Dress Down – Kaoru Akimoto (薫秋元)

Since there was mention of Japan in one of my earlier posts and I’ve been listening to some Japanese 80s’ funk recently, I decided to share “Dress Down” by Kaoru Akimoto from 1986. This is the first Japanese 80s’ funk song I found and my favorite so far. It has such a pretty, gorgeous sound! I can’t provide context or translation for the song since I’m not familiar with Japanese, but enjoy! Feel free to comment and give recommendations! 🙂 ❤

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Nipon Elektronik – Bonton Baya

Listening to electronic music and reading about Japan’s recent help to Bosnia (with reconstructing centers for disabled children that were destroyed in the terrible flooding last year, so kind of them), reminded me of this quirky song from this obscure band from Sarajevo. “Nipon Elektronik” is from 1983 and Bonton Baya’s only album “Elpi” (LP). The whole album has a quirky, electronic, original sound to it, unlike anything I’ve heard from ex-yu before, particularly this song which seems to be their best known.

“Nipon” refers to Japan, as that’s what the Japanese sometimes call themselves. But then with elektronik, do they mean Japenese elektronic music or something else like Japanese electronic appliances or items? I am not exactly sure. I am guessing a lot of things were imported from Japan back then. I know some Bosnians like anime, but was it really that big a thing back then? I wonder what kind of relationship did Japan and ex-Yugoslavia have, for them to be mentioned in a song like this? Or Japan and Bosnia, especially now that Japan is helping Bosnia.

I googled Japan 1983 to see what was going on in Japan then in case there is any kind of connection. There was a major earthquake/tsunami and they had general elections. I also found this picture of a cool stereo shop in Japan in 1983, which I think is relevant here since, well, music. 🙂

japanstereoshop

Here are some of the lyrics translated. Note: I could not understand everything he said, there was some slurring and mixing of words with Japanese terms. So, where ever I put a … is what I did not understand.

Nipon elektronik napada – Nippon electronic is attacking

I Azija… – And Asia…

Samuraje… – Samurai’s …

Kamikaze lete sa istoka – Kamikaze are flying from the east

Svuda Japan – Everywhere Japan

Samo Japan – Only Japan

Svuda Japan – Everywhere Japan

Samo Japan – Only Japan

Hmm, sounds like an invasion. Perhaps a cultural invasion? Like in the case of a lot of things being imported in from Japan, if that was the case in Ex-Yu.. Or Japanese culture becoming popular? or perhaps it is just playing with historical references and World War II? But overall, a cool song with a quirky, offbeat beat. Fun to listen to with unusual lyrics. I might post about some of the other songs from the band’s album and explore them further in future posts. It’s interesting when cultures sing about other cultures. I wonder what the culture being sung about thinks. Bosnia and ex-Yu are never sung about in any English or Hispanic songs that I know, so I don’t know how I would quite react if my culture was being sung about, like Japan here. I mean, does the song sound offensive to any Japanese viewers I wonder? Tell me if so. Overall, comments and observations? Da li iko razume ostatak teksta? O.o 😛