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.

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This consumer advice is the fruit of much labour and expense, Cope reveals, the sifting process being ‘an arduously hit-and-miss affair All human life is here, somewhat mangled in translation. But for the most part, the book persuades you there’s reams and realms of triptastic Japanese music that deserve the wider world’s ear.

For that matter, Julian Cope’s Krautrocksampler is out of print too. Now here comes Copey with a sort-of-sequel, this time exploring and exalting the even more esoteric world of Japanese freak rock. Music books Julian Cope reviews. Japrocksampler is a flawed but welcome reminder that there are musical worlds beyond our ken.

The sad truth is that very few people japrockaampler interested in unusual “foreign” sounds.

Big in Japan

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 strict codes of honour still ruled and where the hippie musical Hair was closed down by the authorities. Juloan way he tells it, his psychedelic renegades were central to the violent unrest juliian gripped Japan in the late s, whereas in fact most of the japrovksampler were between riot police and an army of Dylanesque protest singers.

If Cope’s exaltation of Les Rallizes Denudes seems like mystique-building covering up simple underachievement he hails the hermetic, retired Mizutani as ‘this great nihilistic spirit, this sonic executioner’elsewhere his evocations of all this authentically inauthentic music are enticing and convincing. In the introduction, the word ‘study’ crops up repeatedly, including the assertion that a ‘detailed study of this book will have you rethinking your attitudes to music, art, time Julian Copeself-styled “visionary rock musician and musicologist, hip archaeologist and one-time frontman of the Teardrop Explodes”, is one of Japrocksampller more colourful fi gures.


Strangely, though, Cope doesn’t make ajprocksampler of the parallels between Krautrock and Japrock: Less adventurous readers may simply enjoy the anecdotes about a host of chancers, mad idealists, Buddhist gangsters, Monkees clones “Are We Not Crazy Cats?


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. At first, Cope’s trademark hipster hyperbole seems to have been tamed by the challenge of elucidating a subject so obscure to most readers.

Cope astutely notes that for the Japanese, the entertainment industry was “a mythical hinterland wherein almost any opposing ideas could meet head-on”, an environment where juluan singer could contribute to an avantgarde freakout while maintaining a parallel career japrocksamplet Perry Como ditties in a velvet tux.

T welve years ago Julian Cope published his celebrated celebration of s German cosmic rock. As a music commentator, Cope is passionately opinionated, which is both his strength and his weakness. Either way, a certain windy ponderousness of phrase and tone creeps into the prose now and then, suggestive less of long hair and loon pants than of donnish tweed and leather-patched elbows. Especially early on, there’s a self-conscious air of scholarship. A young Yoko Ono attempts suicide in frustration at being upstaged by her first husband Toshi.

Central to Cope’s thesis is the notion that mind-altering music can only be made by people who ingest mind-altering drugs, and that Japan’s notoriously anti-drug culture therefore impeded the artistic development of its musical pioneers.

But in a book as over-amplifi ed as this, acoustic guitars don’t register.

Cope argues that the West-to-East translation process creates ‘a peculiar copy of the original,’ a wrongness that in some instances allows the Japanese version to surpass its inspiration. There are cops in Japrocksampler that will make more sceptical readers wonder if that very syndrome isn’t going on in Cope’s own text.

Japrocksampler – Wikipedia

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. One larger idea he does grapple with is the Japanese talent for mimesis.


The first, really a juulian to the book proper, deals with the s, with chapters examining Japanese experimental music a scene hugely impacted by musique concrete, with Yoko Ono and her erstwhile composer-hubby Toshi Ichiyanagi prominent among the cast of charactersthe ‘Eleki’ craze for Shadows-style twangy instrumental rock, and the ‘Group Sounds’ movement suit-wearing Japbands modelled on the British beat boom.

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 Japrocksampled Problem With Me might have missed his true vocation as a Lester Bangs-style advocate. Japanese Independent Music, issued in by Sonore a French publisher is out of print.

The Taj Mahal Travellers hit the road in their runeinscribed Volkswagen minibus, searching for windswept beaches where they can provide musical accompaniment to the waves at dawn.

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 In our megastore marketplace, the familiar is endlessly recycled, while blinkered journalists reshuffle the same Top lists ad nauseam. Behind its showbiz gossip and shamanistic mythmaking, we catch japrocksmapler of another Japan, a Japan that eludes understanding.

Book: Julian Cope, Japrocksampler | Music | The Guardian

There’s also a brief addendum on must-to-avoid clunkers, Cope astutely noting how collectors gull themselves to feel better about having shelled out so much dough, starting an inflationary cycle whereby ‘deadly rare foreign albums often become classed as classics merely because no one outside an elite few has even heard [them]’. Krautrocksampler and Japrocksampler are decidedly different, however.

Inhe published Krautrocksampler, an evangelistic overview of Germany’s greatest gift to the modern world, that immensely charming genre of 70s music known as Krautrock.