Bungalow Records was (...or still is?) a Pop / Electronica label founded in 1996 by Berliner DJs Holger Beier and Marcus Liesenfeld, a.k.a. Le Hammond Inferno:
«We have always been passionate about music, towards the end of the '80s we started playing in an indie band and DJing at the same time, combining our strong passions for Pop and Dance music. That was a very fertile period for the Club scene in Germany and we were very busy organizing a series of parties that have entered into the history of German clublife. Parties attended by Saint Etienne, Towa Tei of Deee-Lite, Stereolab... At that point we ended up being a reference point and many people were interested in the creation of a label. We actually had never thought about it, but our encounter with Christof Ellinghaus of City Slang has made this possibility a reality. We founded Bungalow and slowly we tried to learn how to manage a record label.»
[from an interview published on Blow Up magazine, issue #26/27, July 2000]
For a few years, until the early '00s, Bungalow was a very prolific and cool label. Their compilations "Sushi 3003" / "Sushi 4004" marked the first time a western indie label delved into the cutting edge Japanese Club-Pop scene:
«...the initial spark was the moment we listened to "Twiggy Twiggy" by Pizzicato Five and later Towa Tei's "Future Listening". We were hearing a new, never heard craziness in playing around with Pop music. The first thing that came to our simple minds was: there must be more. So we contacted journalist and Nippon-Mania-Man Olaf Maikopf and had the quite naive idea to travel to Japan and put together a compilation of modern Japanese Club-Pop. After running through the streets of Tokyo for some 10 days, meeting about 35 record companies and even more bands, we were totally confused and had to carry tons of CDs and LPs back home (much to the pleasure of the Lufthansa customs agents). Back home we slept for a month and then compiled "Sushi 3003" as an introduction to Japanese Club-Pop and concentrated on giving a wide overview of what has been going on in Tokyo in the last 10 years.»
[from the "Sushi 4004" liner notes, 1998]
Bungalow gave us the chance to (re)discover the soundtrack works of German composer Peter Thomas; they also licensed most of Combustible Edison releases in Europe and brought Stereo Total to international success and fame, album after album.
Among others, they released lovely CDs by Czerkinsky, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Yoshinori Sunahara and Bertrand Burgalat, and other little wonders from the German underground like Pop Tarts, Dauerfisch, Mina... For this and all the rest, thank you Bungalow!
The "Pool Series" was a... series of 12" records that explored the more Dance-oriented side of the label. They were released in a simple brown cardboard sleeve with a sticker containing all the pertinent details.
The cover design was changed at a later stage, and the last five issues offered a different design, with all information printed directly on the sleeves and no sticker at all.
The first issue in the series was Dob's "Planet Dob", released in 1997; it contains the following tracks.
01. Planet Dob (4:10)
02. Fa La Le Ra (4:39)
03. Planet Deb (5:22)
All tracks were remastered in March 2014 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.
Please have a look at the comments for the download links.
Side A features "Plenet Dob" - the closing track from the album "La Lu La Roo" - a classy Ambient-Electronica piece with Dub influences and Drum'n'Bass elements.
On Side B we find "Fa La Le Ra" - a remix of the album's title track enriched by a Drum'n'Bass rhythm and offering a different refrain - and "Planet Deb", which - unsurprisingly - is a prominently Dub remix of "Planet Dob".
The following videos offer a preview of the remastered 12", enjoy "Planet Dob"!
Dob, originally called Date of Birth, were formed in 1984 by the three brothers Shigeto in Fukuoka, a small town in the south of Japan; most of their musical output was released by Kitty Records.
They were very successful in their native Country: in 1992 their single "You Are My Secret", the theme song from the classic Japanese TV drama "あなただけ見えない" (Only You Can't See It), sold the unbelievable amount of 400.000 copies.
According to the liner notes of "Sushi 3003", Dob "are not just a band, they are a family obsessed with music as much as they are with graphics"... "La Lu La Roo", their album released by Bungalow in 1996, came as a Enhanced CD with an interactive track for Macintosh users.
The visual side of Dob was also widely explored on "Planet Dob", their own game for the Sony Playstation released in late 1999.
It seems like Dob ceased to exist sometimes in the early '00s, traces of their beautiful website are still around courtesy of the Internet Wayback Machine... Here's the full list of the band members:
Isao Shigeto: guitars, keyboards, composing, computer programming, engineering, etc.
Susumu Shigeto: drums, composing, lyrics, computer programming, engineering, etc.
Ken-1 (Kenichi Shigeto): computer programming, art, visuals, etc.
Norico: voice, lyrics
Dob, circa 1996-97
More information about Bungalow Records and Dob is available here:
The "Pool Series" will continue in the next months. All your inputs are welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!