This DJ had the fortunate experience to live and work in Japan during the 1990s. The following cocktail hour playlist is inspired by my time spent in the Far East, reflecting the complex fabric of life in Japan that combines traditional and modern elements. The playlist is deliberately heavy on ambient electronica, but takes on a more pop feel later in the set. While the selections are focused on Japan, the list includes a delightful R&B track from the Thai artist “Groove Rider” – you don’t need to speak Thai to feel the good vibes.
For a signature drink, we’ve selected a glass of Suntory whiskey on the rocks. This is a salute to actor Bill Murray who promoted Suntory in the movie “Lost in Translation” set in Japan.
Following the track list below is a link to a Spotify playlist. Since not all songs were available on Spotify, we’ve included YouTube videos for the missing selections. Finally – enjoy a one hour continuous dance mix inspired by my time in Japan in the early 90s titled “The Osaka Mix Sessions” – it includes many of the songs from the playlist, as well as early 90s R&B.
- Sakura, Sakura – Aiko Shimada (traditional song about cherry blossoms)
- Elegy – Mio Isayama
- Space Maker – Air
- Astral Projection – Tom Middleton
- Shinkansen – David Arkenstone
- Kyoto – Ferry Corsten
- Sukiyaki – A Taste of Honey
- Laserman – Ryuichi Sakamoto (see YouTube video below)
- Stop – Groove Riders (Thai artist) (see YouTube video below)
- Beautiful Life – Hikaru Utada (see YouTube video below)
- Harajuku Girls – Gwen Stefani
- Big in Japan – Alphaville
- Turning Japanese – The Vapors
- One Night in Bangkok (from “Chess” soundtrack) – Murray Head
- China Girl – David Bowie
- Mr. Roboto – Styx
- Nick and Masa (from “Black Rain” soundtrack) – Hans Zimmer
- Sayonara – Ryuichi Sakamoto
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