Light In The Attic Records is releasing what they are calling a definitive collection of Japanese ambient music on multiple formats this coming February 2019. The collection, Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990, is the first-ever fully licensed compilation of the genre available outside of Japan and follows the label’s ambient anthologies and ongoing Japan Archival Series.

Takashi Kokubo courtesy of Studio ION

According to the release announcement:

Kankyō Ongaku, which translates to “environmental music,” is an umbrella term used to describe the soundscapes, architectural acoustics, and incidental music that soundtracked the spaces, products, and experiences of 1980s Japan. As money from Japan’s booming manufacturing, design, and export businesses continued to roll in, corporations began to invest in art and music, principally in an effort to enhance the user and consumer experience, thus opening a lane for artists to subtly infuse the everyday world with their avant-garde musical forms: from in-store music for the Japanese high-end retailer Muji, to the companion music for a Sanyo Air Conditioning Unit, opportunities to create and innovate were everywhere. The net result was to empower some of the greatest musicians in the world to create with virtually unlimited financial resources, thus giving rise to broad new musical perspectives.”


The collection was mentioned briefly in vinyl reviews interview with Light In The Attic’s Patrick McCarthy. 

Available in February 2019 Kankyō Ongaku will be available on LP and CD and contain extensive liner notes, artist bios and an essay by Japanese music scholar and compilation co-producer, Spencer Doran. The LP release will include 3xLP packaged in Stoughton “Old Style” jackets and slipcase.


Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990 is available to pre-order now.


SOURCE: Press Release – November 15, 2018