The name Peter Barakan may not pique your interest until the name Yellow Magic Orchestra is mentioned. As described in this brief biography (which includes a nice photograph)
, Peter coordinated YMO’s activities, all the while keeping his finger on the pulse of the Japanese (and world) music scene. He also wrote lyrics to some of YMO’s songs, including Pure Jam, Stairs and Cue.
Peter (British-born) is now well-known in Japan as sort of a musical “guru,” having written several books in Japanese on the subject. He also co-hosts the Japanese version of 60 Minutes and hosts his own show called Weekend Japanology.
However, it’s his internet radio show that I’m plugging today. (Peter states in this interview that he prefers radio to television.)
Peter's brother Mick (Shane Fontayne) describes Peter and his radio show this way in his Newsletter of November 22, 2006:
“One of the greatest music lovers and a true aficionado of all musical genres, he, as one Japanese fan once told me, is “what is hip!”
If any of you are aware of John Peel or Charlie Gillett, two very influential English disc jockeys from the Sixties and Seventies, you will have an idea of the kind of show that Peter puts together. It is an oasis in the desert of modern radio. Listen, and you will be simultaneously thrilled, entertained and educated. Music that you would here nowhere else – beautiful, inspiring pieces, woven together into a coherent whole with great skill, and presented with a simplistic honesty. I should write press releases! I have not been so moved or excited listening to radio in a long time.
Peter’s show, Barakan Beat, airs for one hour in the U.S. at 8p.m Pacific, 10p.m. Central, 11p.m. Eastern each Saturday night at the following web address - http://www.live365.com/stations/otonamazu
Playlists of previous shows can be found at http://www.otonamazu.com/
and then click on the fish-eye photo of Peter.”
NOTE: To listen live, you will need Player365
. Click here to go directly to archives of previous shows.
Enjoy these with Windows Media Player or RealPlayer.Click here
to see the most recent playlist, and here for an archive of all playlists.
Having dedicated several hours of my weekend to listen to some previous shows, I heartily agree with Shane. He didn't play any OMD in the shows I listened to, but that's not to say he couldn't be persuaded to do so.
So tune in and feel the beat.