Welcome! ようこそ!

I set up this blog to hopefully introduce those outside Japan to some of Japan's best music and a taste of Osaka and Kyoto's thriving underground music scene.

Alot of what I post will be CDR's and CD's sold by bands on the Kyoto/Osaka live circuit. Hopefully giving a little exposure to the bands outside Japan. The rest will be Japanese bands from pretty much any and every generation and genre. From 60's Rock'n'Roll and folk to 00's noise and electronica.

If anyone has an issue with me uploading their music please contact me and I'll remove the links immediatley. My intention is to introduce this music to new audiences. So please help support these bands by buying their releases or catching them live if you have the opportunity. Alot of these guys are working full time jobs on top of making great music. Please send comments, complaints, recommendations and seasonal greetings to stinkinhippy@hotmail.com

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Gnu - Suro

G is for Gnu 

Tokyo based Gnu (Pronounced as "Nu" the G is silent.) are a semi-improv unit formed by avant garde Jazz performer and composer Okura Masahiko in 1997. The band have had a couple of different lineups over the years switching bassists, drummers and guitarists with Okura being the only constant member. In 1998 Itoken joined the band as their drummer and in 2001 the ensemble began using a dual drum setup by throwing Kumada Takashi into the mix. The current 5 man lineup being Okura on Sax, Clarinet and Synth, Itoken and Kumada on drums, Taneishi Yukiya on bass and Chiba Hiroki on violin, contra bass and electronics.

The bands angular jazz/math-rock is probably most easily compared to genre figureheads Tortoise. The music is composed but live the arrangements of the songs are improvised with Okura taking the role of composer/master of ceremonies by communicating through hand gestures the length, tempo and dynamics of musical phrases and which players are playing etc.

Released in 2003 "Suro" is the bands 3rd studio album. The album represents a nice middle ground between its more accessible 2007 followup "Event" and the their most recent 2009 album the very cerebral sounding "Knowns". The dual drumming is fairly subtle on this release but check out "Knowns" to see the impressively nuanced beat juggling the band have developed over the years. 


  1. AMAZING!! thank you VERY much for this. and feel free to upload their other albums, they can't be found anywhere :) <33

  2. Glad you liked it. Sorry I'm only going to upload one of their albums out of respect for the band. I want to try to promote bands rather than just ripping them off.

    If you're having trouble getting hold of physical copies I think a few of their albums are available through iTunes. Though that may only be the Japan store.