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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Japrocksampler divides into two parts. 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.

Music japrocksampled Julian Cope reviews. 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.

Japrocksampler – Wikipedia

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. Krautrocksampler and Japrocksampler are decidedly different, however.

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.

Krautrocksampler sought to rekindle an interest in music that cop 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 japrockasmpler ‘stone circle’ histories The Modern Antiquarian and The Megalithic European?

The sad truth is that very few people are interested in unusual “foreign” sounds. T welve years ago Julian Cope published his celebrated celebration of s German cosmic rock.


Japrocksampler is a far more substantial work, for better and for worse. For that matter, Julian Cope’s Krautrocksampler is out of print too. At first, Cope’s copw hipster hyperbole seems to have been tamed by the challenge of elucidating a subject so obscure to most readers. 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.

Japroc,sampler 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. But in a book as over-amplifi ed as this, acoustic guitars don’t register. Japrocksampler aims to do the same thing for Japan, although the context could hardly be more diff erent.

Now here comes Copey with a sort-of-sequel, this time exploring and exalting julain even more esoteric world of Japanese freak rock. In our megastore marketplace, the familiar japrocksxmpler endlessly recycled, while blinkered journalists reshuffle the same Top lists ad nauseam. It quickly became a cult item and was widely credited for kick-starting the Nineties boom of interest in Krautrock something of an over-estimation, given that groups like Stereolab had clpe been citing Neu!

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. Topics Music The Observer. Experimental violinist Takehisa Kosugi takes time out from the avant-garde to compose music for the children’s cartoon series Atom Boy. The Krautrocksampler equivalent would be kicking off with japrocskampler Franco-Prussian War!


Especially early on, there’s a self-conscious air of scholarship. Cope astutely notes that for the Japanese, the entertainment industry copr “a mythical hinterland wherein almost any opposing ideas could meet head-on”, an environment where a singer could contribute to an avantgarde freakout while maintaining a parallel career crooning Perry Como ditties in a velvet tux.

His lack of affinity with folk or the subtler forms of jazz causes him to ignore or juliwn many of Japan’s most distinctive artists. Strangely, though, Cope doesn’t make much of the parallels between Krautrock and Japrock: I’ve spent a fortune buying Japanese stuff because it has a great jacket’.


This consumer advice is the fruit of much labour and expense, Cope reveals, the sifting process being ‘an arduously hit-and-miss affair Other books on the subject are not on off er. A pop star in the s, he has spent the subsequent decades crusading against “greedhead” values and commercial compromise. 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 the introduction, the word ‘study’ crops up repeatedly, including the assertion that a ‘detailed study of this book will have co;e rethinking your attitudes to music, art, time