When I was in school I loved electro and hip-hop. It was contrast to the dreariness of Merseyside and County Galway during the 1980s. Most of the stuff I used to listen to back then came out of the US, but I started to hear about productions that came out of Tokyo, Japan. At the time, the only one I came across was Melon with their Deep Cut album which was critically acclaimed but a bit hackneyed.
I eventually managed to get a hold of a couple of Major Force 12″s on shopping trips to London but these were gold dust. All of them had people that continued to be major players: style maker Hiroshi Fujiwara, Gota Yashiki (who unfairly is best known in the west as a session musician for Simply Red) and DJ KUDO.
The internet makes it so much easier to discover these kind of things now, it has also stolen some of the joys of discovery. It was these hidden musical secrets that piqued my interest in Japan. Japanese rap lacks something lyrically, but the production stands up favourably against the US tracks of the time.
Seiko Ito was a collaborator of Hiroshi Fujiwara. Tokyo Bronx echoes the sound of productions like the Soul Sonic Force.
Seiko Ito – Gyokai Konna Mon Da Rap features Gota Yashiki on programming and Hiroshi Fujiwara (or Hiroshi the Ripper as he was credited) alongside DJ KUDO on turntable duties. (All of these videos are on YouTube, so may not be available to all readers).