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Ippu-Do

A Japan techno-pop trio of the first ’80s led by singer/songwriter Masami Tsuchiya, Ippu-Do was the missing hyperlink between Japan’s Yellow Magic Orchestra and England’s Japan — neither as purely electronic as the former nor as prettily atmospheric as the last mentioned. (YMO’s Ryuichi Sakamoto collaborated with Tsuchiya on his 1982 single record Grain Music, and Tsuchiya performed electric guitar with Japan in the Asian tour noted in the live record Essential oil on Canvas.) Ippu-Do debuted in 1980 with the brand new wave-influenced Normal, which the trio (Tsuchiya on vocals and electric guitar, Akira Mitake on keyboards, and Shoji Fujii on drums) audio similar to a Nipponese edition of New Musik or Divide Enz. The trio quickly implemented this with Genuine, which was even more of the same, but 1981’s Radio Illusion (the trio’s initial release beyond Japan) was nearly completely digital. The group continued hiatus from then on discharge, with Tsuchiya starting his solo profession and his short-term account in Japan. A best-of disk, Lunatic Menu, premiered in 1982 in Japan as well as the U.K. When Ippu-Do reappeared in past due 1983, these were decreased to a duo of Tsuchiya and Mitake. Backed by drummer Steve Jansen and keyboardist Richard Barbieri of Japan and American bassist Percy Jones, the duo documented the danceable Evening Mirage, a supple mixture of Japan’s crystalline audio with some unexpected R&B and funk rhythms. A two-disc live established with this lineup, Live and Zen, arrived in 1984, but Tuschiya came back to his single career at that time, bidding farewell to Ippu-Do using a well-chosen compilation in 1985. An extended compilation, THE MOST EFFECTIVE of Ippu-Do, arrived in 1998.

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