Friday, November 16, 2012

V/A - Soft Selection 84 LP (Soft, 1983)



Side A
clä-sick - Morning in China
La Sellrose Can Can - Aerobicise
Linolium - Unit 25
Picky Picnic - Sume ba Miyako
Pink Label - Good Luck
NAME - N.H.K.
Picky Picnic - Kibo no Asu
ReveR - Performan

Side B
NAME - Do We All Need Love
Classic Pearl - Pearl
La Sellrose Can Can - Happy Morning
clä-sick - Every Night
clä-sick - Black Nile

The rarity of this LP, released on the mysterious Soft label, is matched only by its astounding quality. Each song is a wonderful little nugget of minimal-wave, beginning with clä-sick's lilting Chinoiserie intro "Morning in China". La Sellrose Can Can kicks things up a notch with a bouncy minimal-synth-pop number featuring oddball English lyrics about physical training.

Everyone do a flying saucer
Take the train and say hello.

Linolium's sole contribution is another Chinese-themed minimal-synth jam (what are the odds?), though this time with a sort of Picky Picnic-esque canned-sample technique going on over a snappy drum machine rhythm. The picnickers themselves take up the torch here with a demo version of Ha! Ha! Tarachine's "Sume ba Miyako", featuring all the squiggly, brain-damaged zolo we've all come to expect from these masterminds. The mood shifts for Pink Label's track "Good Luck", a sparsely-produced techno-kayo gem with a lovely chorus. Things take a slightly darker turn with NAME's "N.H.K.", a very weird little track with vocal samples in English and Japanese. The coda "play it backwards again" appears before Picky Picnic show back up with another goofball ballad, this time with a ukelele, syncopated hand claps and more frustrated grunting (I don't think this track was released elsewhere, but I might be wrong). Another very weird minimal song courtesy of ReveR, featuring a lot of wacky, reverb-y voices speaking English(?). Really dumb/great.
Side two kicks off with another NAME track, this time more pop-like with moody vocals about exhaustion with love.

Sometimes I feel so tired
Every time you make me saying 'I love you'

Sometime I feel so sad
Every time you stop me making love with you

Do we all need love?
And do I really know how to love you?

Following "Do We All Need Love?" is "Pearl", by Classic Pearl, which I first heard long ago on a CD compilation. It's very excellent and quite catchy. Then La Sellrose Can Can is back with another super fun English-language pop song whose lyrics I can't quite decipher. Something about candy and mercy and merry-go-rounds? Anyways, album-openers clä-sick return, book-ending Soft Selection 84 with another moody minimal synth tune ("Every Night") and the twinkling, dub-tinged "Black Nile".
The only thing not-great about this LP is how obscure every band besides Picky Picnic is. Does anyone have any info about these groups?

6 comments:

nattliga_toner said...

WELCOME BACK! You've truly been missed.

This is truly a must hear record! As you said, each track is a minimal synth gem. Especially "Every Night", "Happy Morning" and "Do we all need love" IMO.

Btw. my old mail went bust, so if you wanna get in touch just send off a line or two to nattligatoner (at) gmail (dot) com.

Again - super-stoked to see you posting again!

c.patera said...

Ahh, yes it's good to be back.

Aha! Good to know your new email. I did send you one a little while back. I wanted to know if you had the JEANNE MARIE "S/T" 12" and whether it is good or not. I recently realized that it is essentially a PAFE release. I kinda wanna do a PAFE megapost with the whole discography and dual reviews. As you've probably noticed (or perhaps we've discussed) the most successful thing I've posted has been the PALE COCOON stuff...

nattliga_toner said...

Yeah, Hotmail decided to fuck my account up ...bye bye 7+ years of correspondances + e-mail addresses to everybody I know (to be fair, I've only got myself to blame for not bothering to get a somewhat proper e-mail for all these years).

Wow, a PAFE megapost sounds super-neat! Yeah, I've got the JEANNE MARIE 12" - I think it's pretty good! You can hear tracks from it here: http://elcaunegre.blogspot.se/2011/12/jeanne-marie-jeanne-marie-1986-children.html

I think I've got all of the PAFE stuff except the TOKYO GYOGYOOM 7", WAKAKUSA 7" and the EVA-I 12". Not sure how many of the one's without the PAFE-XXXX & TOY BOX catalogue number are proper Pafe releases though ...I talked to the singer of ADBALOONS a while ago, and he said that they essentially released their EP themselves and Pafe "only" distributed it.

nattliga_toner said...

And yeah, about that JEANNE MARIE link - make sure to check out "We Are Lovers" if no other track ...best track for sure!

Curious Guy said...

Thanks for the recent posts. In case you shouldn't know, here's a list of PAFE releases:
http://www.geocities.co.jp/radiodaze76/inds0pafe.htm
Found it on this recommendable site on Japanese indie labels:
http://www.geocities.co.jp/radiodaze76/indstop.htm

Gilded Locks said...

This is so good. Thanks for posting!! I really enjoy your blog.