shinkansen recordings
an introduction

 

CLICK PHOTOS BELOW FOR BIOGRAPHIES OF EACH BAND!!!

Trembling Blue Stars
Trembling Blue Stars

The Field Mice
The Field Mice

Monograph
Monograph/
Pacific Radio

Cody
Cody

Fosca
Fosca

Harvey Williams
Harvey Williams

Northern Picture Library
Northern Picture Library

tompot blenny
Tompot Blenny

Well, I guess you'll have reached this page for one of two reasons: (1) you've recently heard some songs that were released by Shinkansen Recordings, and are now desperate to discover more about the label, or (2) you've confused us with the Japanese National Railways web-site, and are now desperate to discover the time of the last train out of Osaka tonight before all hell breaks loose. In either case, I think what follows will help. A Shinkansen emerges from a tunnel
A Shinkansen in the snow OK, first the Japan Railways thing. Basically, Shinkansen is the name of the high-speed inter-city train service in Japan - usually called the Bullet Train over here but not, apparently, in Japan itself, where Shinkansen actually translates rather dully as "new trunk line". Thus it's what the French would call TGV, the Germans ICE, the Spanish AVE, and the Americans really weird, dude, like lots of really really long trucks with windows, joined together in a line, and running on these, like, metal tracks instead of tarmac. Looks kinda Canadian. Here's a couple of pictures, so you know I'm not making it up.
But Shinkansen is also, of course, the name of a cute, rosy-cheeked, perfectly formed but often suspiciously bruised record-label, currently in hiding under a false nose in a small flat just off the Lambeth Walk. Which is in London, just south of Waterloo station. And at this point I'd like to quickly make clear that it's in London NOT because I want to hob-nob with all the big-wigs of the UK music-scene, but because I was born here. Gor blimey apples and pears me old china, what's with the new barnet and whistle? See? Spoken like a true native. Admittedly I was born in Leytonstone, not Lambeth, and still find the idea of living south of the river a bit weird and scary but... that's London house-prices for you. You go where you can afford, even if it means the rest of your family disowns you as a traitor for having moved "over the water".

And why have we named a record-label after a super-fast and shiny extremely phallic-looking Japanese express train? Well, I think that will become clear after you've listened to a few of our releases. Especially Harvey's.

Timetable for the Number 59


OK... Shinkansen released its first record - Abba On The Jukebox, by Trembling Blue Stars - in early 1996... and since then... well... you'll find complete details of all our releases in the discography.

Alternatively, in our text archive, you'll find the handful of newsletters we've issued since we began which, read in order, will fill you in on some of the background gossip. Read out of order, they'll make you start thinking that, hey, maybe we're not all just finger-puppets on the Hands of Time after all, as at least one of us clearly has remarkable prophetic gifts. Sadly, you'd be partly wrong...

Finally - you might notice a certain randomness over whether I say "I" or "we" a lot of the time, so... just so's you know... there's only one of me, but sometimes it feels more natural to say "we", especially when I'm talking about the label as a whole, rather than just me, or when I'm having one of my turns.

And who or what is this "me" of which I speak, you ask... well, I am a many-horned love-god. Because it's always useful to have a spare.

Matt x

The Fleece & Firkin P.S. I should probably also point out that I have a guilty past, because I used to co-run Sarah Records, which was undoubtedly the greatest record-label that's ever existed, despite what everyone tells you.

At some point, we hope to get a proper archive of the more salient Sarah stuff up on this web-site. For now, you'll find simply a brief introduction, a discography, some sleevenotes - and a copy of the advert we took out in the music-press to announce our departure from the world, as I think it probably explains everything quite neatly. Click on the photo (left) of the Fleece & Firkin in Bristol to get there...

 RETURN TO SARAH/SHINKANSEN HOME PAGE