House Hunting #22 - Far East Recording

Transporting you to the Far East this week...

House Hunting #22 - Far East Recording

Transporting you to the Far East this week...

House Hunting had the honour of hosting a room for UK institution Boy’s Own last weekend (shouts to Thunder/R$N’s Miles Simpson for joining me in droppin’ house Holy Grails and basement bargain belters plus Terry Farley for having us down killer night) so with preparing/playing at that and surviving a family gathering the next day there was no time for my pastime paradise of house platter perusal. As I had a couple of late shifts due I was planning a potential pre-work house pursuit and was gonna take a jaunt to a wax haunt or two – maybe Notting Hill Music & Video Exchange as hadn’t checked that out for a while or the reliable sources of Soho’s record joints. However an unexpected source presented a surprising House Hunting opportunity…

I was on Facebook wasting my life away and as ever posting/chattin’ about vintage house records when suddenly I did a double-take as I saw the following post “Rh early birds.... New imports and some copies of a rare original Far East recording......” It was the Rush Hour Record diggin’ page that had shared this and also posted a link to their website where you could cop the EP. If you don’t ‘like’ this page I suggest you follow it as it posts/shares about dope wax finds, the latest killer cuts and recommended reissues whether rarities, obscurities or speculator specialties… If you’re a savvy selector then Rush Hour should need no introduction – from its inception in ’97 as an Amsterdam-based record store and mail-order enterprise Rush Hour has evolved into a distribution behemoth that has also established a record label with countless subsidiaries encompassing many genres. Now an influential institution, when the Dutch tastemakers release a new record or recommend a slice of wax you know you gotta check it out… I could go on for years but on a house tip I recommend their ‘Hour House Is Your Rush’ sub-label with releases by Gene Hunt, Tevo Howard and KiNK & Neville Watson keeping the spirit of Chicago alive plus check their small but perfectly formed ‘House of Trax’ series in tandem with iconic Chicago imprint Trax Records reissuing some long lost Windy City weapons by Ron Hardy, Ace & The Sandman and Jamie Principle. They rounded off the series nicely with the Mitchbal Records house Holy Grail ‘Fantasy’ by Z-Factor aka house pioneers Jesse Saunders and Vince Lawrence – the first house track ever recorded back in ’83 (older than me!) let’s rewind and go back in time…

Rush Hour have also proved to be the reissue kings of late whether it’s rereleasing some proper obscure allure like the oozing warmth and dripping keys of Dream 2 Science, comprehensive retrospectives from the likes of Nu Groove mainstays the Burrell Brothers and L.B Bad or delving into the dusty DATs of forgotten Chicago enigmas such as Virgo Four – they’ve also raided the vaults of Vincent Floyd hold tight coming soon…

Anyway, back to the record and this was one of those hallowed ‘Warehouse finds’ (are these always for real or pure house hype?) with all copies mint and still sealed! The EP in question is the ‘Far East Recording 2’ release from the eponymous stable outta Japan that came out back in ’93. Coincidentally I just sold my VG+ copy I had via Discogs for £30 the week before (can command over £50 but I ain’t a speculator…) as I was after a mint copy with original stickered sleeve (OCD!) so very fortuitous to cop a sealed copy for a bargain 18.50 euros – you don’t often see these UFO’s hovering in the vinyl frontier! Also an opportunity to cop a free copy of Rush Hour’s new fanzine ‘House Of Music’ so had to be done…

So who’s behind the anonymous sounding Far East Recording? Well, it was founded in ’89 by Computer Science graduate Soichi Terada who having also studied Electric Organ wanted a platform for his compositions. He didn’t make a bad start in collaborating with Japanese pop sensation Nami Shimada the same year on the Paradise Garage anthem ‘Sunshower’ – two years later the late Larry Levan himself contributed with one of his final remixes on the Columbia pressing along with Madonna’s muse Mark Kamins adding some NY flavour to the joint. Though both fine interpretations in their own right I think I’m committing Paradise Garage sacrilege here by preferring the majesty of the original and it’s instrumental to the Larry Levan version – listen to ‘em all here and I’ll let you decide…




Whether it’s the original ’89 promo or the ’91 release on Columbia with the Larry Levan and Mark Kamins remixes good luck in sourcing the originals as these are proper house Holy Grails in the vein of the James “Jack Rabbit” Martin 12” on Yoton or long lost Chicago 12”s by Joe Lewis, Marcus Mixx et al – one copy of the Columbia pressing on Discogs for £500 ridiculous… If you don’t fancy rinsin’ a month’s rent then DJ TLR’s Crème Organization reissued the original and instrumental complete with a modern interpretation coming courtesy of Legowelt adding some proto-percolation to the mix. My personal favourite the ‘Instrumental Mix’ can also be found via King Street Sounds’ love letter to Japan with their ‘Sounds Of Far East Dance Music – Compilation Vol 1’ and is far easier to track down. I’ve just scored a mint copy of the ‘Oldies’ EP on Far East Recording that has the original vocal version for a very fair price (I succumbed to Discogs kill me now…) though hunting down an original will be one of my life’s missions…

Bringing it back to Far East Recording and Soichi’s first releases along with partner in crime Shinichiro Yokota were ‘Got To Be Real’ (complete with unique Pepsi-style artwork on the label!) and ‘Let’s Groove’ (a cover of Earth, Wind & Fire) though it’s the first ‘Far East Recording’ EP that is my personal favourite with the infectious ‘Do It Again’ by Yokota on solo duties that’s my choice joint from the label check it out here… 

Again this is another Discogs wantlist weapon so trackin’ down an original may be a lifelong quest however the track got a deserved reissue with new house imprint HHATRI (History Has A Tendency To Repeat Itself) including it on their debut release along with more Far East rarities complete with a Fabio Monesi remix adding a rawer aesthetic – check ‘em all out here.

As well as his own Far East Recording label he contributed to other labels. In ’91 he also released the transcendent opus ‘Low Tension’ along with Manabu Nagayama (who released ‘I Got The Rhythm’ on Cabaret with Pal Joey and Toshihiko Mori as Beautiful People) on King Street Sounds’ earlier incarnation BPM Records. The track along with their ambient interlude ‘Walker’ features on the super-rare ‘La Ronde’ compilation along with the house crème of New York and Tokyo including Pal Joey, Nick Jones & Kaleem Shabazz, Toshihiko Mori, Men From The East and Hiroshi Matsui. Typically another speculator special (£200 and upwards Jesus…) though the equally rare second edition ‘La Ronde II’ which was a dedication to Larry Levan recently got repressed so worth coppin’ if early 90s Tokyo/NY house your flavour… Also worth checking on BPM is Soichi Terada and Shinichiro Yokota’s ‘Tokyo XXX’ EP with ‘Shake Yours’ my choice track a proper jam-hot groove – here’s some of those BPM rhythms for you…


In the mid-nineties Terada turned his hand to other genres including Drum & Bass which was present on ‘Sumo Jungle’ LP – he also composed scores for computer games including (here’s some pub quiz trivia for you) the ‘Ape Escape’ series on the Playstation I had that in my youth! However it’s his house endeavours that I love and will always be seeking out – one day a diggin’ trip to Tokyo may be the answer…

Though all these records are super limited Japanese editions which are super hard to track down (I’m not trying to write an elitist piece – they’re all just are well rare and collectable) thankfully superior selector Hunee is curating a Soichi Terada compilation for yeah you’ve guessed it Rush Hour! It’ll be a compendium of the sought after and unreleased Far East Recording and BPM record – here’s an exclusive listen to the ‘Alternative Version’ of Soichi Terada and Manabu Nagayama’s Low Tension that’ll be featured on the LP watch out coming soon… 

In the meantime the ‘Far East Recording 2’ EP is a great introduction to the sound of Soichi Terada and Far East Recording. Rush Hour have still got copies so don’t sleep as for under 20 euros I can assure you this is a killer deal for this Far East wax wonder – cop one here and have a listen below. I’ll leave you to soak in the inimitable sounds of the Far East soundscape…




Aiden d’Araujo

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