Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pablo Picasso - Soft Type LP (Telegraph Records, 1983)

Side A
内側の歌 Part 1

Side B
内側の歌 Part 2
Not Movin'

Following the 7" I posted earlier, here's the brilliant and only LP from this cacophonous Tokyo no-wave trio. Super dubbed out and effects-laden scrawl somewhere between The Pop Group's Y and PiL's Metal Box. The production on this one is so 'out there' at times, it had me checking the insert to see if it was produced by Kaoru Sato (it wasn't). Amazing stuff!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Urban Dance - s/t LP (Non-Standard, 1985)


Side A
Hitokoma No Ame
Ceramic Love
Subete Wa Himitsu No Yoru
We All Go Down

Side B
Dr. Diet
Remaking of Non-Standard Music

Debut record by this stylish techno-pop group lead by Shinobu Narita, fresh from disbanding his previous group, 4-D (one of their members left to join P-Model). The production, by Yukihiro Takahashi and Haruomi Hosono of YMO, is head-spinning, featuring the kind of sharp-focus wackiness you have already have a taste for if you enjoyed the Momoyo and Yoran singles over at Habit of Sex. Listen close for some pretty silly lyrics too: I desire your VCR, I'd like to watch you in slow-motion (Ceramic Love), and So don't put your hands on those Rice Krispies (Dr. Diet) are personal favorites.

bonus video time!

Minca Panopica - Heckell Jackell 12" (Nagomu, 1989)


Side In
Heckell Jackell
Trouble Western
Chikyu Wa Mawaru
Oh! Maria

Side Out
Go Go! Oscar

More doinko pop naiveté from the Nagomu crew. Just when you thought it couldn't get stupider, here comes electropop hoe-downs, children's choirs, rubberized guitar solos and other such nonsense. Sorta like a mass-market Picky Picnic, I suppose. Great!

bonus video time!

Pablo Picasso - s/t 7" (Telegraph Records, 1981)


Side A

Side B
Not Movin'

Tangled no-wave groove from the rather reliable Telegraph label. If you like the skritch-skratch guitar of DNA, Mars, et al, this one's for you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yasuaki Shimizu - IQ 179 LP (Columbia Japan, 1981)


Side A
Lizard Hako
Doll Play I
Puzzle 34
Cloud 9

Side B
IQ 179
Little "L"
Doll Play II
Lost Horizon

Confounding electro-jazz-fusion moves from this ex-Mariah saxophonist. Just when you think you've got this record figured out, it turns on a dime. Seriously, the range of quality here is astounding, whizzing from Wha-Ha-Ha-esque levels of synth blippiness to white wine soaked Mom-Jazz, Grover Washington Jr style. I sure hope that comparison didn't just turn you all off from downloading this, as there are some pretty brilliant moments to be heard!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Synchronize - 訪問者, 幼年期... 7" (Plaza, 198?)


Side A

Side B

Depressive darkwave with piano and some interesting guitar mix. Rather spartan... and is it just me, or does side A's intro sound like it's hinting at a Blue Öyster Cult song?

ミン&クリナメン - 世界によろしく 7" EP (Nagomu, 1987)


Side A
[Japanese Title]

Side B
[Japanese Title] I
[Japanese Title] II

More wackiness from the Nagomu label, this time from female-fronted group Min & Kurinamen. A-side is a high-energy speed-punk track tailor-made for bouncing off the walls, replete with background vocals, an over-the-top guitar solo, and more generally ridiculous elements. Side B... surprise free-jazz! Which leads into a rollicking jazz-punk tune. Fun stuff. Enjoy!

Para-Phrase - SU-DE-NI!? 7" flexi (Beat Generation, 1981)


Side A

Great little single-sided flexi from this obscure Sapporo group. Very 'Tokyo Rockers' inspired (Friction, Lizard, etc). Nice!
If you like this, be sure to grab this live recording posted at the great Music Is A Better Noise blog.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

パイナップル4.9 - s/t 10" (Gym, 1983)


Side A

Side B

I hadn't ever heard of this band when I bought the 10", but I figured that a band with the name Pineapple4.9 and an album cover like that wouldn't disappoint. I'd say I was right, though I have a hard time pinning down exactly what is so appealing about it. They're almost like a no-wave band with all the nervous tension drained, leaving them diffused and skeletal. Pretty mellow, but just enough subtle strangeness to keep me interested.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sakata Orchestra - 4 O'Clock LP (Better Days, 1981)

Side A
What Time is It?
4 O'Clock

Side B
E? E!! E?

Fantastic LP from this Wha-Ha-Ha member and mainstay of the Japanese avant-jazz scene. Features a little bit of the goofy computer electronics and crazed vocals of Wha-Ha-Ha, but mostly this is all about the free-wheelin' jazz!
I believe someone had requested this LP in the comments... sorry for the wait.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Goónzees - s/t 7" flexi (Kuru Kuru, 1983)


Side A
ぬるぬる (This is a Love Song)

Side B

Here's one of the most obscure pieces in my collection. Mentions of this band on the web are scant, and this flexi was completely 'ungoogleable' when I bought it. Turned out to be a pretty good purchase though!
Very, very PIL-influenced cavernous post-punk racket with a fierce guitar sound referencing Neu!'s "Negativland" and dubby effects all over the place. Really great stuff. If anyone has more info on this band, I'd love to hear it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sadato Group - s/t 7" flexi (Kang-Gung, 1984)


Side A

Side B
Gohon Gahon

Rather odd cosmic free-rock nuttiness from this mostly-Japanese group led by Swiss-born-Iranian-living-then-in-Tokyo-but-now-in-New-York multi-instrumentalist Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi (Sadato seems to have been his Japanese name). Zappa and free-jazz seem to be the major touchstones here. Wild stuff!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ikari - s/t 7" flexi (R.B.F., 1984)


Side A
Lucky Time
No Perspective

Cool flexi from this P-Model side-project featuring two quick punk songs with some interesting elements and a unique sound. Definitely worth checking out despite the brevity of my write-up here.

Bachikaburi - Ichi-ryu 7" EP (Nagomu, 1985)


Side A
Only You
彼岸 Higan (Nirvana)

Side B
稲荷 Inari (Inari)
苦行 Kugyo (Penance)
 返答(貧困)Hentou(Hinkon) Answer(Poverty)

While this is technically the second record I've posted from Nagomu Records (the other was Picky Picnic's Lovely Water Peaceful), I'd say this is the first to really demonstrate the Nagomu aesthetic. If you don't know, Nagomu was founded by Kera, the singer of the subsequently successful group Uchouten. The label quickly established a distinct sound and became somewhat of a phenomenon, even spawning it's own fashion movement in the form of the Nagomu-gal look, a colorful, bohemian style. Though trendy, the label cultivated a fairly bizarre trademark. Bachikaburi here illustrate perfectly the manic punk-rock idiocy prevalent in much of Nagomu's early catalog.

Monday, November 8, 2010

姫御前 - s/t 7" flexi (胎内レーベル, 1985)


Side A

Here's a fun little single-sided flexi that I noticed was selling somewhat high on eBay. Weird and wobbly technopop with female vocals. Sorta like if Lewisite got a concussion or drank too much cough syrup. Pretty great! I sure wish this band released more...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Picky Picnic - Lovely Water Peaceful 7" flexi (Nagomu, 1986)


Side A
Lovely Water Peaceful

Side B
Blue Mountain 500 Miles Goes By

More insanity from Picky Picnic, one of the best bands ever.
Like Cynical Hysteria World, this release features the artistic and musical talents of famed animator Kiriko Kubo - a perfect match for Picky Picnic. Her influence seems to temper the group slightly, but they're still unquestionably idiotic here, as evidenced by the completely a cappella Martin Denny parody Blue Mountain 500 Miles Goes By.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tomo Akikawabaya - 1985 7" (Castle, 1985)


Side A

Side B
A Dream of No Pillow

Some of you might have already heard the A-side to this fantastic single over at the Habit of Sex tumblr (which I hope all of you are following), but I thought I'd post it here at SD because #1 - it would be a little bit redundant to post it on HOS, and #2 - you wanna hear the B-side, right?
I had completely blown off (i.e. didn't add to my eBay watch-list) the works of Tomo Akikawabaya for a while, mostly due to the kinda cheesy covers (all featuring the same 80s-lady), but the huge prices they were fetching weren't helping to catch my interest either. Being not entirely proficient in determining the gender of some Japanese names, I had assumed it was some synthy dance-pop with female vocals, so you can imagine my surprise when I finally heard the song Mars on YouTube. I thought it must have been either a mistake, a guest vocalist, or a woman with a hell of a deep voice. When I eventually obtained 1985, I played it first at 45 and it confirmed my suspicions. But wait! The label says 33!
Now confident that what I was hearing was a crooning dude, I began to really enjoy this Akikawabaya stuff. The corny New-Romantic conviction in Tomo's voice as he delivers the fantasy-themed lyrics of Diamond strangely affected me, drawing me in to his no-doubt mirrored and fog-machined world. Becoming hooked on the song, I eventually moved past that sort of tongue-in-cheek nostalgia-loving and developed a full-on love of Akikawabaya's records. This stuff is moody, languid, brilliant minimal synth/New-Romantic music - possibly the pinnacle of it's certain sector in the genre.
A certain mystery develops when one really enjoys these records too. Who is this girl that appears on all the cover art? Her name shows up on the back cover as Rena Anju, credited as model. In fact, Anju is the title of another Tomo 12" from 1985, so did these two share a close relationship? It's possible, but for some reason I can't imagine this attractive woman going for the kind of guy who self-produces his own synthesizer records to complete obscurity. It's possible that she acted as sort of muse. Another curious tidbit is that the 12" immediately following Anju is the only cover that doesn't feature the titular model, but instead a woodcut. This 12" is titled Kojiki to Onna, translating to "Beggar and Woman," which one can certainly read into...
If you enjoy this one, keep an eye on Habit of Sex in the next few days, as I'll be posting Tomo's masterpiece: The Castle!

P-Model - One Pattern LP (Alfa, 1986)


Side A
Oh Mama!
Licorice Leaf
Astro Notes
Möbius Band

Side B
Oyasumi Dog
Another Day

Here's P-Model's nearly-as-good follow-up to Karkador and their final album before going on a 6-year hiatus. Some really wonderful, spastic technopop production going on here, especially on tracks like Licorice Leaf and Oyasumi Dog. Those of you who are anime fans might recognize some of the melodies from Zebra, which is practically a blueprint for singer Hirasawa's later work for Satoshi Kon's Paranoia Agent series.

Monday, October 25, 2010

P-Model - Karkador LP (Alfa, 1985)


Side A
On the Organ-Yama
Dance Subomp

Side B

7th album from this long-running and much revered new-wave group. This one really grew on me after first being disappointed with how normal it seemed next to the zolo oddity of Perspective or the Devo-ish doink of their first two outings. Smart, sophisticated songwriting prevailed, and now I consider this to be one of the high-points in the P-Model discography. Cyborg and Piper are gems among gems...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pale Cocoon - 黄金時代 7" picture disc (Pafe, 1984)


Side A
Side B

More gauzy, blurry melancholy from the great Pale Cocoon, this time on a pretty cool looking picture disc (sorry hi-fi fans). I think it's just as brilliant as the Secret Sounds 10" I posted earlier. 黄金時代 is a glittering, cosmic shoegazer with a weird sort of constant tinnitus effect to it as the song warps and swells. Side B's 街燈 ramps up the morose factor with a similarly warbling piano and synth piece. Definitely check this out of you enjoyed Secret Sounds or the Funeral Party 7" over at Habit of Sex.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rorie With A*T*H - Door Dream 7" EP (Altamira, 1982)


Door Side

Dream Side
Momently 1
Just 2 Minute

Brain-damaged free-rock clamor from this group with connections to Luna Park Ensemble, A-Musik, and Daisuck & Prostitute. Definitely recommended if you enjoyed the Phew and Amaryllis posts, or any of the aforementioned groups.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Return of Video Game Music LP (Alfa, 1985)


Side A
Fanfare From Pole Position II
Dig Dug II
Dragon Buster
Metro Cross (Part I)
The Tower of Druaga

Side B
Mood Organ #27
Meta Magic Game
Merry Goes Around (Dedicated to Mariko Kunimoto)
Standard Theme
Mechanism of Vision
Metro Cross (Part II)

This LP is the sequel to the "Video Game Music" album arranged by Haruomi Hosono of YMO. This time around, arrangement duties fall in the hands of Koji Ueno of Guernica fame, who does a pretty alright job. It can't be a simple, really, as most of these early arcade compositions were meant to be looped indefinitely until the player succeeds or loses, cueing another soundbite. Ueno (and Hosono before him) don't ignore that fact, and admirably present the music in all its incessant glory, with in-game sound effects, chance deaths, and subsequent victories disrupting any sort of logical song-structure. This sort of video game music is actually pretty bizarre taken out of context...
Side B get's a bit bogged down with some original (non-video game) compositions, but the wacky "Meta Magic Game" is a highlight.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

月光慰問客 - 月がでたので 7" EP (Pafe, 1986)


Side A

Side B

Charming europhilia from Gekko Imonkyaku, another Pafe Records group. Comparable to Kumiko Suyama and possibly Bernthøler, Antena, etc., as it has a bit of that Crepuscule vibe to it. I imagine the heavy dose of accordion here will cause opinions to vary, but I hope we can all agree that the closing track (青空, produced by labelmates Funeral Party) is pretty cool.

Pale Cocoon - 青空の実験室 / Secret Sounds 10" EP (Pafe, 1982)


Side A

Side B
水たまり (Brain To Vain)

I first heard about this band from a collector who named them as one of his top 3 favorite bands from Japan - the other two were Wha-Ha-Ha and Picky Picnic. Well, if Wha-Ha-Ha is a bunch of highly-trained adult lunatics, and Picky Picnic is a daycare gone wrong, then Pale Cocoon is the brooding middle sibling locked up in his room reading Edgar Allen Poe. All sorts of weird stuff going on here: warbly synths, rickety, metronomic percussion, field recordings, alternating between pastoral and cloistered without ever losing the consistency of a very private sonic universe. One of the great unknown bands of the 80's, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lewisite - タイムトラベラー 7" (Cragale, 1985)


Side A
タイムトラベラー (Time Traveller)

Side B
Japanese Title
Japanese Title 
(unfortunately, these two song titles were printed very small, so I was not able to transcribe the kanji)

Delightful, delicate synth-pop from Lewisite, who only 2 years prior to this gem released the really abrasive "Siteseeing" EP, also on Cragale. I love both Jekyll and Hyde in this case, but I'm far more apt to whistle "Time Traveller", a flawless pop song that I can even imagine being an anime theme circa '85. Side B's no slacker either, delivering two more charmers in less than 4 minutes. Don't be surprised if these get stuck your head...

Friday, September 17, 2010

3F=C - と・ま・ど・い 7" flexi (R.B.F., 1984)


Side A
りんご (Ringo, trans. "Apple")
ばなな (Banana)
へび (Hebi, trans. "Snake")
とろっこ (Torokko, trans. "Wagon")
ときめき (Tokimeki, trans. "Crush")

Here's the sole 7" from 3F=C, a girl-girl duo consisting of Noriko on bass and Sumiko (also in the band Kyah) on guitar. The two craft a breed of bare-bones pop songs that reminds me of the UK DIY scene and its offspring, namely Young Marble Giants, etc. Each song is great, but "Tokimeki" really tops it, sounding to me like what might play in '50s-style diners on the sunken isle of Atlantis. This was actually one of the first "indies" items I obtained, and it's still one of my all-time favorites!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Agencement - untitled LP (Pico, 1986)


Side A

Side B

Here's something a bit more challenging after a streak of comparatively more palatable postings. Agencement is the solo project of Hideaki Shimada, a violinist who became interested in European improv music in the late 70's before releasing his recordings at the suggestion of noise artist Masami Akita (Merzbow). The music falls squarely between those two camps, and is both "free" and utterly purgatorial.
This particular LP (released in an edition of 300) contains two side-long recordings of scrawling violin, sputtering away without variation or direction. Side A is acoustic solo violin, while side B features Shimada layering and electronically manipulating multiple recordings, resulting in a cacophonous din of squeaking, scattering noise.
Completely bleak and austere, so if you find it impenetrable, save it for one of those days where you feel like staring into the abyss.
Shimada's artwork deserves special note. The back cover of the LP showcases some seriously impressive work, complementing the music perfectly in a way similar to the alien hieroglyphs adorning Mick Barr's Orthrelm albums. Upon very close inspection, one can faintly make out contorted faces, bizarre appendages and arcane symmetrical edifices, conjoined in massive clouds that I imagine stretch beyond the edges in an infinite, hellish universe.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

PTA's - Tiger / Fukumen Toshi 7" (Cragale, 1986)


Side A
Side B
Fukumen Toshi
Released on Cragale in 1986, this is (as far as I know) the last PTA's release. Some of the same rollicking post-punk present on "New Songs" is here, though very much "reigned in" after having 5 years to become instrumentally proficient. Not such a good thing though, as I found their meandering, one-note strategies to be the totality of their charm, but the good isn't completely gone. The call and response elements of "Tiger" are fun, and the admittedly Edge-like guitarisms of "Fukumen Toshi" paired up with some archetypal Japanese melodies works for me in doses. Worth checking out, though possibly past it's prime.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

P.T.A's - New Songs 7" flexi (Cragale, 1981)


Side A
Nagai Owakare

Side B
3 - K

Here's the first release from this gender-balanced group on the excellent and diverse Cragale imprint. Skeletal and motorik post-punk grooves with eerie, wispy melodies above and woozy abstract rustlings threatening to blow the supports. Sinister, edge-of-your-seat stuff -- and their best recording, I say!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Habit of Sex

Here's a fantastic blog that I think any reader of Stalking Duppi will appreciate: HABIT OF SEX, run by nattliga_toner (who modestly did not advertise in his post of Yoran's "Montparnasse"). H.O.S. specializes in the darker, gothier sectors of Japanese underground music, featuring releases on cult labels like Wechselbalg, and even some early visual-kei. Especially check out his post of Funeral Party's "Embryo" 7" -- mind-melting stuff!

Also, nattliga_toner and I will periodically be doing guest posts on each others sites. We've already exchanged 2 Yoran singles, and there are many good things to follow.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Yoran - Montparnasse 7" EP (Unbalance, 1981)


Side A
Concert Maillol
Je Derve Avec Láir

Side B
La Bou.....

First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for being given the privilege to post on this very fine blog. I'll try to make my posts here as worthwhile as my record collection and writing abilities allow!

- - -

This is the first solo output by Yoran, released shortly after his stint as a bassist with punk rockers Laughin' Nose. Released on Naoto Hayashis legendary Unbalance label (famous for putting out Hijokaidans first album, among other things, during its brief existence) in 1981, this very singular EP is a far cry from both his previous and subsequent musical efforts.

The tracks contained here are comprised of cut-up and collaged recordings from various unspecified french movies intertwined with the occasional spoken word segments - all seemingly recorded using a cheap-o cassette player making for quite the lo-fi work. Nevertheless, "Montparnasse" harbors a very intriguing surreal atmosphere - just check out the later part of "Concert Maillol" with it's haunting looped piano, indistinct sound samples and Yorans bizarre hummings, mumblings and fumblings (of the tape recorder). I think this would sit well as the soundtrack to any fever dream.

Another favorite is the melancholic and paranoid title track and the ethereal dialogue-ladden murkiness of "Je Derve Avec Láir", but reviews of individual tracks feel pointless as this is definitely meant to be consumed whole. For maximum impact; play this very late at night.

"Montparnasse" was followed up by two more singles (of a totally different nature, I should add) before Yoran temporarily disappeared from the music scene. He later reemerged as a trance DJ under the moniker Yoji Biomehanika and regularly plays at raves all over the world. Nevertheless, I'd say that his main musical legacy lie within the three singles he put out in the early eighties.

Again, I'd wish to give my thanks for being granted to post here on Stalking Duppi, and I sincerely hope you'll all enjoy this outlandish little EP.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Gurdjieff - self-titled 7" EP (Night Gallery Records, 1985)


Side A
Optical Illusion

Side B
Animal Language

As far as I know, this is the only recording from "The Gurdjieff" outside of their/his/her appearance on the "Individual Music Osaka" cassette book released by Yuzuru Agi after the dissolution of Vanity Records. Released on the very odd Night Gallery label (run by guitarist of Auschwitz, I think), that also released Yoran, Duppi, and others before switching entirely to heavy metal. A strange trajectory...

The Gurdjieff is especially bizarre, skirting the line between morose minimal synth and all-out electro-industrial noise. The phrase "Maurizio Bianchi in Dracula's castle" is strangely applicable. Back cover has "THANKS TO NORMAL•B" printed underneath the song titles. I wasn't sure if that was a direct reference to Normal Brain (from Vanity Records) until I noticed a Texas Instruments Speak & Spell buried in the mix on "Oratorio". Not to be missed. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wha-Ha-Ha / Sakata Orchestra split 7" (Better Days Records, 1981)


Side A
Wha-Ha-Ha - Onna De Yokota

Side B
Sakata Orchestra - Wha-Ha-Ha Ondo

This is one of the more obscure records from the art-pop-prog-jazz nutzoid group Wha-Ha-Ha, here backed with Sakata Orchestra, virtually the same band as far as I can tell. Imagine a Picky Picnic with serious chops and you're almost there.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Amaryllis - Oto-san 7" (Amaryllis Records, 1985)


Side A

Side B
Sensei (Sono No Ichi)
Shinya No Dekigoto

How about that cover, eh? This group was from Kyoto, home to an incredible experimental scene in the 80s. Much of this scene is documented in the "Foam" 2LP comp on Ylem records, produced and curated by Kaoru Sato of EP-4 and R.N.A. Organism. Sato's name on a record causes a giant exclamation mark to appear above my head, and you'll know why after hearing this.

I'll come right out and say that this is one of my favorite 7"s ever. 10 minutes of hallucinatory mania starting with "Oto-san" on the A-side, a driving, post-punky track that goes way overboard in every department. The nuttiness is ratcheted up a notch from the get-go on side B, the first track seeming to perpetually be in a state of trying to decide whether it wants to be 33⅓ or 45rpm, with echo-guitar and plink-plonk synths only adding to the dizziness. B2 throws in out-of-the-blue classical samples and a few abused instruments, punctuating vocalist Alice Sailor's surreal wails. Stupefying.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Voice - self-titled 10" EP (Kitchen Records, 198?)


Side A
Betsudo No Nakano Shiawase (Happiness in Bed at Night)
Kiyanbasu No Hiroin (Heroine of the Canvas)

Side B
Tazogawa No Hamabe (Beach of the Dusk)
Maruseiyu (Marseilles)

This tolerable slice of new-wave is mostly interesting for being on the Kitchen Records label, known to "Indies" collectors and blogophiles as the label that released a Variètè flexi and the (Vanity Records related) MLD 7". Unfortunately, the rest of the Kitchen discography is less inspired. Not to say that you shouldn't check this out - just know that this drifts in to some rather cloying, XTC-sounding territory.

I don't recognize any of the band member's names, but I noticed that Keiichi Ohta was responsible for the art direction. Ohta was a member of Guernica with Jun Togawa, and released a great solo album. He's sure to pop up again on this blog...

EDIT: This one is starting to grow on me...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Picky Picnic - Cynical Hysteria World 2x7" (Panic Records, 1986)


Side A
Fanfare / どんぐり行進曲

Side B
It's a Hysterical Place

Side C

Side D
Go Go Twins
(仮) 放課後

This group is often compared to the Residents, but I find their sonic palette to be idiosyncratically Japanese. The kindergarten-prog thing going on here sets them comfortably beside the avant-naïve stylings of their brethren in Wha-Ha-Ha, yet there's just enough of a punk aesthetic there to attach them to German label-mates Der Plan, Pyrolator, and the rest of the Ata Tak crew.

This double 7" EP (I believe it's their final release) sees the usual duo of Kaoru Todoroki and Yuji Asuka teamed up with famed animator/illustrator Kiriko Kubo, probably known best in the states for doing the album art for John Zorn's Cobra. It's a match made in heaven, really. In fact, a few of Kiriko's works have titles very similar to those of Picky Picnic (Cynical Hysterie Hour, Kuru Kuru Cynical), causing me to wonder just how close their relationship was. Sadly, Picky Picnic would disband shortly after this recording for reasons unknown.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Phew - Finale / Urahara 7" (Pass Records, 1980)


Side A
終曲 (Shuukyoku, trans. "Finale")

Side B
うらはら (Urahara, trans. ???)

1st solo recording by Phew (Hiromi Moritani), formerly of no-wave group Aunt Sally, on the essential Pass Records label (PAS-203). Ryuichi Sakamoto, helming the mix, does brilliant work here, especially on the fractured "Urahara", replete with discordant piano, plink-plonk synthwork (reminiscent of his B-2 Unit LP), and Phew's inimitable deadpan chant. No doubt this is what caught the ear of Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit, who would later join her on her follow-up LP.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tolerance - Today's Thrill flexi (Vanity Records, 1980)


Side A
Today's Thrill

With this beautiful blue flexi-disc let me welcome you to STALKING DUPPI. I'll be posting a lot of Japanese "Indies" (80's underground) groups, so stay tuned. If you recognize the blog name, you've come to the right place...

For some background on this flexi, I recommend you take a minute to read Dave Knapik's Vanity Records overview at his blog. You'll notice he's linked everything but the flexis... something I hope to change here at SD.

True to the Tolerance m.o. (and that of Vanity Records in general), this is 5 and a half minutes of muted thump, acoustic-or-electronic? rustle, nearly inaudible female vocals, and meandering synthesizer. Enjoy.