This Saturday night I have the honor of not only returning to Osaka and DJ’ing at Compufunk, but also rocking alongside Tokyo’s WahWah DJ’s in the first of two special parties featuring both brands. DJ’s Daisuke Kuroda, Ryuhei The Man, Afro-Tee, Taizo and Skeme Richards will be spinning a heavy vinyl selection of Funk, Soul, Rare Groove and other gems in this one and done must attend party. The following Friday we return to Tokyo for a special WahWah meets Hot Peas & Butta The Room in Shibuya.
A few days after our arrival in Japan for the Hot Peas & Butta Tour, we found out that one of our favorite and legendary actors in Japan, Bunta Sugawara had passed away. Bunta Sugawara was most famously known for his roles played in some of the greatest Yakuza films ever made. Sugawara born in 1933 starred in more than 200 feature films during his career that began in 1958 in Teruo Ishii’s White Line. Sugawara appeared in other films during his early career but it wasn’t until his first starring role at Toei, Gendai Yakuza: Yotamono no Okite in 1969 that things started to happen for him and launched a series based on the film with the last installment in 1972, Street Mobster. The actor wouldn’t achieve major success until 1973 at the age of 40 when he starred in Fukasaku’s five-part yakuza epic, Battles Without Honor and Humanity. Based on real life yakuza conflict in Hiroshima, the series was very successful and popularized a new type of yakuza film the Jitsuroku eiga, and the role of Shozo Hirono still remains his most well known. Continue reading
Since we’re heading back out on the road and off to Japan once again for the Hot Peas & Butta 2014 tour, we thought this would be the perfect time to catch up and reacquaint ourselves with one of our favorite genres of exploitation cinema, Pink Film aka Pinky Violence. For those unfamiliar with the genre we personally consider it to be the equivalent of what Blaxploitation is here in the states. It’s the finest in Japanese exploitation films that encompasses everything from dramas and action thrillers to soft-core porn that particularly centers around strong female leads to play the bad ass roles. The genre developed out of the Japanese New Wave in the late 60’s and really came into it’s own during the early 70’s. Filmakers heavily influenced by Pinky Violence in their works include Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriquez and Russ Meyer to name a few. Continue reading
Funk Night Returns (not like they ever left) again with their latest release and most likely the last one for 2014 and it’s a festive one at that. Harris & His Christmas Avengers come thorough with the funky instrumental, “Get Down Auld Lang Syne” pressed on in Christmas red and green label perfect as a stocking stuffer or even better spinning on your deck with the spreading holiday cheer.
Every once in a while something comes across you’re desk that makes you go “oh sh*t, did they really do that!?” Well that’s what happened when we found out about and heard an upcoming 45 produced by the homie Shane Hunt for The Excelsiors. “Lookout Weekend” is off of the “Control This” double LP which is Shane’ latest project that brings various genres together and of course heavy on the Reggae and Disco to bring you quite the masterpiece. Lookout Weekend is a cover version of Debbie Deb’s 1984 freestyle classic by the same name and one that we really dug back then. But this new flip definitely has us flipping our wigs on how and why anyone would be genius enough to bring this tune back to life and of course doing it justice to stand on it’s own. The album as a whole is a solid outing with Shane on production while vocals are handled by northern soul / disco legend The Mighty Pope and Omega Rae of Blackalicious with all elements complimenting each other perfectly.
Although most people who are familiar with Quentin Tarantino’s reincarnation of the Django character starring Jamie Foxx, they are mostly unfamiliar with the original role played by and made famous by actor Franco Nero (who also starred in Tarantino’s film) in 1966’s Spaghetti Western by the same name. The Django character although not all played by Nero has appeared in 31 films which originally started in Italy but due to the success of the character, many other westerns and movies tried to capitalize on its success by retitling and releasing films under the same name all which never starred Franco Nero.
Next week we kick things off with the return of Magma Taishi and the Hot Peas & Butta 4 year anniversary tour in Japan. Skeme Richards will be making his way in between Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka while also make a weekend trip to Taipei Taiwan for two more parties. This year’s line up stays hefty and pretty consistent with previous years as Skeme will be DJ’ing several favorites and starting things off with CHAMP at The Room in Shibuya. The very first time Skeme attended one of the CHAMP parties he knew that this was a must add to his list of parties to DJ. The music is funky and jazzy and of course strictly vinyl selections are how it goes down. This is also a very special edition of CHAMP and sets as the release party for Yosuke Tominaga’s latest 7inch, “Bisco” which we hipped you to in an early post.
Skeme Richards will be making his first trip to Fukuoka Japan to DJ at Black Water Gold or B.W.G. for short and toting a nice stack of vinyl along with him. B.W.G. is all about the blackness and is a night dedicated to Funk, Soul, Jazz, Rare Groove and Disco selections. It’s an honor to have Hot Peas & Butta representation on this list of other amazing DJ’s that have already spun this night.
There’s a new must have book in the works centered around the history of soundtracks but more specifically Black Film Tracks as the title of the books suggest. Black Film Tracks is a reference pictorial, inter-active 400 page, true to size, vinyl record album cover book spanning from the 1950’s to the present on Black and Urban film soundtracks, musical theater, civil right speeches on album covers and movie posters. The book will contain a mastered vinyl album, a music CD of rare and out-of-print soundtrack scores and a bonus 10 minute DVD of celebrity interviews from a fully produced 2 hour feature film documentary for worldwide release, narrated by Emmy Award winning actor Keith David.
We’re very particular about mixes that we chose to listen to here in the office, but we’re even more critical when sharing mixes to our readers. Sometimes our guilty pleasures are not to be known or heard for the rest of the outside world. But when a mix comes across our inbox that’s so well put together and contains every element that makes our ears stand up when listening to it, then we know it’s appropriate for our readers and will get them through the long week ahead.