Julian Cope’s JAPROCKSAMPLER top 50 albums. Author: RamonesIstKrieg. Julian Cope’s top 50 “Japrock” albums, from his totally rad book. Julian Cope, eccentric and visionary rock musician, follows the runaway underground success of his book “Krautrocksampler” with “Japrocksampler”, a cult. Michel Faber tunes in to Julian Cope’s Japrocksampler.

Author: Mull Volkis
Country: New Zealand
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Literature
Published (Last): 28 December 2006
Pages: 54
PDF File Size: 15.2 Mb
ePub File Size: 15.22 Mb
ISBN: 281-8-84037-888-1
Downloads: 32598
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Yozshulkree

Context-setting is just dandy, but was it really necessary to start with the arrival of US vessels on Japanese shores, thereby ending centuries of cultural isolationism? Especially early on, there’s a self-conscious air of scholarship.

Japrocksampler aims japeocksampler do the same thing for Japan, although the context could hardly be more diff erent.

Julian Cope presents

In the introduction, the word ‘study’ crops up repeatedly, including the assertion that a ‘detailed study of this book will have you rethinking cppe attitudes to music, art, time Fortunately, the story itself is sufficiently fascinating and untold to keep the reader gripped. But for the most part, the book persuades you there’s reams and realms of jukian Japanese music that deserve the wider world’s ear.

Now here comes Copey with a sort-of-sequel, this time exploring and exalting the even more esoteric world of Japanese freak rock.

The Taj Mahal Travellers hit the road in their runeinscribed Volkswagen minibus, searching for windswept beaches where they can provide musical japrockxampler to the waves at dawn. Krautrocksampler sought to rekindle an interest in music japrocksmapler was once widely appreciated in Britain but which had fallen into neglect due to changing fashions and fickle journalism.

Or did he just develop a taste for research while working on his highly-regarded ‘stone circle’ histories Ajprocksampler Modern Antiquarian and The Megalithic European? He raves about the ‘fascinating and wildly eventful’ multi-generic pastiches created by theatre score composer JA Caesar mostly only released as cassettes sold at stalls in the theatresand the bizarre jazz-rock tangents spawned out of the Japanese cast of Hair Shedding the ‘proper historian, me’ persona, his true voice breaks loose with the closing section, cops all-time Top 50 Japrock LPs.

Strangely, though, Cope doesn’t make much of the parallels between Krautrock and Japrock: Cope himself is not a Japanese speaker, but his omnivorous LPcollecting and his friendship with some of Japan’s current rockers make him a credible candidate to write this book.

Review: Japrocksampler by Julian Cope | Books | The Guardian

A pop star in the s, he has spent the subsequent decades crusading against “greedhead” values and commercial compromise. Shedding the ‘proper historian, me’ persona, his true voice breaks loose with the closing section, his all-time Top 50 Japrock LPs. The way he tells it, his psychedelic renegades were central to the violent unrest that gripped Japan in the late s, whereas in fact most of the clashes were between riot police and an army of Dylanesque protest singers.


But in a book as over-amplifi ed as this, acoustic guitars don’t register. One larger idea he does grapple with is the Japanese talent for mimesis. The incident where sword-waving members of Japan’s Red Army Faction including the bass player of the Radical Music Black Gypsy Band hijack a plane “to Cuba”, eventually landing to a heroes’ welcome in North Korea, is retold as a wacky caper, but the complex griefs and tensions that led to such gestures cry out for deeper analysis.

Behind its showbiz gossip and shamanistic mythmaking, we catch glimpses of another Japan, a Japan that eludes understanding.

There are moments in Japrocksampler that will make more sceptical readers wonder if that very syndrome isn’t going on in Cope’s own text.


Japrocksampler is a flawed but welcome reminder that there are musical worlds beyond our ken. Music books Julian Cope reviews. In parallel to the way Amon Duul were involved in Germany’s commune-dwelling counterculture and allegedly had ties to Baader-Meinhof, one member of Les Rallizes Denudes participated in the Japanese Red Army’s hi-jacking of a Boeing Japrocksampler divides into two parts.

For that matter, Julian Cope’s Krautrocksampler is out of print too. All have become prized by Western record collector fiends this past decade, especially now the Kraut Kosmiche seam has been mined beyond exhaustion. Although it contained lots of little-known information, the earlier book didn’t belabour the back story but focused on Cope’s rabid enthusiasm for the music. Japrocksampler is a far more substantial work, for better and for worse.

Topics Music The Observer. Krautrocksampler and Japrocksampler are decidedly different, however. Was Cope maybe piqued into overcompensation by that smatter of niggardly experts who complained that Krautrocksampler wasn’t comprehensive or authoritative enough?

What he’s looking for is “the kind of unsignposted music with neither peaks nor troughs that still sounds relevant today”, ie music that resembles Krautrock. Other books on the subject are not on off er. This consumer advice is the fruit of much labour and expense, Cope reveals, the sifting process being ‘an arduously hit-and-miss affair The Krautrocksampler equivalent would be kicking off with the Franco-Prussian War!

Experimental violinist Takehisa Kosugi takes time out from the avant-garde to compose music for the children’s cartoon series Atom Boy. T welve years ago Julian Cope published his celebrated celebration of japrocksamplee German cosmic rock.


Julian Cope, Japrocksampler

All human life is here, somewhat mangled in translation. It’s a heavier book more than twice the page count of Krautrocksampler and heavier-going, too. A young Yoko Ono attempts suicide in frustration at being upstaged by her first husband Toshi.

By contrast, the music discussed in Japrocksampler has made almost no impact outside Japan, partly owing to the barrier of an undecodably alien writing system. Less adventurous readers may simply enjoy the anecdotes about a host of chancers, mad idealists, Buddhist gangsters, Monkees clones “Are We Not Crazy Cats? In our megastore marketplace, the familiar is endlessly recycled, while blinkered journalists reshuffle the same Top lists ad nauseam.

He raves about the ‘fascinating and wildly eventful’ multi-generic pastiches created by theatre score composer JA Caesar mostly only released as cassettes sold at stalls in the jqprocksamplerand the bizarre jazz-rock tangents spawned out of the Japanese cast of Hair. With a mixture of aff ection and condescension, Cope relates the attempts of Japanese wannabe “refuseniks” or even “uberrefuseniks” to ape the lifestyles of their American and British idols in a society where jsprocksampler codes of honour still ruled and where the hippie musical Hair was closed down by the authorities.

The oligarchical structure of the Japanese music business also meant that records – and the groups who played on them – were often put together by company bosses and producers.

His ultra-vivid and hilariously over-the-top descriptions of a legion of German post-psychedelic records suggested that this prolific musician he’s just released his umpteenth solo album, You Gotta Problem With Me might have missed his true vocation as a Lester Bangs-style advocate.

At first, Cope’s trademark hipster hyperbole seems to have been tamed by the challenge of elucidating a subject so obscure to most readers. Indeed, his potted history of post- Tokugawa dynasty Japan strikes a formal tone not copee removed from that of a Victorian essayist: Alan Cummings, the most knowledgeable and bilingual British scholar of Japanese alternative music, writes articles for the Wire but has not yet written a stand-alone text.