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  • Archives
     

    Ongaku 90: Underground Music From Japan [coll] – [Hiruko Records]

    Holy Tokyo flashback, Batman. “Ongaku” == music in Kanji.
    KFJC definitely had a solid connection to the Japanese
    underground in the 1990’s, and this impressive collection
    shows the breadth of sound going on back then. In part,
    this is a holy God Mountain flashback, as E*Trance and
    Demi Semi Quaver show up with tracks KFJC has thanks to
    fine fancy work of Hoppy Kamiyama ran that label. If you
    have never encountered the hi-powered, hijinx of Emi
    Eleonola (her vocals can fry you like Magma on meth) have
    fun here with the album closer. E*Trance has a killer
    operatic collage that works into a driving rock number
    (with a kinda 80’s guitar solo). Ghost’s “Moungod Te Deum”
    is reprised here as well, organic forest psyche, that
    could have gone on longer, deeper, greener. As impressive as
    the variety here is, it’s also remarkable (and a little sad)
    that we don’t have some of these artists in KFJC’s library
    at all. Phew, her gasping punk vocals over a pummelling
    beat on “Being.” Jun Miyake has that cool mutated trumpet
    kinda reminscent of Toshinori Kondo, but it’s tucked behind
    a sort of taiko procession. Idiot O’Clock apparently only
    had one full release (on the mighty Alchemy label) the
    leadoff track from that is here wth a swinging side to side
    rock number that recalls Japan’s Stars and adds in some
    hovering organ to the groove. That track “Shinzu” is also
    known as “X Runner From the Way.” Idiot O’Clock evolved
    (or is it devolved?) into the Japanese skiffle band
    Maher Shalal Hash Baz. Takako Minekawa surprised with a
    beat bouncer, where despite the “Cloud Ships” title it
    feels more grounded in a PacMan DanceOff. Riyuichi Sakamoto
    provides a slice of Beauty, Arto Lindsay fans take note.
    The Gerogerigegege provide a work in progress, that recalls
    a Japanese Kathy McGinty versus a heavy breathing salariman.
    Is it a love story? And lastly “Magic V” by a band that
    might translate as “Not Lost Person” and thanks to this
    comp, that is true. Listen to ’em all to (re)find yer fave!

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 31, 2014 at 12:46 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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