Slowly, quietly, copious amounts of Japanese records have been making their way to Spotify here in the U.S., and, as a result, I've actually been listening to a lot of Japanese stuff on the platform, something that I honestly didn't think would happen... well, ever. The Japanese record industry has long existed in a sort of parallel universe to the American one, a sort of Earth-Two realm that looks a lot like what we have here in the States, but that is mostly sequestered to its own space and self-contained.

Well, no more. That barrier is eroding, being disassembled, one brick at a time, and I'm ecstatic. First, I noticed Yellow Magic Orchestra, then I noticed Flipper's Guitar, Strawberry Machine, Halfby. The day the Trattoria and Readymade libraries go online will be a major one for me. That's what I'm really holding out for—and also not holding my breath for.

One band I've been fixing my gaze on recently from this class of newcomers is Fishmans (フィッシュマンズ). Formed in the late 80s, dissolved in the late 90s, with the death of Shinji Sato (佐藤 伸治), their distinctive lead singer, they were a reggae dub-dipped J-pop act that is just... pleasant and peaceful and relaxed. Suits these easy, gentle days of late August nicely.

Their biggest song, "Nightcruising" (「ナイトクルージング」) sums them up nicely. Gels perfectly with U.N.K.L.E.'s Psyence Fiction, which I'm also spending some time with.