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776: Yoko Ono
775: Boredoms
772: Kurofunedan
768: Merzbow
766: Oshiripenpenz
765: YMCK
763: Shizuka Kudo
762: Mo’some Tonebender
761: Soil & “Pimp” Sessions
756: Tokyo Conflux 2008
754: Ed Woods
753: 8otto
751: Para
750: Fuji Rock Festival 2008
748: Katan Hiviya
745: Who the Bitch
742: Low IQ 01
740: Shake Forward!
738: iLL
736: Tobu Ongakusai
733: Yanokami
731: One Night in Naha
729: Shugo Tokumaru
727: Japan Nite
725: Getting out the vote
723: J-Melo
721: Electric Eel Shock
717: GO!GO!7188
715: Yura Yura Teikoku
712: Midori
710: Seigen Ono
708: Wrench
707: Shinichi Osawa
704: M-flo
701: Freesscape
699: Versailles
698: Fuji Rock Festival 2007
697: Uri Nakayama
695: UA
693: Shonen Knife
690: Kemuri
689: Ikochi
686: Best Japanese Albums
684: Monkey Majik
682: Shibusashirazu Orchestra
681: Jon Lynch and Juice magazine
677: DJ Kentaro
675: Sadistic Mikaela Band
673: Osaka Monaurail
672: Teriyaki Boyz featuring Kanye West
666: Oki
662: Amanojaku
659: Polysics
657: Oceanlane
655: Cornelius
651: Bomb Factory
642: Soul Flower Mononoke Summit
640: African JAG
637: Buffalo Daughter
635: Ryukyu Underground
633: Mazri no Matsuri
631: Mono
629: Coldfeet
628: Crystal Kay
625: J-pop goes def
623: Ken Yokoyama
621: Zazen Boys
619: Monday Michiru
613: PE’Z
611: Afrirampo
609: Sherbets
603: Double Famous
601: Meltone
599: Michiyo Yagi
597: Hifana
594: Guitar Wolf
592: Rip Slyme
590: Little Creatures
588: Bliss Out on Hougaku
586: Hoppy Kamiyama
584: Bliss Out on Hougaku
582: Mazri no Matsuri
580: Mari Natsuki
575: Towa Tei
573: The Beautiful Losers
571: Fantastic Plastic Machine
569: Nippop
567: Brahman
560: Shonen Knife
558: Nice Guy Jin
556: Toru Yonaha and Kinohachi
554: Hiromi Uehara
551: Nicotine
549: Ego-Wrappin'
545: Eastern Youth
538: Inside tracks
536: Outside the Box
534: Rainbow Warrior
529: Breaking the mold
527: Sadao China
524: The sound of cyberpunk
522: Ryuichi Sakamoto's Chasm
516: Ken Yokoyama
514: Jan Linton
512: Jazz messengers
509/10: Naoko Terai
507: Akiko Yano
504: Kotaro Oshio: Solo Strings
502: Refurbished rhythms
494: Resonance
492: cyber-swordsmen
490: Loop Junktion
488: Ryukyu Underground: Okinawan Odyssey
484: Gocoo: Reinventing taiko
481: Leonard Eto
479: Gaijin à Go-Go
477: Enemy music
475: Yoriko Ganeko with Chuei Yoshikawa
472: DJ Kaori
469: Yuki
467: Wrench
464: Young and swingin
462: Jazzy Live 2003 from Blue Breath
460: Shonen Knife
457/458: Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden
456: Yuka Kamebuchi & The Voices of Japan
454: Jude
452: Kokoo
451: BBQ Chickens
449: Man and the machinery
446: Crystal Kay
443: Lava
440: Jazz on Leave
437: Rip Slyme
434: Boom Boom Satellites
432: "Rambling" Steve Gardner
430: Dry & Heavy
428: The Birth of OE
426: Anmitsu
424: Happy Kamiyam
422: Shing02
420: Supercar
418: Ryuichi Sakamoto
416: Kick The Can Crew
414: King Brothers
412: Kazufumi Miyazawa
410: Japanese Independent Music
408: The Yoshida Brothers
406: Love Psychedelico
393: Mikidozan
391: Shelter 10th Anniversary
389: The beautiful losers
387: Junpei Shiina
383: Umekuichi
381: P'ez
379: Boredoms
377: Dai Sakakibara
375: Dreams Come True
373: eX-Girl
370: Pizzicato Five
368: Dub Squad
366: Buffalo Daughter
364: Phew Phew L!ve
362: Fumio Yasuda
360: Boom Boom Satellites
358: Kei Kobayashi
356: Cool Drive Makers
354: Bird
351: United Future Organization
349: Audio Active
347: Ondekoza
345: Misia
343: Brahman
341: Puffy
339: Ryukyu Festival 2000
337: Rappagariya
335: Lisa Ono
333: Air Jam 2000
331: Feed
327: Tenkoo Orchestra
325: Wrench
323: Sadao Watanabe
321: Dry & Heavy
319: Bonny Pink
317: Sakura Hills Disco 3000
315: Aco
313: Rovo
311: The Mad Capsule Markets
309: Coldfeet

Jan Linton

"This is like the end of the Japanese era, and I'm gonna split pretty soon," says the initially cagey character as we sit down at a table in an Aoyama cafe. With only a hint of wistfulness, he adds, "So that's why I thought I should talk with Metropolis-it's kind of goodbye from me to Japan." The "it" in question is Communion, an album that reprises much of the music Englishman Jan Linton composed in his decade in Japan, just released here by Receptor Tune.

Hailing from Manchester, Linton-affectionately dubbed "Dr Jan Guru" in Japan-grew up listening to the synth-pop and New Wave that swept England in the '80s. The influence shows in his preference for synthetic sounds, his heady, unabashedly emotional songwriting, his resonant, vibrato-inflected voice that recalls Jim Kerr from Simple Minds, and the appearance of friend and collaborator John Taylor, guitarist with Duran Duran.

Communion, it turns out, was recorded partly at John Taylor's digs in Hollywood, says Linton, and features a John Taylor composition, "King Porn." But the album is not as rooted in the past as this might suggest. The influence of contemporary dance music also abounds, as indicated by record company Receptor's description of Linton's style as "ambient rock."

The sardonic "Coffee Shop Buddhist," for instance, is an electro-rock steamroller that marries distorted guitars to clinical beats, the cover of David Sylvian's "Nightporter" gives it a house flavor, and "Dark Entries" is all distorted, punishing jungle breakbeats. Despite Linton's obvious '80s influences, Communion is less a "retro" album, than an integration of some currents in pop of the past two decades with present-day club music.

Thematically, the album's title is suggestive of its lyrical content. "Actually only the first song, 'Coffee Shop Buddhist,' is political/confrontational," says Linton. "I would say the others are mostly spiritual appeals to people." But Linton also retains a sense of humor: "The third-to-last track, 'Infinity Perpetual,' pokes fun at this, and even at myself."

It turns out, in fact, that many of the songs are re-workings of material that was originally released on a previous album in Japanese. "I thought this is a chance to redo some of this and erase the Japanese that confused some people in the past and just keep it straight English," he explains.

In an indication of the global nature of the music business today, the route to the album's release was circuitous. "I got this record deal through a UK label for distribution in Eastern Europe through a Russian company actually," says Linton, who notes that previous records have been well-received in that part of the world.

Meanwhile, the musician is busy fulfilling the terms of his Japanese record deal. "I'm actually making two new albums simultaneously," he says. "The other one will be out in the summer-that's the remix of this. And then there's another I've got up my sleeve."

Then it's splitsville; Linton says he's moving back to England. "Everybody tells me I should," he says cryptically. But like many an expatriate, he's hedging his bet, adding as a final caveat: "I've got an offer from a Japanese major that still stands."

credit: Receptor Tune