Thursday, June 11, 2009


A contribution by DayGloJoe, who correctly judged that I would find this album interesting, and so would the readers of this blog.

The actual title of this comp is Ryukyu Rare Groove: Shimauta Pops in 60's-70's, but it is also sold by the non-japanese-speaking retailers as Okinawan Groove Collection. Here's a review by Mikey IQ Jones:
A fantastic collection of wonderful, chameleonic Okinawan pop music from the 1960s & '70s, Shimauta Pops showcases brilliant early examples of the collusionist aesthetic that makes Okinawan pop so much fun while being rather forward-thinking in approach. Featuring tracks by the Hoptones, Four Sisters, Yara Family, and Aiko Yohen (though unfortunately none of the info is translated into English), this disc shows the artists fusing traditional Okinawan island melodies and instrumentation with more "modern" western styles -- R'n'B, bossa, Tin Pan Alley, even some wild banjo/fiddle hootenanies! -- though in all honesty what is achieved here proves to be rather modern in itself while maintaining that gorgeous nostalgic questing tone that I love so much in the melodies. The final product often sounds like a much less frenetic cousin to Indian "Bollywood" film music, and as testament to their true pop nature, many of the songs are as infectious as influenza. The overall sound had a BIG influence on Haroumi Hosono (fresh out of Happy End but not yet on his way to Yellow Magic Orchestra) and his excellent mid-'70s trilogy of "tropical" albums -- Tropical Dandy, Bon Voyage Co, and Paraiso -- with shamisens and shakuhachis backed at times by New Orleans or Detroit Soul rhythm sections, steel pans and vibes, and doo-wop harmonies... track 7 even features a shamisen/Moog duet with primitive drum machines plonking away in the back! Overall, this is beautiful, innovative, and best of all, totally fun. Any record that simultaneously makes your head spin and your butt shake gets top marks in my book!

224kbps, 42mb on rapidshare
Unfortunately, the song titles and artists' listing are only in Japanese. See comments for the tracklist.

Some time ago, Solepower left a comment searching for Ernest Ranglin's album Sound and Power. The only copy circulating on the internets is a low-quality vinyl rip that's much shorter than the subsequent CD reissue. Solepower was able to find a better quality complete CD rip and posted it on his blog, here.
You can't go wrong with a Ranglin album!

1. Major Walk
2. Mix Master
3. Sound and Power
4. More Stars
5. West of the Sun
6. Black Man's Train
7. Psychedelic Rock
8. Ranglin Doddlin
9. Mama Top
10. So We Call It
11. Lee Arab
12. Jericho Rocking
13. Less Problem
14. Black Eyed Peas
15. These Eyes
16. Still Water
17. Now


  1. The Okinawa link doesn't work. Rapidshare sez it's reached its 10 download limit!

    Re-up? Please?

  2. Yes Brother.
    please do .

  3. "Ryukyu Rare Groove: Shimauta Pops in 60's-70's" is sensational. I love it - thanks!
    I only wish it had a track/artist list. If you ever find that info, please post it.

  4. thanks for this!
    here is the tracklist for the okinawa compilation (in japanese, of course):

    1. が屋良ファミリーズ - 白浜ブルース (3:24)
    2. が屋良ファミリーズ - ゴーゴー・チンボーラー (2:25)
    3. が屋良ファミリーズ - 海やからー (2:29)
    4. はホップトーンズ - うるま島 (2:29)
    5. はホップトーンズ - へい二才たー (3:38)
    6. は高安勝男 - 村はじし (3:02)
    7. はイントゥルメンタルでマルフクシンカ - リズム谷茶 (3:21)
    8. は当山達子 - 島やからー (3:25)
    9. は饒辺愛子 - なんた浜 (5:14)
    10. は知名定男と嘉味田美津子 - いつまでも (3:51)
    11. は当山達子 - 半かけ月 (4:11)
    12. はフォーシスターズ - 軽便鉄道節 (3:02)
    13. はフォーシスターズ - 島娘 (3:03)
    14. はフォーシスターズ - ボサノバ・ジントーヨー (2:53)
    15. は中本ツトムと謝刈楽団 - 東京のバラッド (3:11)

  5. Hey, this is Mikey IQ Jones, the guy who actually wrote the review/synopsis quoted for the Ryukyu Rare Groove comp (would it be possible to get credited for that?).

    Nice to see it making the rounds, as it's pretty hard to get a hold of these days (we haven't had it in stock at Other Music for over a year now). It's a longtime favorite of mine, and has become a strong contender over the years for one of my desert island discs. Here's the translated and/or Romaji version of the tracklisting for you all (it's not perfect by any means, but it's close enough!). Enjoy!

    Ryukyu Rare Groove - Shimauta Pops in 60's-70's

    1. Yara Family "Shirahama Blues"
    2. Yara Family "Go Go Chimbora"
    3. Yara Family "Empty Blue Sea"
    4. The Hoptones "Uruma Island"
    5. The Hoptones "Hei Ni Sai Ta"
    6. Masao Takayasu "Mura Hajishi"
    7. Shinka Marufuku "Tanicha Rhythm"
    8. Tachiko Hatouyama "Shima Yakara"
    9. Aiko Yohen "Nanta Beach"
    10. Sadao Hachimei & Mitsuko Kajita "Itsumademo (Forever)"
    11. Tachiko Hatouyama "Han Kake Gatsu (A Half Moon)"
    12. The Four Sisters "Keibintetsudou Fushi" (This one is something to do with railroads, but I'm not fluent or knowledgeable enough to figure it out, sorry!)
    13. The Four Sisters "Shima Musume (Island Girl)"
    14. The Four Sisters "Jintoyo Bossa Nova"
    15. Tsutomu Nakamoto & The Shakari Orchestra "Tokyo Ballad"

  6. Hello Mikey IQ,
    Thanks a lot for the tracklist. Sorry I could not credit you by name as the Other Music website only gave the initials [IQ], but I will do that now. Thanks for the review, too!

  7. HOOKED from the first track, and satisfied all the way through! A real discovery! thanks!

  8. Shit's pimp tight. Makes me feel like I'm surfing the damn waves with Shishido "The Chipmunk Killer" Joe on a Manga colored wave of Dick Dale suds. That's word.

  9. Great stuff, thanks!

    By the way, the Japanese tracklist is not correct - the first character of every band name is unnecessary and therefore just wrong.

    So all perfectionists: just erase the が or は at the beginning of the band name!

  10. Great find. I'm about to sample some of this shit.

  11. I'm back, and I still love this album. Does anyone know where you can find a download for Ryukyu Rare Groove 2? I've really been obsessed by finding more of this kind of Okinawa folk. For anyone else who's hankering, check out Songs of Okinawa. It's not as interesting, not as poppy, as Rare Groove, but a good listen nonetheless.

    Find it in two parts here:

  12. ah, thanks kugayama! i found that tracklist online, and not being a japanese speaker/reader, was, needless to say, unable to determine which characters were necessary or were not. does it look correct besides those?

  13. Love Ryukyu Rare Groove: Shimauta Pops in 60's-70's! Thank you so much. I always like Okinawan music and this just made it so fresh. Thanks

  14. While I'm taging this song in my playlist. I realized that the japanese character seems a bit off so I researched online. Like Peter said, there are a few extra characters in the original list above.

    My japanese is very minimal but I belive the word below should be

    唄 - Sing by
    演奏 - Instrumental perform by:

    Number. Song Name (Sing by: )

    1. 白浜ブルース(唄:屋良ファミリーズ)
    2. ゴーゴー・チンボーラー(唄:屋良ファミリーズ 演奏:フォークスペシャル)
    3. 海やからー(唄:屋良ファミリーズ)
    4. うるま島(唄:ホップトーンズ)
    5. へい二才たー(唄:ホップトーンズ)
    6. 村はじし(唄:高安勝男)
    7. リズム谷茶(演奏:マルフクシンカ)
    8. 島やからー(唄:当山達子)
    9. なんた浜(唄:饒辺愛子)
    10. いつまでも(唄:知名定繁・嘉味田美津子 演奏:仲本興次とメトロシンカ)
    11. 半かけ月(唄:当山達子)
    12. 軽便鉄道節(唄:フォーシスターズ)
    13. 島娘(唄:フォーシスターズ)
    14. ボサノバ・ジントーヨー
    (唄:屋良ファミリーズ 演奏:フォークスペシャル)
    15. 東京のバラッド( 唄:中本ツトムと謝刈楽団)

  15. any ideas on where to track down vol 2? loving this.

  16. No, I don't have Vol.2.
    If you ever find it, let me know too :)