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About Us

Far Side Music Ltd. was started by Paul Fisher while living in Japan in 1991. He originally intended to stay for six months, but ended up staying for over 11 years, moving back to the UK in 2001. Paul worked in several areas of the music business in the UK, from A&R for record and management companies to distribution and owning a record shop. After re-locating to Japan Paul wrote a few articles for the British magazine 'fRoots' on Japanese and Okinawan music, and after realizing there was no outlet for this 'undiscovered' music, decided to start selling it himself.

In addition to internet and mail order CD sales, Far Side Music Ltd now manages internationally several Japanese and Asian artists, promoting their music overseas, by arranging record releases, festival appearances and tours. Our artists have performed at some of the world's most prestigious festivals including various WOMADs, TFF Rudolstadt Germany, and other renowned festivals and venues from Africa to Asia to Australia. In 2006 we worked closely by booking four artists from Japan to perform at the prestigious City of London Festival.

We also license, export and promote other 'world music' into Japan and other Asian countries, working with independent and major Japanese companies, a major retailer and at the same time representing several European record companies in Japan.

Since 2003 we have been operating the Far Side Music label beginning with our own production, the UK based musician from Sierra Leone, Abdul Tee-Jay 'Palm Wine a Go-Go'. In 2004 we released our original compilation by Japanese superstar Miyazawa 'Tokyo Story', in 2005 acclaimed Ainu musician, OKI and his album Dub Ainu, and in 2006, Hinemosu by Japanese group Micabox.

Far Side Music works with some London based recording and mastering studios, offering a complete coordination service for a Japanese clientele. We also programme music for restaurants and other premises. For more details on all of these services, please check out the other services section.

Rice Records / Radio

Since 2004 another exciting initiative has been the creation of a new company Rice Records (UK), a joint venture between Far Side Music and Rice Records, one of Japan's best independent label, to release Rice Records throughout the rest of the world. Releases so far have included acclaimed albums by Rikki (Amami island), SambaSunda, Elvy Sukaesih (Indonesia) compilations by legendary Latin artists including Arsenio Rodriguez and Carmen Miranda and a original recording in Brazil of samba group Velha Guarda da Portela.

Paul Fisher has performed as a DJ at various venues and clubs, including world music festivals in Europe, universities in the UK and clubs in London including ICA, Big Chill bar, Notting Hill Arts Club and Darbucka.

In addition, Paul Fisher works as a broadcaster, journalist, photographer and video cameraman. He has presented a weekly radio programme for nearly 20 years, beginning with Far East Radio in Japan and continuing with Far Side Radio in 2002. Far Side Radio is broadcast on Resonance 104.4fm in London every Wednesday at 12 noon, and broadcast live in streaming audio on the internet. Several shows are now archived on this web site. Paul plays music from Japan, Okinawa, Indonesia, China and other Far East Asian countries, mostly of CDs in our catalogues. He also has recorded a Radio 3 Guide to Japan, for the BBC world music web site, and has been a regular contributor to the CBC 'Global Village' and recently the programme 'Inside the Music'. To listen to these radio programmes follow this link

Media

For nearly twenty years he has written for fRoots magazine in the UK, is a contributor to the Rough Guide to World Music, was a music columnist for the Japan Times and has written for several publications in Japan, including Latina. You can read some of these articles and other biographies he has written on the Far Side Music blog

Compilations

He has compiled several albums, including the Rough Guides to the Music of China, Thailand, Okinawa, Japan, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Other compilations include an East Asia Travelogue for Union Square Music, The Very Best of the Far East (Nascente) Beginners Guide to Asia (Nascente) Bar Tokyo and Bar Beijing (Nascente) Japanese and Chinese compilations released in Spain, and a promotional CD of Okinawan music for a US label. He has coordinated tracks for Putamayo and several other companies and entire compilation albums for clients in Asia. Check out the Rough Guides and other compilations here

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