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Royal Mirrorball's sought after '(Earth In) Blue' re-issued by Rush Hour Records

The maverick Japanese producer's bubbling acid gem arrives alongside an unreleased instrumental mix

  • Patrizio Cavaliere
  • 9 December 2022
Royal Mirrorball's sought after '(Earth In) Blue' re-issued by Rush Hour Records

‘(Earth in) Blue’ by rogue Japanese producer Hiroshi Matsui aka Royal Mirrorball receives a much-needed re-issue from the ever-given Rush Hour Records camp. The sought-after original version arrives alongside a previously unreleased instrumental, with the vinyl release presented with a traditional Japanese obi strip.

Matsui began studying multi-recording synthesizer composition while still in school. His fascination for electronic music quickly became an obsession and in 1985 the then eighteen-year-old artist took part in The famous Parco department stores-organised Organ-Zaka competition. He went on to win the grand prize, beating such luminaries as Towa Tei (Deee-Lite) and Zabadak, kickstarting his long and winding career working as a professional musician. Operating from within the core of the underground as well as in the commercial stratosphere (scoring jingles and adverts) Matsui's music has routinely transcended genres and styles.

In 1992 Matsui’s ‘Samba de Howa Howa’ was released as a Japan-only promo. Despite its limited release, the track caught the attention of house pioneer Tony Humphries, becoming a fixture on Kiss FM and eventually appearing on the first volume of King Street’s infamous ‘Sounds of Far East Dance Music’ compilation.

At the end of the nineties, Matsui established his own Royal Mirrorball production company and label, kicking off with the EP that featured the gorgeous ‘(Earth in) Blue’. On the choice of moniker, Matsui had this to say: "The name ‘Royal Mirrorball’ was inspired by the gay clubs of the '80s. That’s what I had in mind whenever I made music, whether it was house music, J-pop, noise or contemporary music.” Interestingly, copies of the original EP containing ‘(Earth in) Blue’ were so limited because they were originally intended only as a gift for friends and colleagues, but, there were other factors at play. "it was also an issue of cash on hand and production costs," says Matsui. "Funds were limited back then.”

The new light that the re-issue will shine on the music is entirely deserved, sounding, as it does, just as magical today as it did when initially released. You can check the music here:

Royal Mirrorball '(Earth In) Blue' is out now on Rush Hour Records. You can buy it here

Patrizio Cavaliere is Mixmag Asia's Music Editor. Follow him on Instagram

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