Julian Cope and the Rise of Japanese Psychedelic Rock

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Julian Cope played an important role in the rise of Japanese psychedelic rock. His work with the group Teardrop Explodes helped to popularize the genre and influenced a generation of Japanese musicians.

Julian Cope’s influence on Japanese Psychedelic Rock

In the late 1980s, Julian Cope was living in Tokyo and immersed in the city’s thriving music scene. He became friends with a number of Japanese musicians, including psychedelic rock band Acid Mothers Temple. Cope would later go on to produce the band’s debut album, which helped to introduce Japanese psychedelic rock to a wider audience.

Cope’s influence on Japanese music was not limited to psychedelic rock. He is also credited with helping to popularize the music of Shonen Knife, another Japanese band that found success in the West. Cope befriended the group and gave them their first exposure to Western audiences by inviting them to open for his band, The Teardrop Explodes, on a UK tour.

Today, Japanese psychedelic rock is more popular than ever, thanks in part to the efforts of Julian Cope. He remains an important figure in the world of Japanese music, and his influence can still be heard in the work of contemporary artists like Acid Mothers Temple.

The beginning of Julian Cope’s musical career

Julian Cope began his musical career as a member of the Liverpool post-punk band The Teardrop Explodes. After the band’s breakup in 1982, Cope embarked on a solo career. His first two solo albums, World Shut Your Mouth and Saint Julian, were moderate commercial successes. In 1986, Cope released his third album, My Nation Underground, which was met with critical acclaim but failed to sell well.

It was around this time that Cope began to become interested in Japanese music. He first visited Japan in 1987 and was immediately struck by the country’s unique culture and history. He began collecting Japanese music, and his passion for the country’s music only grew from there. In 1989, he released the album My Way, which featured several Japanese psychedelic rock songs. The album was not a commercial success, but it did help to introduce Japanese psychedelic rock to a wider audience.

Cope continued to champion Japanese psychedelic rock throughout the 1990s and 2000s. In 2001, he even released an album called Die Kurze Welle Der Erinnerungen (The Short Wave Of Memory), which featured covers of Japanese psychedelic rock songs. Thanks to Cope’s efforts, Japanese psychedelic rock has gained a small but dedicated following in the West.

Julian Cope’s connection to Japan

When most people think of Japanese music, they think of pop bands like AKB48 or Ultra Music Festival-worthy EDM DJs like Daft Punk. But there’s a whole world of Japanese music that’s weirder, wilder, and more interesting than anything you’ll hear on the radio. And a lot of it can be traced back to one man: Julian Cope.

Cope is a British musician best known for his work with the ’80s post-punk band The Teardrop Explodes. But in recent years, he’s become just as well-known for his passion for Japanese music, particularly the country’s psychedelia scene. His website, Japrocksampler, is one of the most comprehensive resources for information on Japanese music, and he’s written two books on the subject: Japrocksampler and Japanalia ETP.

Through his writings and DJing, Cope has played a major role in introducing Western audiences to the weird and wonderful world of Japanese psychedelic rock. He’s helped bring attention to lesser-known bands like Ghost and Acid Mothers Temple, and he even played a role in reforming the legendary ’60s psych band Les Rallizes Dénudés. If you’re looking to dive into the strange and beautiful world of Japanese psychedelia, Cope is the perfect guide.

The rise of Japanese Psychedelic Rock

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japanese psychedelic rock, also known as Ps Aki or Jap Psych, was at the forefront of a musical renaissance in Japan. The genre was spearheaded by artists like Julian Cope, who mixed Western and Eastern influences to create a unique sound that captured the imaginations of young people across the globe.

Japanese psychedelic rock is often characterized by its use of traditional instrumentation, such as the sitar, along with Eastern melodies and modes. The genre is also known for its experimental nature, as artists pushed the boundaries of what was considered possible in music. Julian Cope was one of the most innovative and influential figures in Japanese psychedelic rock, and his work had a profound impact on the development of the genre.

Cope began his musical career in the punk scene in England, but he soon became interested in experimenting with different sounds and styles. In 1985, he formed the group Teardrop Explodes, which became one of the first Western bands to integrate Japanese instrumentation into their music. The group’s sound was heavily influenced by Cope’s love of Japanese culture, and their debut album, Kilimanjaro (1986), featured sitar-laden tracks like “World Shut Your Mouth” and “Haiko”.

Teardrop Explodes’ use of traditional Japanese instruments was instrumental in popularizing PsAki in Japan and abroad. Julian Cope’s work with Teardrop Explodes showed that it was possible to create something new and exciting by combining different cultures and influences. After the dissolution of Teardrop Explodes, Cope continued to experiment with his sound, incorporating elements of Krautrock, dub reggae, and folk music into his solo work. He remains one of the most important figures in Japanese psychedelic rock, and his influence can still be heard in the music of today.

The influence of Julian Cope on Japanese Psychedelic Rock

The influence of Julian Cope on Japanese Psychedelic Rock is undeniable. His work with the band Teardrop Explodes and his subsequent solo career helped to define the genre and influenced a generation of Japanese musicians.

Cope first visited Japan in the early 1990s and was immediately won over by the country’s culture and music scene. He began collaborating with Japanese musicians, most notably with P-Model, and his work with them helped to popularize the use of psychedelic sounds in rock music.

P-Model’s album In a Model Room, which was produced by Cope, is often credited as being one of the first examples of Japanese psychedelic rock. The album incorporated elements of electronic music, krautrock, and acid house, and its sound was a far cry from the traditional pop music that had dominated the Japanese charts up until that point.

In a Model Room was followed by a number of other influential albums, including Acid Mothers Temple’s Electric Silent Circus and Ghost’s In Stormy Nights. These records helped to further cement Japan’s reputation as a leading force in psychedelic rock, and they would go on to inspire subsequent generations of Japanese musicians.

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