumpet playing blending perfectly with dub instrumentation, includes bizarre trumpet solo version of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem', otherwise the album's centerpiece is Kodama's own composition, 'Requiem'.
DRY & HEAVY
Latest album by dub outfit is heavy dub version of their 'From Creation' album. Probably deeper, rootsier dub than any other Japanese dub outfit, and collaborators with the UK's Asian Dub Foundation. Regular performers overseas including WOMAD and many other festivals around the world.
KAZUFUMI KODAMA A.K.A."ECHO" FROM DUB STATION
Dub master and trumpeter (ex-Mute Beat) Kodama releases an album of classy,swirling dub including guest vocalist UA on one track, otherwise instrumental. Fantastic stuff. Made a big impression at a WOMAD festival in the UK a few years ago.
Best of compilation of Kazufumi Kodama's now legendary dub band. Strong melodies played on trumpet to heavy dub backing.
KODAMA & GOTA
Kodama & Gota Live
Kodama and drummer Yashiki Gota (drummer with Simply Red) live album from 1996 with ex Mute Beat members.
Yama to Umi
New album from the brilliant Little Tempo, mixing dub, reggae, calypso and more into a cool, club sound. 1. Little Journey 2. Tropical Rock 3. Yama to Umi 4. Ran de vou 5. Mellow Stone 6. Sky High 7. In The Rain 8. Dance Killer 9. Onsen Monogatari 10. Over The Rainbow 11. Hoshizora
Little Tempo Live & Direct 1369
To mark their 13th anniversary the super dub calypso band release a live album of some of their best know tunes. Little Tempo are not a studio based group, but are talented musicians who even in the studio prefer to play live, and here the energy of a Little Tempo is captured for the first time.
A best of compilation of tracks from tracks from between 1999 and 2001. Includes a track from the film 'Muno No Hito' and elsewhere featuring the wonderful Eddie Reader and Linton Kwesi Johnson. Good place to discover the excellent dup/reggae/calypso sounds of Little Tempo.
Dub remix of Little Tempo's most recent album, 'Super Tempo'. Dub/reggae with trademark steel pan laying down the melody. Two tracks feature legendary trombone player Rico Rodriguez and percussionist Tony Uter. Excellent.
New album from the steel pan reggae and dub outfit. Includes covers of Summertime and My Baby Just Cares for Me, alongside originals. Good, without breaking new ground.
Dub mix of their excellent Musical Brain Food album. Calypso steel pan and heavy dub mixture.
Musical Brain Food
Fantastic new album from the steel drum and dub instrumental outfit, one of the most original Japanese bands.
Kedaco is Born
Strictly instrumental dub album of songs previously recorded by Little Tempo. In some ways more satisfying than their usual output.
A kind of calypso club reggae dub band whose lead instrument is steel pan drums. It's a very nice sound, although their choice of songs to cover sometimes lets them down. Here the Beatles get the Little Tempo treatment.
Calypso/reggae/dub and club mixture.
Little Tempo Meets Voices of Flowers
Excellent Japanese dub unit, includes unlikely guest vocalist Linda Lewis, plus Fresh Funky Four and Trio Esperanca. 12 tracks.
Japanese and Western pop songs end up as ska, reggae, rock steady and calypso tunes in the hands of this excellent reggae outfit.
Excellent rock steady and dub band, includes songs by Bunny Lee and Joe Gibbs sung in Japanese.
Excellent Japanese Dub outfit produced by Kazufumi Kodama (Mute Beat), with 3 tracks given a dub mix by Dry & Heavy.
Likkle Mai, used to be the female singer with acclaimed Japanese dub unit Dry & Heavy. Now, she has decided to go solo and releases her first solo album. It's decidedly more pop oriented than Dry & Heavy and she sings in Japanese (as opposed to English in D&H) on three tracks, perhaps in an attempt to popularize reggae with 30 something Japanese females. Perhaps not as cool as Dry & Heavy but a confident debut worth seeking out.
TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA
Tenth album from Japan's perennial high energy ska band.
TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA
Gunslingers - Live Best
TSPO have for many years now been one of Japan's most exciting live acts.There are so many high energy workouts on this, it's exhausting just to listen. It's not straight Jamaican ska though, more rock ska such as their versions of Skaravan, Ska me Crazy, Tin Tin Deo, and The King of the Mosh Pit.
Temple of Dub
Excellent album of heavy dub mixes by including Chari Chari, Dub Squad, Dry and Heavy and others. Nine superb tracks.
Brilliant dub outfit, who combine dub sounds with heavy electronic dance rhythms to stunning effect. Six pulsating tracks.
This exilerating CDbegins with Japanese festival (ondo) music before launching into a Japanese ondo raggamuffin workout. It continues in much the same vain, pulsating modern festival music, before going out on the same traditional note.