And now – a band most of you have probably never heard of. But first – a quick detour into history courtesy of the Beastie Boys.
In 1992, at the height of their popularity, the Beastie Boys set up a vanity record label called Grand Royal. Grand Royal had an eclectic roster of artists, including Sean Lennon, Luscious Jackson, Money Mark, At The Drive-In, Bran Van 3000 and many more.
One of my favorite releases of theirs was 1998’s “New Rock” by a Japanese band called Buffalo Daughter. This group consisted of a guitar player/vocalist (suGar), a bass player/keyboardist (Yumiko) and a turntablist/graphic designer (MoOog), augmented by a drummer and other musicians.
You can listen to it here:
New Rock by Buffalo Daughter (Xbox Music)
According to Wikipedia: Buffalo Daughter [are] considered to be the linchpin of the so-called “cut-and-paste” rock Shibuya-kei movement from Japan. Other Shibuya-kei bands include Pizzicato Five and Cibo Matto. (I was initially going to write about Cibo Matto, since they have a new album out, but my favorite release of theirs isn’t available for streaming. I’ll pick another one of their records soon, possibly the new one if I can get my head wrapped around it.)
That’s a good starting point for this record – cut and paste. Sometimes this record sounds like a ‘60s lounge album, sometimes it sounds like a broken sampler, and other times, it sounds like a lost German progressive Krautrock album. It’s these progressive songs – where they downplay the sampling and stretch out a little – that really make the record for me. Check out my favorite song “Sky High” – track 12 – to see what I mean. Other highlights for me include the long workouts “Super Blooper” and “Autobacs”.
Anyway – travel back to the New York music scene in 1998, give this record a spin and see what you think.