Julian Cope´s JAPROCKSAMPLER

"Japanese rock 'n' roll music of the past decade has offered the West so much of worth that the time has now come to question how Japan's rock musicians reached this fascinating place. The long-sustained underground careers of such contemporary movers and shakers as the Boredoms, Acid Mothers Temple, Boris, High Rise, Ghost and their ilk have - while meaning doodly-squat in their own country - managed to inspire so many new musicians here in the West that I felt it was essential to investigate thoroughly the Japanese music of their childhoods and teenage years. For, just as Krautrock and the John Peel show sustained my own lost generation in those early '70s wilderness years before our own voices could be heard through punk rock, so must the musicians of the aforementioned current Japanese bands have been shown evidence from some previous (and possibly now lost) generation that a heady rock 'n' roll lifestyle was still possible in Japan's notoriously anti-hard-drug culture. That these contemporary Japanese bands drank huge draughts from the same fountainhead as we British and American rock 'n' rollers is indisputable, but I knew from my own four tours of Japan that it could be barely half the picture. For those tours revealed to me just how carefully the Japanese thrust everything they discover from the outside world through their own singularly Japanese filter, mainly resulting in a peculiar copy of the original, but quite often bringing forth something magnificent and wholly better than that which had first inspired it. I figured that if Japan's rock 'n' roll followed the same pattern as the rest of its culture, then there must be a high percentage of lost genius still awaiting rediscovery. For, as we have seen from some of the wonderful music recorded in the Communist Bloc and under fascist regimes, most rock 'n' roll artists of any real worth will, in their quest to activate the Ur-spirit that dwells within them, inevitably cull experiences from vastly different sources.

Speed Glue & Shinki
Of course, post-war Japan was democratic, but its rules of freedom and what freedom permitted were still being set. In this way, Japanese rock artists probably share much of the same spirit of adventure and experience as their equivalent West German 'Krautrock' counterparts, only more so on account of Japan's long history of feudalism, its use of an entirely different alphabet and its geographical remove from the rock 'n' roll Ur-source."

- Julian Cope, JAPROCKSAMPLER