Welcome to ISC HiFi. Explore our growing collection of classics and rarities from around the world. Discover the stories behind the records. Experience the ISC listening space from home through our (( ROOM RECORDING )) audio player below.

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In 1969, four young, ambitious musicians—Haruomi Hosono (bass, vocals), Eiichi Ohtaki (guitars, vocals), Shigeru Suzuki (guitars) and Takashi Matsumoto (drums, lyrics)—found each other in Tokyo. They bonded over their love for obscure rock music of the time such as Buffalo Springfield, Procol Harum and Moby Grape. First known as Valentine Blue, the band soon changed […]

Go Hirano’s 2004 Corridor of Daylights sees a first time vinyl reissue thanks to Los Angeles label Black Editions. An outlier in Tokyo’s P.S.F. catalogue, a label known for its acid folk, free jazz and experimental rock, Hirano’s music sits at the opposite end of the spectrum. Corridor along with his previous release Reflection of […]

Released in 2017 and built to stand the test of time, Async was Japanese master musician and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto’s first solo album in eight years, following his recovery from throat cancer. Mortality, existentialism, nostalgia and gratitude permeate the album with wistful, thoughtful, foggy fragility. Both warm and cold, and acoustic and electronic, Sakamoto’s palette […]

Welcome to the spirited, enchanting world of Japanese musical visionary Yasuaki Shimizu. You may know him from his work with Ryuichi Sakamoto, or as the innovative bandleader of Japanese cult band Mariah, notable for their 1983 masterpiece Utakata No Hibi. In a sense Utakata No Hibi and Kakashi are companion albums, with Kakashi laying the […]

Commissioned by Japanese toy maker Bandai in 1984, the Hosono-composed Mercuric Dance is the soundtrack for a contemporary ballet piece of the same name. Each track is inspired by a planet (or the moon), an idea, though simple, that translates completely during the listening experience. It’s an immersive and atmospheric record with large-scale dynamics, much akin […]

A highly sought after release in digging circles, the sole release by the mysterious Aragon was finally reissued in 2016 by the great Chee Shimizu on his Japanism imprint. Hardly any information is available about the group, which consists of session musicians, Tatsuo Hayashi the drummer of Hosono’s Tin Pan Alley, and a few other […]

“Kankyō ongaku,” Japanese for “environmental music,” was a popular genre of functional ambient music in Japan in the 80’s led by electronic artists Hiroshi Yoshimura, Takashi Kokubo, Joe Hisaishi, Toshifumi Hinata, Jun Fukamachi, among others. Air in Resort is a quintessential record of the genre with a unique story – it was originally commissioned by […]

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