The Time Capsule label has more in store, with label boss Kay Suzuki, aiming for a release per month, with Sérginho Meriti dropping in June and a fantastic four-track compilation of modern dub, surf-rock, nu-disco and funky fusion of the highest order – all found on Island Sounds From Japan: 2009-2016 – out now.
They follow some inspired reissue choices by the Time Capsule crew, including personal favourites (so far – Ed.) – Gigi’s Illuminated Audio and Bombay S Jayashri’s Shravanam album reissues. As usual, the packaging and sound are tip top and those first edition presses carry a coveted obi strip. This label takes vinyl and sound very seriously.
This Keiichi Tanaka track on the latest Island Sounds… release showcases perfectly the label’s choice selection of audiophile tracks, that bring high-end sound, as well as dubwise styles that takes the listener into orbit.
The Black Rio scene
Dom Harding is the Time Capsule crew member who has selected Serghino Meriti’s Bons Mementos album. It’s an absolute gem of the ‘Black Rio’ sound as it languidly fuses with some of the pop fusion and ‘Brazilian breeze’ of 1981. This video of Dom digging the music is a must watch as an intro to this underground classic.
Brazil’s Black Rio movement was inspired by the African-American Civil Rights Movement and the revolutionary, politically conscious soul and funk music of icons like James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Gil Scott Heron, Billy Paul and Nina Simone. The new music scene was born from the poor North Zone of Rio and the culture poured into bailes funk (funk balls) and evolved from the mid 70s onwards.
Artists such as Banda Black Rio, Trio Ternura, Tim Maia and Emilio Santiago provided the soundtrack for politically conscious dancers and the music subverted the officially sanctioned Brazilian styles that were deemed suitable during the oppressive regime of the time (military rule in Brazil was present between 1964-1985) – the politically subversive Tropicalia movement also evolved during this time. Sérginho Meriti was born Sérgio Roberto Serafim and was raised in the north Rio suburb of Meriti (from which he’d take his stage name), starting his career with Black Rio funk/soul outfit Copa 7, for whom he wrote the dancefloor hit Som Da Copa 7.
This mix with Kay and Dom is a must listen for Brazilian music aficianados.
Deep Japanese jazz, 80’s city pop, and ambient and ‘enviromental’ soundscapes of Japan’s amazing music scene are ever popular for music fans across the world. What are captured on Time Capsule’s Island Sounds From Japan 2009 – 2016, are examples of the range of interpretations that Japanese musicians have made of styles that have been exported to them. Dub, rock, disco and pop are fused by the artists here to create tracks that are distinctly Japanese, but nod to those generic pegs that underpin our contextual understanding. However, these fusion experiments sound recognisable and characteristic, while becoming something otherworldly entirely (play these loud! – Ed.).
The artists hail from different musical backgrounds and are united by “a distinctly tropical strain of sound, or ‘Island Music’,” Time Capsule boss Kay Suzuki explains, who compiles this edition. “Although this collection concentrates mainly on recent bands it doesn’t try to reflect what is currently popular. Instead, each artist has used a mixture of craftsmanship and their own personal experiences to experiment with styles and reshape them into new and unique forms. I feel strongly that they deserve more exposure around the world.”
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