[The JukeBox] #82 – MONDO GROSSO – Labyrinth



Normally with The JukeBox posts, I discover a song or an album, add it to my Spotify playlist, go back through the playlist at a later stage (Normally 6 months to a couple of years) and then decide whether to create a post for it.

This song, I heard one day and I must have instantly liked it but never added it to any playlist and therefore I forgot about it.

It recently came back up during one of my many City pop listening sessions using the new ‘Enhance’ feature on Spotify.

This song is fantastic. It’s a Japanese song by MONDO GROSSO (Real name: Shinichi Osawa) who is a DJ from Tokyo. I will not lie and say that I haven’t heard any other of MONDO GROSSO’s work!

Here is Labyrinth with Hikari Mitsushima as the dancer.

YouTube

Spotify

Lyrics:

Mitsumenaide kanashii hou wo
Me wo tsubutte kuchizuke shiyou
Amaku tokeru merodii

Hikikomarete
Meikyuu no paradaisu
Deguchi mo naku owari mo naku
Tsutsumarete itai no
Jama shinaide
Mayonaka no paradaisu
Iki mo sezu ni
Mogutte iku
Futari dake no dansu

Sagasanaide
Utsukushii rabirinsu
Kuchizuke shite mou modorenai
Futari dake no dansu

Mayoikonde
Byakuya no you ni
Shibireta mama dochira kara mo
Kaerou to wa sezu ni

Tomaranaide
Yurete itai no
Nanimo iwazu
Kuchizuke shite
Wasuresasete subete

Tomaranaide
Yurete itai no
Nanimo iwazu
Kuchizuke shite
Sora kara ochiru

[The JukeBox] #81 – Casiopea – Galactic Funk

Casiopea - Cross Point album cover featuring an image of the band.

Within specific genres of music, there are those ‘staple’ songs. A set of pieces that capture the essence of a genre. Within the City pop genre, you would find some staples, Plastic Love, Dress Down, Stay with Me, and Flyday Chinatown.Jazz Fusion sensation, Casiopea would be a staple band for the genre.

Still going today as Casiopea-P4, (Their 4th iteration) has been around since 1976 and became very popular in the 80’s even having a world tour. With almost 60 albums since its inception, the band focuses on instrumental music with high-energy and high-tempo music.

Over the years, they have had 13 different members come and go with the guitarist Issei Noro being the only member who has been in the band the entire time. The band even disbanded from 2006 until 2012 due to exhaustion.

For more about the history of Casiopea, I would highly recommend checking out T2norway’s video on the band which was uploaded in 2021.

Casiopea: Japan’s Most Energetic Jazz Fusion Band – T2norway

Arguably, the band’s most popular song, Galatic Funk became a staple for City pop fans.

Galactic Funk originally was on the band’s 6th album Cross Point released in 1981 but has been re-arranged and re-recorded over the years.

Live

Casiopea – Galactic Funk – M luminox

Studio

The re-arrangement, re-recorded version from the 1994 album Asian Dreamer
The original release of the song on Cross Point in 1981

For me, this band and their live performances remind me of the Miami Sound Machine with Gloria Estefan with their high-energy, high-tempo music.