Julian Cope, the great rock 'n' roll literary yeti, follows up a book flouting his passion for Krautrock (i.e. psychedelic/electronic German music of the Seventies) with a book flouting his passion for Japrock (i.e. psychedelic/electronic Japanese music of the Seventies). The book goes waaaaay back to the thirties, forties and fifties, getting into Stockhausen, John Cage, and the first Japanese musicians to make avant garde music. At some point, Yoko Ono comes into the scene, and eventually John Lennon. The Japanese, at another point, become infatuated with the Ventures, and eventually rock bands appear. This movement goes corporate, and at one point rebels appear and dream up their own mind-bending experiments in sound and amplification. Cope launches into descriptions of his favourite bands Flower Travellin' Band, Les Razllizes Denudes (whose bass player got involved with the highjacking of a plane to North Korea - really!), Speed Glue & Shinki, Taj Mahal Travellers, JA Caesar, Far East Family Band, and a bunch of other long-hairs. Cope's passion is abundant, and it's clear that he's spend tens of thousands of dollars buying Japanese vinyl of all eras, and has probably made use of many Japanese volunteers who translated material and explained situations to him, lingering in the country at many points in his life too, perhaps. His writing is fluid, amusing and creative, and the story is fascinating as it unfolds. The book is intelligent and highly entertaining and Cope's descriptions make me want to hear more of these bands. As criticisms, I'd say that parts of the book are uneven - some musicians are given long biographies, while others are left as mysteries; and considering that writing about music is like dancing about architecture, what we really need to accompany the book is a sampler CD. Cope overuses certain words, such as "melted plastic brain" (we sometimes feel like we need to have dropped acid to understand his descriptions of some of these bands and their musical world-views, as well as his description of their sonic output) and "komische," and there are altogether too many mentions of the Velvet Underground and the various Krautrock bands; I could have also put together a decent list of Japanese typos. But these are probably quibbles - Cope has busted open a field that needs more recognition with humour and verve, a cultural and musical anthropologist (it's a small field) extraordinaire.