A number of years ago I was in the market for a new amplifier. I really debated whether to buy a feature-thin power-amp, optimized for a 2-channel, high-fidelity listening experience, or a feature-rich, multi-channel mainframe Audio/Video receiver for the home entertainment center. As much as I wanted to go for a warm and roaring, analog and VU metered, tube-glowing vintage hi-fi amp for myself, I opted for max HDMI ports, Bluetooth, and the like, to stay in good graces with my growing family. (I’d get the hi-fi rig down the road). 

Well, one of the interesting and unexpected features I discovered of the digital Yamaha AV receiver (which I still have and actually love), probably very seldom used by its owners was the online radio function – essentially you could go to this dated and clunky Yamaha website from like 2003, program-in your favorite online radio stations (hmmm, do love me some public radio), and then connect to your receiver via the net, and it’s all synced. “100 preset channels to set? This is cool. Hmmm, OK, we gotta find the best classical station, best jazz station, best, bluegrass & country, prolly a whole Beatles station, I bet I can find everything…” AND I DID! And it’s from all over the world! Amazing radio stations, all streaming online, from every corner of the globe, even the 1-watt old pirate radio station that I used to DJ at, that only broadcast as far as the mountain town of Ward, Colorado, (Looking at you, W-A-Y-Hi Radio”). It was like the coolest discovery ever.

So while I was researching what stations to program into this system (Google: “Best Radio Stations in the world”), I made another amazing discovery – “FIP” which technically stands for “France Inter Paris” but which I personally remember wrongly as “French International Programming.” This is what Wiki says about FIP: “The concept behind FIP has scarcely changed since its founding: commercial-free music interrupted only briefly for occasional announcements about forthcoming cultural events…Live broadcasts, from Paris, are from 7 am to 11 pm. During off-hours, a computer replays music programming from previous days. All music programming is hand-picked by a small team of curators, who create three-hour blocks of music. They abide by a few rules, most notably paying close attention to how tracks transition from one to the other, across genres and styles, and especially making sure that a song is never played twice in a 48-hour window. FIP broadcasts around 16,000 artists and 44,000 different songs every year; 85% of its programming comes from independent labels.” WOW!! 

FIP is the radio station that you’d leave on all the time on the car stereo (if your car stereo wasn’t more than 25 years old and only picked up terrestrial stations), or for when you’re having a dinner party (pfffttt, right, as if I have dinner parties) and you just want a solid playlist for the evening, or for when it’s your turn to select the office music – you throw on FIP and just forget about for the next 8 hours, in which case not only will everybody assume you have the best taste in music ever, but you’ll have Shazammed yourself 1/2 a dozen times. 

And speaking of 1/2 dozens, Taichi pictured here whom I met on the streets of Shibuya, had pickup up a 1/2 a dozen records by the time I caught up with him for a photo, 1/2 a dozen records I’ve never really come closer to hearing of (save for the Dust Brother who, sidenote, produced so many of my favorite records including Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique, Beck’s Odelay, Midnite Vultures and Guero, and even “MMMBop” by Tulsa hometown heroes(?), Hanson …not to mention selections by Santana, the Stones, Earth Wind & Fire, Young MC, They Might be Giants, …um The MUPPETS!, …but I digress), but after having put in the time to listen this week to all of Taichi’s scores, I’ve made this really round-about comparison of him to FIP. You see, it didn’t take long for me to realize (even just by looking at so many alluring album covers) that the music within Taichi’s selection was very carefully, meticulously, intentionally curated. 

Mentioning that he was up from Kawasaki, (and that we happen to be the exact same age, frequented the exact same clubs, and probably crossed a path or two at a record store already unbeknownst to the other) and that he regularly DJs parties and events in Tokyo, mostly house and techno music, I could easily gather that Taichi was not only just a deep appreciator and connoisseur of music, curating for his own wide and varied tastes, but as a DJ, he also curates for the tastes of others. While most of us buy records simply cuz we like the artists or music, and wish to enjoy it anytime by ourselves in whatever the context might be, some of us specifically search out music that we not ONLY want to similarly savor alone, or however, but that we know we should share, propagate, pollinate, infiltrate, spike the kool-aid with, as it were. That’s what I find on FIP, and that’s what I found in Taichi’s collection. I just Pac-Man’d up a mega power-pellet of expanded horizons, a chunky download from the music matrix on just this one chance encounter with Taichi (but really with so many other Tokyo Record Style subjects too).

Lastly, some words I read while researching and listening to Taichi’s selection: “academic beat manipulation”, “new psychedelic cosmic adventure” “meticulously constructed”, “influenced by disco, house, garage rock, post-punk, psychedelic rock, and techno”, “flawlessly engineered”, “innovative in the simplicity with which it talks to the soul of the listening.” I mention these to really encourage you to give some of this music a listen. It will bend your perception of what techno music can be and maybe serve to expand your musical horizons and appreciation like it did for me. 

THANK YOU, TAICHI, for unsuspectingly curating such a high-caliber collection of music for Tokyo Record Style! See you at your next DJ event! 

Most Tokyo Record Style on the way! 

Prefuse 73 – One Word Extinguisher
Label: Warp Records – WARPLP105
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: UK
Released: May 5, 2003
Genre: Electronic, Hip Hop
Style: IDM, Glitch Hop, Abstract

Moscoman – Wave Rave
Label: Life And Death – LAD038
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 33 ⅓ RPM
Country: Italy
Released: May 2019
Genre: Electronic
Style: House, Nu-Disco, Tech House, Experimental

Todh Teri – Deep In India Vol. 8
Label: Todh Teri – TODH008
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 33 ⅓ RPM, Limited Edition
Country: Germany
Released: Jan 11, 2021
Genre: Electronic
Style: Nu-Disco, Disco, House

Red Axes – Shem Vol.II
Label: I’m A Cliché – Cliche 063
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 33 ⅓ RPM, EP, Stereo
Country: France
Released: Oct 2015
Genre: Electronic
Style: Tech House, Leftfield, House

The Dust Brothers – Song To The Siren (Sabre Of Paradise Mixes)
Label: Junior Boy’s Own – JBO-10
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 33 ⅓ RPM
Country: UK
Released: Feb 1993
Genre: Electronic
Style: Breakbeat, Techno

Purple Disco Machine – Soulmatic
Label: Sweat It Out! – SWEATA016VG
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Reissue, Gold
Country: UK
Released: Sep 27, 2021
Genre: Electronic
Style: House, Nu-Disco

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