asakawa maki tribute
January 17, 2011, 11:45 am
Filed under: International-Intergalactic Sounds | Tags: ,

Asakawa Maki Tribute mix – live @ dublab studio Dec. 2010

So I’m jumping the gun a little bit on this one.  This mix was recorded for release on dublab, but I’m gonna go ahead and post it before they do (hope they don’t mind).  When I went back home to CA for xmas I dropped in to the dublab studios to record a couple sets of Japanese music that I’ve picked up along my stay here.  One of the two was this Asakawa Maki tribute set, and the other a Japanese music sampler of sorts which I WON’T be posting here until it’s been up at dublab.  The only reason why I’m choosing to post this ahead of time is because I wanted to make sure this was up for the 1 year anniversary of her death, January 17th.  THANK YOU DUBLAB for the chance to record this and share with an infinitely larger audience than happen to look under this rock.

このミックスはDUBLABの放送のために作ったミックスで、これからそちらで放送しますけど、今日は浅川マキさんの命日なので今日こそ出さなくちゃっと思って 〜 アップします。マキさんがいなくなってからずっとこのミックスを作りたかったんだけど、ライフが忙しくって、なかなかできなかった。そうしてこの間アメリカに帰っていた時DUBLABスタジオに行くチャンスがあって、ちょうどいいチャンスと思って浅川マキのミックスを作ることにした。実はミックス二つ作りました、このマキミックスと色々なJapanese musicミックス。そのミックスはDUBLABで放送するまでここでアップするのは待ちます〜Dublabのおかげでこのサイトより世界中の人たちが浅川マキさんの世界に触れることができる。

Asakawa Maki (Maki Asakawa) has over time become one of my all-time favorite Japanese artists whose records I keep going back to, with whisky in hand, over and over again.  The jackets are amazing, Maki looks amazing, she sounds amazing, the musicians… uh, just what you would want a record of a 70s avant-garde, jazz singer from the Tokyo underground to be.  You can check her discograpy here at Discogs where you find this short bio of her:

“Japanese female jazz and blues singer, lyricist and composer. Born in January 27, 1942 in Ishikawa-ken. Died January 17, 2010 in Nagoya.
Sang at US Army bases in Japan before getting her big break in a series of concerts organized by underground playwright Shuji Terayama in 1968.”

日本にきてから色んなJapanese musicを探し続けた、本当に「いいなと思った音楽が探すのは本当に難しかった。だんだん発見が増えながら本当に大好きな一つは浅川マキさんでした。彼女のレコードを探すのはいつも楽しみでした。ジャケ、センス、雰囲気、歌詞、声、他のミュージシャン、すべてが吃驚するほどカッコイイ! ベストオブウィスキーアンドたばこがに合う人!

I first realized that she had worked closely with Shuji Terayama when I noticed that he had penned many of the lyrics to her songs – in the early era.  Terayama is a massive name in the avant-garde, underground art world in Japan.  The fact that Maki had worked so closely with Terayama intrigued me more than I already had been and made the already perfect picture complete.  Definitely check out the world of Terayam Shuji (youtube and otherwise), it can also lead you to the intertwined otherworld of JA Seazar (worthy of another post).


As that bio states, Maki passed away a year ago today in Nagoya city.  She had continued releasing records and live performances right up to her death and was in Nagoya for a weekend of shows when she passed in her sleep in her hotel room.  My wife and I were lucky enough to get the chance to see her a few months earlier in September of 09 in Tokyo.  I hadn’t heard all that much of her later releases so  I wasn’t sure what we would find, but she was as dark and under-garde as ever…a truly powerful performance from a woman who completely and perfectly embodied the character that you imagine when looking at and listening to the records.  We were planning on seeing her again when we read the sad news of her passing.


This was an all vinyl mix from the records I happened to have at the time.  I brought six of her records with me and played tracks from 5 of them.  So, just a selection of some of my favorites that I had on record.  For the sake of sanity I’m not going to post the tracklist, just the records I pulled from.  Feel free to email me if you have any more specific questions about the mix.

The albums are her 1st,3rd,4th,5th and 10th releases.  I didn’t have the second release at the time of this mix, I do now, and wish I had it to mix in…oh well.  I brought the 6th release, but didn’t use anything from it.  All releases are on EMI Express.  Album titles are as follows.


マキの世界 “Maki no Sekai” (The World of Maki) – 1970
Live – 1972
Blue Spirit Blues – 1972
裏窓 “UraMado” (Back Window) – 1973
One – 1980

So, thank you Asakawa Maki.  I hope this is one small step in further spreading your work that should have been more widely enjoyed while you were here.

Enjoy the mix – (feel free to fast forward past my embarrassing spoken intro)


Asakawa Maki Tribute mix – live @ dublab studio Dec. 2010

裏窓 “Ura Mado” (Rear Window) – Lyrics: Terayama Shuji – Ura Mado

時には母のない子のように (Motherless Child) – The World of Maki

セント・ジェームス病院 (Saint James Infirmary) – Ura Mado

For M – Lyrics: Asakawa Maki; Song: Yamashita Yosuke – ONE
(The “M” apparently stands for Malachi Favors Maghostut who was the bass player for the Art Ensemble of Chicago for whom the song was written for out of respect by Yamashita-san)

午後 “Gogo” (Afternoon) – ONE

夜があけたら “Yo ga Aketara” (When day breaks) – The World of Maki

こんな風に過ぎて行くのなら “Konna Fu ni Sugite Iku no Nara” – Ura Mado

難破ブルーズ “Nanpa Blues” (Shipwreck Blues) – Blue Spirit Blues

前科者のクリスマス “Zenkasha no Christmas” (Ex-con’s Christmas) – Lyrics: Terayama Shuji – The World of Maki

ちっちゃな時から “Chichaina Toki Kara” – Maki Live

山河ありき “Yamakawa Ariki” – Lyrics: Terayama Shuji – The World of Maki

奇妙な果実 (Strange Fruit) – Blue Spirit Blues

十三日の金曜日のブルース (Friday the 13th Blues) – Lyrics: Terayama Shuji – The World of Maki

あの娘がくれたブルース “Ano ‘Ko’ ga Kureta Blues – Blue Spirit Blues

赤い橋 “Akai Hashi” (Red Bridge) – The World of Maki

別れ “Wakare” – Maki Live

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