Mute Beat

Happy birthday Mick Jagger (1943) and Roger Taylor (Queen) (1949).

MUTE BEAT

Japanese dub reggae!  I saw them live, long ago – in Santa Monica, CA!  I have never looked them up, when I visit Tokyo, Japan.  Kazufumi Kodama is the main guy.  I believe the bass player passed away a while ago.  I remember getting the cassette of “No. 0” before there were any CD’s released, courtesy of the TRA Project.  No, I don’t have “everything” by them…

CD                14 ECHOES + 1                                               PONY / CANYON JPN   PCCA-01742

2002 15 TRKS stereo CD collection

 

CD                DOCUMENT 1989                                          OFF NOTE JPN              ON-10

1996 13 TRKS stereo 2CD Live ’89

 

CD                DOWN TRAIN / DUB IN THE FOG                OVERHEAT JPN             S10Y-1012

1988 2 TRKS stereo CD Single CD3

 

CD                DUB WISE                                                       PONY / CANYON JPN   PCCA-00685

1994 8 TRKS stereo CD re-issue

LP                 DUB WISE                                                       OVERHEAT JPN             OVELP 0002

2002 8 TRKS stereo LP insert

 

CD                FLOWER                                                          OVERHEAT JPN             D32Y-0117

1987 9 TRKS stereo CD

 

CD                IN DUB (aka “No. 0”) (US)                            ROIR US                        RUSCD 8227

1996 11 TRKS stereo CD

 

CD                LIVE                                                                  OVERHEAT JPN             PCCY-00041

1989 12 TRKS stereo CD Live

 

CD                LOVER’S ROCK                                                OVERHEAT JPN             D32Y-0194

1988 9 TRKS stereo CD

 

CD                LOVER’S ROCK                                                OVERHEAT JPN             PCCA 01755

2002 9 TRKS stereo CD kami sleeve, DSD

 

CD                MARCH                                                            OVERHEAT JPN             D22Y-0320

1989 10 TRKS stereo CD

 

12″               MUTE BEAT (COFFIA)                                    OVERHEAT JPN             C12Y 0208

1986 3 TRKS stereo 12″ with pic sleeve

 

CD                NO. 0                                                               RESPECT JPN                RES-7

1996 13 TRKS stereo CD

CD                IN DUB (aka “No. 0”) (US)                            ROIR US                        RUSCD 8227

1996 11 TRKS stereo CD

LP                 NO. 0                                                               RESPECT JPN                RES-9

1996 11 TRKS stereo LP insert

 

12″               ORGAN’S MELODY                                         OVERHEAT JPN             C12Y 0238

1987 3 TRKS stereo 12″ with pic sleeve

 

CD                ROLAND ALPHONSO MEETS MUTE BEAT    OVERHEAT JPN             OVE-0066

1999 13 TRKS stereo CD Live ’88

 

12″               STILL ECHO                                                     OVERHEAT JPN             C12Y 0223

1986 3 TRKS stereo 12″ with pic sleeve, fully autographed

 

CD                STILL ECHO                                                     OVERHEAT JPN             D32Y-0114

1987 7 TRKS stereo CD

 

12″               SUNNY SIDE WALK                                         OVERHEAT JPN             C12Y 0301

1988 2 TRKS stereo 12″ with pic sleeve

12″               SUNNY SIDE WALK re-issue                         OVERHEAT JPN             RIDDIM 200

2000? 3 TRKS stereo 12″ with pic sleeve, re-issue

Mute Beat

Mute Beat

On 8/24/63 the Heinz 45 (produced by Joe Meek) “Just Like Eddie” charts at No. 5 in England.  On 8/24/68 Canned Heat 45 “On The Road Again” charts at No. 8 in England.  On 8/22/70, the LP “Cosmo’s Factory” by Creedence Clearwater Revival charted at No. 1 in the US.  On 8/23/75 the David Bowie 45 “Fame” charts at No. 17 in England.  Ian Mitchell of The Bay City Rollers born, 1958.

For many years, in the 80’s and 90’s, there was a Japanese dub reggae band called Mute Beat that I listened to and enjoyed.  The group was fronted by Kazufumi Kodama, a trumpet player.  I managed to get nearly all of their releases, but I missed a few singles.  I guess most of the Overheat albums came out as paper sleeve (kami) albums CD’s, but I’ve only seen one.

These wonderful instrumental albums will appeal to fans of dub reggae, but to many other people as well.  They are easy to listen to, easy to “understand”.

Additionally, there are solo albums by Kazufumi Kodama, too!  (Not listed)

CD          14 ECHOES + 1 (20th Annv. Ed.)                     OVERHEAT JPN      PCCA-01742            2002 15 TRK Collection; DSD Mastering (Super Bit Mastering)

 

12″          COFFIA                                     OVERHEAT JPN                  C12Y-0208       1986 3 TRKS with pic sleeve, insert

 

CDx2      DOCUMENT 1989                  OFF NOTE        ON-10         1996 18 TRKS Live, boxed set

 

CD3        DOWN TRAIN / DUB IN THE FOG                    OVERHEAT JPN      S10Y-1012    1988 2 TRK CD Single CD3

 

CD          DUB WISE                                OVERHEAT JPN                  PCCA-00685   1989 8 TRKS 5th, re-issue

LP           DUB WISE                                OVERHEAT JPN                  OVE-LP-0002  2002 8 TRKS U.S. pressing, insert

 

CD          FLOWER                                  OVERHEAT JPN                  D32Y-0117       1987 9 TRKS 2nd album

 

CD          IN DUB                                      ROIR US            RUSCD 8227            1996 11 TRKS U.S.  Issue, “No. 0” (with a slightly different track listing)

 

CD          LIVE                                           OVERHEAT JPN                  PCCY-00041    1989 12 TRKS Live recordings

 

CD          LOVER’S ROCK                      OVERHEAT JPN                  D32Y-0194       1988 9 TRKS 3rd album

CD          LOVER’S ROCK (Kami)         PONY CANYON JP               PCCA-01755   1988 9 TRKS (’02 issue) kami sleeve, DSD Mastering

 

CD          MARCH                                     OVERHEAT JPN                  D22Y-0320       1989 10 TRKS 4th, CD-only release?

 

CD          No. 0 – VIRGIN DUB                RESPECT JPN                     RES-7   1985 13 TRKS (2 x bonus tracks), basically a CD issue of the TRA cassette-only release

LP           No. 0 – VIRGIN DUB                RESPECT JPN                     RES-9   1985 11 TRKS (’96 release)

 

12″          ORGAN’S MELODY                OVERHEAT JPN                  C12Y-0238       1987 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

 

CD          R. ALPHONSO MEETS MUTE BEAT              OVERHEAT JPN      OVE-0066     1988 13 TRKS Live recording

 

12″          STILL ECHO                            OVERHEAT JPN                  C12Y-0223       1986 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

 

CD          STILL ECHO                            OVERHEAT JPN                  D32Y-0114       1987 7 TRKS 1st album, if you don’t incl. “No. 0”

 

12″          SUNNY SIDE WALK               OVERHEAT JPN                  C12Y-0301       1988 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″          SUNNY SIDE WALK re-issue                            RIDDIM 200   RIDDIM-200   2002? 3 TRKS with pic sleeve, re-issue – totally non-CD track, as far as I know.

Dub Master X

3-3-11
Dub Master X

I think I met Japanese artist Dub Master X at a club in Los Angeles when he toured with Mute Beat.  The three Dub Master X albums that I have on CD are all instrumental dub reggae albums.  His name is Izumi Miyazaki.  I have his autograph on a Mute Beat cassette…

CD DMX II                                           TRIAD JPN      COCA-10516               1992 12 TRKS

CD DUB MASTER X                          NUTMEG          BC-2202                       1992 8 TRKS

CD SIDE JOB                                     TRIAD JPN      COCA-10893               1993 8 TRKS

I recently got these 3 x Japanese CD’s out to play e’m, and inside the booklet for the debut solo album, it shows an additional 10 volumes of CD’s by him, all numbered and called “Dub Wa Crazy”! – so there’s 10 more CD’s I’d like to try and find by this guy!

I have had a soft spot for instrumental dub reggae ever since I was a young man sifting the bins upstairs at the Record & Tape Exchange in Notting Hill Gate, London, circa ’79.  I find that Japanese artists are exceptionally gifted, when it comes to “dub”.

Mute Beat was the first Japanese dub reggae group that I got interested in – I was sent a promo of their TRA Project cassette (on CD as “No. 0”) – I played it to death and loved every second of it!  Once CD’s got going, I started to see CD’s by Mute Beat, usually when I was visiting my friend Mark, up in San Jose, CA – thank you, Tower Records on Bascom Avenue!

As I previously mentioned, I had the good fortune to see Mute Beat play live in Los Angeles.  Yes, it’s true!  When Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra toured here a few years ago, I wore my Mute Beat T-shirt, and it raised a few eyebrows at that concert (mostly with the Japanese staff who were selling shirts and CD’s).

I’ve been to Japan quite a few times, but I think I bought every Dub Master X / Mute Beat CD that I ever saw (that I didn’t already have).  10 volumes of “Dub Wa Crazy”! Yikes!

Well, either you “get” dub reggae or you don’t.  I find it peaceful to listen to in the background while looking through bins of 7” singles in England.  It’s not bad in my den where I sit and write all of this stuff.  Dub reggae seldom makes me look up from my writing and parenthetically ask “What’s going on here?” – I know what’s going on with most dub reggae – exactly that:  DUB REGGAE.  Instrumental music, with a certain beat.

My older brother always liked reggae, and I have him to thank for my exposure to a wider batch of reggae than usual – and bro was a dub freak; he had tons of it.  Thanks, Jim!

–          Ron

Mute Beat / Kazufumi Kodama

9-7-10             Mute Beat / Kazufumi Kodama


KAZUFUMI KODAMA

CD 1982 / 2002 KODAMA (ECHO) FROM DUB STATION                            SPEEDSTAR JP       VICL-60976

2002 16 TRK Collection, CD + DVD

CD DREAD BEAT IN TOKYO                                                                              OVERHEAT JPN       OVE-0056

1997 12 TRKS

CD IN THE STUDIO (as Dub Station)                                                               DELPHONIC JPN     GNCL-1026

2005 10 TRKS Live in the studio, ’99 – mono

CD LIVE (with Gota Yashiki)                                                                               OVERHEAT JPN       OVE-0088

2002 18 TRKS Live ’96

CD MORE (as Dub Station)                                                                                DELPHONIC JPN     GNCL-1072

2006 13 TRKS + DVD (66m) “Geneon”

CD NAZO                                                                                                                SPEEDSTAR JP       VICL-60827

2001 15 TRKS

CD PISTOL OPERA (Soundtrack)                                                                     SPEEDSTAR JP       VICL-60786

2001 11 TRKS O.S.T.

CD QUIET REGGAE                                                                                             SONY JPN                 SRCS 6517

1992 9 TRKS

CD REQUIEM DUB                                                                                              SPEEDSTAR JP       VICL-60467

1999 10 TRKS

CD RETURN OF THE DREAD BEAT                                                                ABSORD JPN            ABCS-22

2002 11 TRKS

CD SILENT PRAYER, A                                                                                       SPEEDSTAR JP       VICL-61150

2003 12 TRKS

CD SOMETHING – REMIX (with Gota Yashiki)                                                SONY JPN                 SRCS 8194

1996 10 TRKS

CD SOMETHING (with Gota Yashiki)                                                                SONY JPN                 SRCS 8163

1996 15 TRKS

CD STARS                                                                                                             RED INK                     WK 71053

2000 12 TRKS (’03 issue)

CD5 WHAT’S 8APPEN? (as “K.T.U.”)                                                                  SPEEDSTAR JP       VICL-35237

2001 3 TRK CD Single CD5

MUTE BEAT

CD 14 ECHOES + 1 (20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION)                                    OVERHEAT JPN       PCCA-01742

2002 15 TRK Collection; DSD Mastering

CDx2 DOCUMENT 1989                                                                                         OFF NOTE                 ON-10

1996 18 TRKS Live

CD DUB WISE                                                                                                       OVERHEAT JPN       PCCA-00685

1989 8 TRKS 5th, re-issue

CD FLOWER                                                                                                         OVERHEAT JPN       D32Y-0117

1987 9 TRKS 2nd

CD LIVE                                                                                                                  OVERHEAT JPN       PCCY-00041

1989 12 TRKS Live

CD LOVER’S ROCK                                                                                             PONY CANYON JP   PCCA-01755

1988 9 TRKS (’02 issue) kami sleeve, DSD Mastering

CD MARCH                                                                                                            OVERHEAT JPN       D22Y-0320

1989 10 TRKS 4th

CD NO. 0 – VIRGIN DUB                                                                                      RESPECT JPN         RES-7

1985 13 TRKS (2 x bonus tracks)

CD R. ALPHONSO MEETS MUTE BEAT                                                          OVERHEAT JPN       OVE-0066

1988 13 TRKS Live

CD STILL ECHO                                                                                                   OVERHEAT JPN       D32Y-0114

1987 7 TRKS 1st

12″ SUNNY SIDE WALK                                                                                      OVERHEAT JPN       C12Y-0301

1988 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

Unless I am mistaken, the way I first heard of Mute Beat was a promotional copy of the TRA Project cassette that was eventually released as “No. 0”.  The tape came in a wooden box.  The idea of Japanese dub reggae was intriguing.  The company I had been working for went out of business in ’87, so I had to watch the bins at larger Tower Records stores in California, to keep abreast of Mute Beat releases (which I did a pretty good job of, I only missed one the first time around, “Mute Beat In Dub”).

They actually came and played in Los Angeles in ’89 – my whole crew went.  I got a bunch of stuff autographed.  Nice guys.  I often think of ’87 – ’94 as being the years I know the least about Japanese music, with Mute Beat being the big exception.  I followed them as closely as possible.

After Mute Beat finished, I continued my interest in the work of leader (and trumpet player) Kazufumi Kodama.  “Quiet Reggae” was the first solo effort I spotted, and it’s a pretty cool album.  Apparently, Kodama is somewhat known as a visual artist, as well.

Once I started going to Japan in ’94, it became much easier to keep up with his works.  I have more stuff than is on this list, mostly vinyl – and some CD EP’s.  Japanese artist discographies are notoriously difficult to compile / write.

When Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra came through town a few years later, I wore my Mute Beat T-shirt to the show and raised a few eyebrows.