After years of visiting my (semi-) local Coconuts Disk in Kichijoi, a couple weeks back I finally ventured out over to its slightly older brother, Coconuts Disk Ekoda, the original, in Nerima. Despite its relation to its satellite little bro near me, this record shop was far more different than I had expected. Yes, it had the same signature green sign, and trademark “coconut-ish” plants strewn about. Scattered throughout too were random decommissioned hi-fi accouterments, but unlike their Kichijoji shop, there was a kind of voodoo element in the air, all the music being guarded by exotic taxidermied birds and magical-looking African masks. Overall it was …like it’s relative location to … “a bit out there.”
Hmmm, what should I even look for in this place? Where to start? After first pursuing “Fusion/Crossover”, then “Balearic” I finally thought to myself “If I’m ever gonna find Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder’s “Talking Timbuktu” on wax, this might be the place”, but alas, after a short chat with the cool and friendly staff, it twasn’t to be.
What t’was to be, however, was meeting artist and DJ, Makiko Yamamoto outside the shop, who interestingly put up very little refusal to be photographed – I mean I usually have to initially offer at least a hint of non-threatening puppy-dog eyes no matter how on-board the subject might eventually become, but not here. Makiko’s instant and unwavering willingness, in fact, said something distinctive about her, as if she was a kind of encounter welcomer. So wholly and matter-of-factly was her “Yes” that it actually caught me off guard. I suspect that had I been rain, rather than recede into her shoulders, squint and contort her face to stay dry which would be the natural human reactions, she might have been one to turn her gentle face to the sky, and just let it fall over her. Makiko had an instantly evident aura and it made an impression.
We talked for a bit about her illustration art, about her musical tastes about musicianship, about today’s eclectic scores, about the neighborhood and the distinctions between Coconuts in Ekoda and Kichijoji. I would have liked to have talked to her longer about music and heard more of what she might have said. No doubt, I was curious.
In the end unfortunately I couldn’t quite find the most flattering light quickly enough to let her on her way. The ground-level spotlight that illuminated the alligator on a leash Coconuts doors looked good on the croc (and perhaps Crocs) but not so much on lovely human faces (on which we like to see light come naturally from above) …but it just means I’ll need to visit this shop again, perhaps meet Makiko there again. But if not there at Coconuts Ekoda, I have a hunch I’ll see her out somewhere else in Tokyo. Judging by her tastes in records, and her online presence of making art, music, and leibenskünsling, she, like Ekoda itself (and I say this with love) is probably, in more ways than one, “a bit out there” too.
The Ambush – The Ambush
Label: Harthouse – HHLP005, Harthouse – HH-LP 5, Harthouse – HH-LP-005
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album
Style: Trance, Tribal, Ambient
Off – Time Operator
Label: Blanco Y Negro (2) – MX 207
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 45 RPM, Maxi-Single
Style: Synth-pop, New Beat
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