ALERT: Cute young woman, wearing holy jeans, 70’s green top, black boots, gold watch, bleached blonde, walking down the streets of Shimokitazawa, carrying a matchingly cute and sticker’d 45 case, loaded with deep cut Soul 45’s and a brown paper Disc Union sack full of equally soulful 33’s, en route to local DJ gig. Uh… Can you get any cooler? Um. No… No, you can’t.

Well if you could, Shimokita would be the place, Tokyo’s Bohemian enclave, where I’ve mostly called home for my decades here, despite moving a little down the road. One of the things that I feel makes Shimokita what it is, is its walking village vibe …and the fact that it’s the same sorta characters everywhere you look. You don’t know everybody, obviously, but at the same time, everybody is kinda familiar in a 6 degrees of separation kinda way, truly like a village. Now I mostly just pass through, but often enough for it to still feel like my stomping grounds, Occasionally I’ll run into a familiar face, but back in the day they were around every corner, and you’d just high-five them and keep on your way, cuz you knew you’d see ‘em that night or the next at any of the usual haunts. 

Though I was meeting Rina, pictured here for the first time, sorta felt like those old days. Rina was warm to the idea of photos and busted out some gems from her 45 stash along with some friendly smiles and laughs. I was gonna ask her where she was DJing but didn’t want to pry. You could give her a follow to know about her next set, but an even better reason would be to see her great drawings and characters. She’s a talented illustrator! I told her about the vibrant foreigner-friendly illustrator scene that I’m loosely connected to, some who follow this stream. I hope she’ll connect with some of you.

Thanks, Rina for the nice chat and great street portrait and for your willingness to be a part of Tokyo Record Style! Hope you had a great set! Also hope to meet again (maybe you can join a Tokyo Record Style or Top 5 Records event someday, or even play a set! Until then, be good! 

More Tokyo Record Style on the Way! 

Vass Corporation – One More Day
Label: Iceburg – KD-018, Kay-Dee Records – KD-018
Format: Vinyl, 7″, 45 RPM
Country: US
Released: 2008
Genre: Funk / Soul

Dimas III [Dimas Garza] – I Won’t Love You Again / So Funny
Label: Numero Group – ES-084, Numero Group – ES084LP-C1
Series: Eccentric Soul 45s – ES-084
Format: Vinyl, 7″, 45 RPM, Orange Opaque
Country: US
Released: 2023
Genre: Funk / Soul
Style: Soul

Greenflow – I Got’cha / No Other Life Without You
Label: Numero Group – ES-079, Numero Group – ES079LP-C1
Series: Eccentric Soul 45s – ES-079
Format: Vinyl, 7″, 45 RPM, Single, Green Opaque
Country: US
Released: 2023
Genre: Jazz, Funk / Soul

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