The appeal of Japanese vinyls

 

July 4.2022

 

Despite technological advancements, we have been witnessing a renaissance of a cult for this object from the past in the last year after the fall of the vinyl industry in the 1980s. However, as experts in the vinyl world will tell you, the best vinyl in the world can be found in Japan, because the land of the rising sun has always revered culture and kept original pressings in exceptional condition. Today, Japan is the second largest music market in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why does vinyl entice so much when streaming is so prevalent?

Vinyls have an exceptional sound quality that is close to the original sound and outperforms CDs or streaming, and the cover artwork adds as much to the music as the music adds to the illustration. In short, it is one of the few collectibles that combines both visual and audio elements.

 

 

The wonderful vinyl of Japan

 

If Japanese vinyl has left an indelible mark on music history, it is for the clarity of its sound, which is almost clinical, thanks to the precision of Japanese engineers’ Cutting in charge of engraving the audio signal on a matrix in resin or copper, thus transforming the frequencies of a music into microgrooves. Then, Japanese presses are limited to an average production of 10,000 copies per machine, whereas in the United States, the same mold can produce approximately 60,000 copies. Japanese-pressed vinyls are also less likely to be remastered or remixed, making them more faithful to the original recording.

 

 

 

Japan also propose incredible music catalogs especially about the 1950s Jazz. At that time, the black musicians left United States and their racial segregation, and went to Japan, which sheltered many American bases. In the clubs where the musicians played, the Japanese then captured some of the most beautiful moments of jazz, with at the time a very advanced technology. In addition, American albums recorded in Japan are banned from export which also explains that whole sections of music catalogs exist only on the Japanese market. Finally, it is not only the sound dimension of the Japanese vinyl that distinguishes it from the others, there is also its very special pocket due to the quality of the paper, the cardboard, the printing, and the ornamentation.

 

 

 

 

Where in Tokyo can you find the best record stores?
The number of record stores in Tokyo, whether big chains or independents, is simply insane.

 

Face Records

Sélection: Soul, Jazz, Reggae.

Lighthouse Records

Sélection electronic music, disco, House music

Dub Store

Sélection : Jamaïcain music, Ska, Dub, Roots, Dancehall etc.

 

Next Records

Sélection : Funk, Disco, Dance, Rnb.

HMV Record Shop

Selection: japanese music, imports Soul and Jazz.

Technique

Sélection: House, Dance, Techno, electronic music in general

Discland Jaro @Shibuya 

Sélection: Vintage and new Japanese music

Disc Union @Shibuya 

Sélection: New and old vinyl. 1 store/1 style.

Manhattan Records

Sélection: Hip Hop, Rap, Break. Music from 1980s

Los Apson

Selection: African music, Caribbean, Haitian, pop, rock, electro, indie Japanese, traditional music of Central Asia etc.

Hifi Record Store

Selection: Brazilian, soul-funk, country, blues, jazz, music from the Indian subcontinent etc.

 

 

 

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Bliss Saigon is an online magazine dedicated to the Art of living in Ho Chi Minh City and Asia. The magazine present a unique editorial approach based on experts and influencers contributions, written with optimism, humor and accessibility, offering an interactive and ludic reading on lifestyle topics with sharp selections for unique insights.