Root Blog

Rootmix – Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo Fourth-world Japan, years 1980-1986 – Spencer Doran

Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo- Fourth-world Japan, years 1980-1986
By Spencer Doran

Haruomi Hosono – “Down to the Earth“ from Mercuric Dance
Ryuichi Sakamoto – “A Rain Song” from Esperanto
Mkwaju Ensemble – “Ki-Motion” from Ki Motion
Haruomi Hosono – “Air Condition” from Philharmony
Mariah – “Shisen” from Utakata no Hibi
Yasuaki Shimizu – “(Untitled Pieces for Bridgestone)” from Music for Commercials
Mkwaju Ensemble – “Lemore” from Mkwaju
Seigen Ono – “Mallets” from Seigen
Masahide Sakuma – “WINDOWS/Hi!!” from Masahide Sakuma
Geinoh Yamashirogumi – “Agba’a” from Africa Genjoh
Yasuaki Shimizu – “(Untitled Piece for Tachikawa)” from Music for Commercials
Danceries – “Grasshoppers” from End of Asia
Phew – “Closed” from Phew
Haruomi Hosono – “Windy Land” from The Endless Talking
YMO – “Loom” from BGM


Spencer Doran is a Portland based musician who plays in Operative, Cloaks & RV Paintings.
You can catch him (for free!) in a Cloaks set this Friday @ Grace Cathedral for Episcodisco!

  1. Brakhage on July 13th, 2010

    Wow, great idea for a compilation

  2. ryan on July 13th, 2010

    this one is a real winner! although i wish i could figure out what’s what with confidence.

  3. gregg on July 13th, 2010

    amazing album artwork!

  4. Roger on July 13th, 2010

    That’s funny, I just got that IC Seigén LP…

    Definitely checking this mix out…

  5. Walkathon on July 14th, 2010

    Epic comp, thanks!

  6. tim on July 14th, 2010


  7. nicholas on July 15th, 2010

    great mix!

  8. Nathan on July 16th, 2010

    Wow, this is awesome. Thanks so much!

  9. jose on July 16th, 2010

    A M A Z I N G.


  10. Evan on July 18th, 2010

    Really nice collection here.. Been listening a great deal.


  11. basso on July 19th, 2010

    as a total sucker for Mkwaju I will love this mix. more Mkwaju in the mix here:

  12. jeff on April 12th, 2011

    Anyone have Seigen Ono – Seigen (Pan East Records) they could upload? Really interested to hear more of that lp.

  13. jeff on April 12th, 2011

    I can’t even find anywhere online to buy it digitally. The same problem with what seems to be often labeled as Joe Hisaishi – Mkwaju. Cheers

  14. Julie on April 30th, 2012

    Such an amazing comp… perfect for reading. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Spencer on July 24th, 2012
  16. […] companion during my 3-hour commute for the past few weeks. Originally made for Root Strata in 2010, I stumbled across it by chance. I’m glad I did. Spencer Doran is a musician from Portland, […]

  17. […] Cloaks’ Spencer Doran takes an almost academic approach to his mixtapes: Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo and Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo Vol. 2 survey the sound of Japanese ambient and electronic music […]

  18. […] 全体を通して見受けられる「調和」のどこかに、私たちは日本的な何かを嗅ぎ取ることができるが、メンバーのSpencerは自身の音楽制作に大きく日本の音楽から影響を受けたと公言しており、レコード・コレクターでもある彼の知識はとても豊富だ。数年前には80年から86年まで限定のジャパニーズ電子音楽/アンビエントのミックスアルバム「Fairlights, Mallests, and Bamboo」を発表しており、これまで開拓されることのなかった、未知で、異国の「ニューエイジ」の存在を人々に知らしめた。西欧の人間だけではなく、当の我々にとっても刺激になるような曲ばかりなので、ぜひダウンロードして聴いてほしい。 […]

  19. Visible Cloaks: Reassemblage – MWM on February 20th, 2017

    […] mixtapes have overshadowed his actual albums. In 2010, the Portland, Oregon, producer posted Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo—Fourth-World Japan, Years 1980–1986, a stunning collection of early-’80s Japanese synthesizer music by artists like Yellow Magic […]

  20. Simon Rivet on March 19th, 2020

    Anyone knows the name of track after “WINDOWS/Hi!!” from Masahide Sakuma? It’s not listed in the tracklist and it’s probably my favorite from the mix!