Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Family Japan

A couple of posts last week looked at the God Like Genius that is David Sylvian. But what about the rest of the band. For the sake of simplicity I've ignored Mike dean original guitarist, who left pre Tin Drum.

I've posted 4 tracks

The first is by "Rain Tree Crow". This was essentially a Japan reunion in all but name I think David Sylvian only did it on the condition that they didn't call each other Japan. The lp has a couple of tracks that are good as anything anyone in the band has done. The fact that they got together long enough to record anything considering the history between David Sylvian and Mick Karn (think John Terry and Wayne Bridge) the fact is they produced something so good was a real achievement. The sound builds on Japan and David Sylvian's solo stuff but adds a dash of "Spirit of Eden" period Talk Talk.
It gave a tantalising idea as to how the band might have developed

Mick Karn has recorded a number of largely instrumental lps which have his singular bass style to the fore. However he is also responsible for one of the great lost 80s singles made in 1982 just as the band had split up. The lyrics given extra meaning in that his former band mate and best friend had just walked off with his girlfriend

Sensitive - Mick Karn

He also buried the hatchet long enough for David Sylvian to contribute vocals to another track recorded for a later lp "Buoy". Shock of shocks it is almost a pop song with David Sylvian sounding dare I say it "upbeat"?

Buoy - David Sylvian and Mick Karn

Finally Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri got together under the name Dolphin brothers and recorded one lp released in 1987. It is a slightly smoother , poppier, more electronic version of the Japan sound. As they are brothers I shouldn't be surprised as to how similar Steve Jansen's voice is to David Sylvian but it does still make me do whatever the audio version of a double take is. Apart from this both have appeared on numerous of Sylvian's solo recordings at one point or another

Catch the Fall - Dolphin Brothers


  1. Excellent choices! Bouy by Karn/Sylvian and Catch The Fall by Dolphin Brothers are big faves of mine! The other Karn/Sylvian track I can't do without is When Love Walks In. David's contribution to brother Steve's recent solo album, Playground Martyrs, is a special moment as well! JBK, which was Rain Tree Crow minus Sylvian released a very good CD not long after the Rain Tree Crow CD. Fave moment on Rain Tree Crow is - Pocket Full of Change!

  2. Thanks fo rthe comment - pocketful of change is with blacvkwater the stand out tracks
    I've not heard either when love walks in or playground martyrs so going to have to track them down
    Is the JBK lp instrumental or does SJ take vocals


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