LUCKY 7 is the feature where we ask artists to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own…today it’s Japanese Television! I’m a sucker for a surf rock instrumental band, from Man Or Astro Man? to Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet via Link Wray and Dick Dale, and these expert London proponents have come to my attention not only from Marc Riley’s faithful patronage but also via a “song for ewe” pick on these pages by the righteous Fliss Kitson of The Nightingales.

“Space Fruit Vineyard” brings the atmosphere of the Milky Way, Gotham, the Indy 500, Death Valley and the Last Chance Saloon to your earbuds and it’s coming out on 15th April via Tip Top Recordings. It’s lo-fi, one take maybe two if they’re feeling indulgent, but it’s high quality throughout – the perfect cinematic soundtrack for your commute, lunch hour or after work wig-out.

Snakes are normally my bete-noir but i’m willing to make an exception to this Amazonian jam:

here’s the artwork for the reckid:

Surprisingly enough, it’s the first album proper. All three of the first EPs flew off the shelves like a Roswell flying saucer, thanks to a hurricane like word of mouth, not to mention the cult radio support and remixes by the likes of fellow VS fav Gabe Gurnsey (Factory Floor) and UNKLE and James Welsh to boot. Excitingly there’s also gonna be some reboot treatment this time around from Gabe and Sen Morimoto, The Orielles, Noon Garden at the controls too.

For a band that combine a myriad of dizzying styles, i’ve been keen to find out their sonic touchpoints and they’ve been a blast. So much so that you can expect to hear several of their picks and new tunes on upcoming episodes of the Velvet Sheep radio show on soon.

It’s Tim, Ian and Al on the selection duties – so let’s crack on and get busy with the fizzy…

Tim –

1. Ahmad Zahir – Che Khelaf Sar Zad

I’m a big fan of the idea of each country having their own Elvis – France has Johnny Halliday, we have Cliff, and this guy is known as The Afghan Elvis. His life and death were bonkers and dramatic and he made a LOT of music. He changed from using folk instruments to electric later on life but I think this stuff is amazing. Khruangbin also big fans.

2. Mayhem – Deathcrush 

Before they started killing themselves, each other, and burning churches, Mayhem made this EP with a different vocalist, pre ‘Dead’. They’d hate it described like this, but I think it sounds a lot like a fun, heavy, garage punk record. Importantly though, some of Mayhem were also awful, racist, tiresome dweebs.


3. Ian Carr’s Nucleus – Odokamona

I first got into this record due to the (admittedly excellent) cover art. The album starts off quite laid back and jazzy, until they very suddenly lurch into this monstrous riff. Ian Carr was more or less the Scottish equivalent of Miles Davis – so this is his electric period wig-out complete with wah-wah trumpet and some tape-delayed shouting at the end….fantastic.

4. The Durutti Column – Messidor

The thing I really love about the Durutti Column and this song in particular is the simplicity and space. When you’re making instrumental music it can be tempting to fill in all the gaps, but Vini Reilly can take two or three melodic lines and really make the most of them. I can’t think of anything you could add or take away from this to make it any better.


5. Silver Apples – Cosmic String

Currently obsessed with this hypnotic bassline. So simple yet insanely addictive and grooves like hell.

6. Nilufer Yanya – Hey

Love this cover of the classic Pixies track by Nilufer Yanya. Pretty bold move even trying to take it on tbf. Huge hooks in all her stuff.

The Lucky 7th: Japanese Television – Doppelgänger Disco

JAPANESE TELEVISION photo by Luis Kramer


“Space Fruit Vineyard” is out on 15.4 on Tip Top Records

Pre-order it here

and streams hither