Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2020 December 28 • Monday

The 654th Soundtrack of the Week is this compilation of funky groovy music from various Japanese crime/action movies of the 1970s. It's called Tokyo Violenta and it's fantastic.

It's on green vinyl!

Every track is a blast of guitars, drums, percussion, horns, keyboards, vibes, you name it, all incredibly catchy and slinky and soulful and getting deep into grooves.

But there's not much else I can stay. Even if you read Japanese, the track names don't tell you what movie or composer you're hearing a selection from.

The first track, for instance, translates as "Following Theme", as in the music you hear when somebody's tailing somebody else in the movie.

The second track is even less helpful. It's called "M—4". That's on the A side. The second track on the B side is "M—6".

Occasionally you get something else. Side B Track 10 is "Super Express 109", which is an alternate title for the movie "The Bullet Train". So that's something. But what cue is it? No other information is given.

The names of the composers are dumped after the track listing with no hints about who did what. The names are Michiaki Watanabe, Daisuke Inou, Takeo Yamashita, Ichiro Araki, Hachirou Aoyama, Inoue Takayuki, Katsuo Ono, Hajime Kubaragi and Shunsuke Kikuchi.

It's a wonderful record that I recommend highly, even if the liner notes leave a lot to be desired.

One further curiosity is that the music is described as being from movies that are "70s Japan Blaxploitation". Presumably what is meant by this is that the music was influenced by and is similar to the music from American Blaxploitation movies.