Hey Tokyo Record Style Friends!
I doubt anybody has noticed, but I had to pause TRS for a bit (seems about 20 days since my last post) to work on other priorities, some of which I’ll be excited to share with you very soon. Though I couldn’t seem to carve out the time to write much, I did not stop meeting record-loving people, jotting down their stories in my notebook, and photographing their smiling faces with their recent record store scores.
Something that maybe is coming to light to me as a …beat(?) writer, as it were, is that the further I get away from the connections I make, so too goes the recollection, and the closer I am to the source, the more nimble my typing fingers are to translating it all into words. You do gain the luxury of some tempered perspective with time, and you can craft it all back together as best you can, detail by detail like a puzzle, but it takes more time and effort and maybe with less assuredness (but that remains to be seen). The immediacy of needing to get it out, to create and express, and clear some space for the next burst of story awaiting ahead of you, coupled with the rhythm of writing if you can get there, well, you just don’t really want to break stride. You start to wish that it is the only thing you need to do, the only priority to have. …but I digress.
Meet friendly George here, from exactly where in Australia did he come on this visit to Japan, one of many he’s made over the years, I wish I could recall that detail, was it Sydney? It doesn’t quite matter where George was from, because what does matter is where George is headed next. His quest for great records, deep cuts, and perhaps a holy grail or two has led him all over, and this time between Tokyo and Osaka, a probably a few places in between, including DJing a set at Upstairs Records in Shmokitazawa where I randomly met him on way-home pitstop. The first thing I came to know about George was how outgoing he is …as outgoing I sometimes think I am, basically saying to me within seconds of making eye contact, “Hi, I’m George, what’s your name and how’s it going?” We immediately hit it off and although our encounter was short, George shared about what seems to be his enormous record collection, all archived on his Instagram, some of his record-shop adventures (that I suggested adding a few spots to, which he welcomed) and about his clever DJ/labeling technique of putting the choice Side/Track on the sleeve of lesser known records to help him along at the decks (notice the “A3” label on the Blackbyrds Record in the photos, implying that Side A, Track 3 is the choice cut). Simple but great idea. I’m often wasting time (read: panicked sweat) behind the turntables trying to pinpoint that one, name-escaping song that I know is somewhere on this record. I may try to adopt that method, George, but I’ll admit, probably too pragmatic and logical for this scatterbrain.
Although George’s set was meant to start any minute from now, which I was sadly going to have to all but miss, needing to get back to Dad-Duty, when I told him about Tokyo Record Style, he thankfully and enthusiastically insisted I add him to the archive. Considering how dark barkeep and curator Makato likes to keep Upstairs Records, George and I headed down to the street where there was about 10 times the amount of light to make these nice photos, in which I feel you can sense George’s love for records and music.
I did manage to catch the first track or two from his set, but I hope to catch more of him and his refined taste in music in a future rendezvous. #theworldgetssmallerthoughmusic.
Ok, we’re officially back on track folks! More TRS on the way!
The Blackbyrds – Action
Label: Fantasy – F-9535
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Terre Haute Pressing
Genre: Jazz, Funk / Soul
Style: Jazz-Funk, Soul, Funk, Disco
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