Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Time Twins - Bitch Silk / Wabooba (Royal Family, 1979)

Released 1979

"Bitch Silk" is the Time Twin's triumph of a B-side. Seemingly tapping into a theory of offensive commercialism, this song will rip encouraging air out of your throat with each oncoming chorus. Daniel Lanois' engineering smooths insensitivity into exuberant coolness. The Twins both despise and are jealous of Mercedes-Benzs and chiffons, and the back cover further suggests a sarcastic uberwomensch sensibility. The 50s song structure  is above it all anyways, and I'd be hard pressed to say that it doesn't contain some 'mercury in a bottle' for Ariel Pink and the likes. 1979 Canadian groove private press on... odd and sex.

A. Wabooba
B. Bitch Silk

Time Twins

MEMBERS: ??, ??

Canadian new wave duo who toed the line into synthpop in 1979 before dropping off the map entirely. Names unknown, possibly were genuine regals from the future, toying with past peasants.

Wabooba / Bitch Silk (Royal Family, 1979)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Universal - Freistil (Garage Door Records, 19??)

Released sometime in the late twentieth century

The only known output of the mysterious UniversalFriestl is an album incubated in a test tube of prosumer synth tech, but with the lofty goal of re-evaluating the history of popular music. It's a baroque, death-shadowed album that creates sonic concepts and textures by borrowing elements from tunes as diverse and ubiquitous as Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Yello's "Oh Yeah" and reflecting them through its own tortured psyche. The result is a kind of commercial pun, a dialectic between silence and weight. 

A1. Elgalor

A2. Augen Müssen Brennen
A3. Das Hawkline Monster
A4. Die Sphinx Von Taharka
A5. Nova Express
A6. West Of Rome
B1. La Grande Dozza
B2. Ivory Black
B3. Le Tournevis
B4. The Prayer
B5. Gruss Für Dieter
B6. Trazom

Res Perrot

A Swiss melody maker of New Wave/World music mantras and self-dependent composer/producer. Under the name of Universal he remains an enigmatic and shadowy figure, reminiscent of certain omnipotent torturers of the Silver Surfer. His sole musical connections seem to have been to distributors Cod Records in the late eighties.  He has since written a crime novel, Bauernopfer, and now runs a graphic design agency, Compostella+Perrot.


Freistil (Garage Door Records, 19??)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tetsuro Kashibuchi featuring Akiko Yano - Hotel Lilas (Canyon, 1983)

Released 6.21.1983

The hotel seems to have had a special appeal for Japanese musicians in the synthpop era. On a trip down the highways and byways of this music, you will end up visiting many of them, perhaps beginning with Yokoo and Hosono's neon-lit pan-Asian Marienbad, the Malabar, then checking out for the nightlife at Tsuchiya's Hotel Atlantis, following that up with a rest at Yano's homey Elephant Hotel or Hosono and Koshi's serene Hotel Etoile. Most pleasant of all is Tetsuro Kashibuchi's seaside Hotel Lilas. The name's fragrance evokes the breezy, relaxing feeling of spending time with this record. A day's itinerary listed in the chorus of "Friends" is instantly enervating, though the 8:30 wake up call may be early for some. The brilliantly catchy "Himawara" and "The Two Mice in the Attic" could help with that. Kashibuchi hosts some superb collaborators too, including Akiko Yano, who duets, co-produces and shares piano and synth duty with Ryuichi Sakamoto, as well as fellow Moonrider Ryomei Shirai on electric guitar and Haruomi Hosono on electric bass. A late citypop classic.

A1. ひまわり / Himawari / Sunflower
A2. リラのホテル / Lila no hoteru / Hotel Lila
A3. Friend
A4. 冬のバラ / Fuyu no bara / Rose of Winter
A5. 屋根裏の二匹のねずみ / Yane-ura no nihiki no nezumi / The Two Mice in the Attic
B1. Listen To Me, Now!
B2. 朽ちた恋 / Ochita koi / Fallen Love
B3. 恋ざんげ / Koi zange / Love Confession
B4. 憂うつな肉体 / Yu-utsu na nikutai / Melancholic Body
B5. 春の庭 / Haru no niwa / Garden of Spring

Tetsuro Kashibuchi

Drummer and vocalist for Hachimitsupai who survived its mutation into one of the most significant Japanese bands of the seventies and eighties, the Moonriders. His compositions immediately stand out for their sensitivity, sympathy, and lushly romantic sound, reminiscent of the great French chansons of the era. He remained active as Moonrider, solo artist, producer and actor until his untimely death due to esophageal cancer on December 17th, 2013.

Hotel Lilas (Canyon, 1983)

El Jaguar Del Bandoneon (Columbia, 1987)

Akiko Yano

Unlike most of the other "Naughty Girls" who ended up at Yen Records in the early eighties, Yano wasn't interested in playing surreal games with celebrity and self image (Togawa), or with recreating herself as an exotic intellectual from an idealized nowhere (Ohnuki, Koshi). Instead she opted to succeed Yumi Matsutoya as an expert craftsman of cutting-edge pop epics, dazzling for their sincerity, ingenuity and scale. Thanks to her virtuosic piano and synthesizer work (often in duet with sometime husband Ryuichi Sakamoto), her  records have a grandiose quality mostly missing from the YMO universe. It's all held together by the filigree of her vocals though, a strange combination of equal parts teenager and matron. Comparisons to Kate Bush are inevitable, but Yano got there first. She continues to record and play internationally.


El Jaguar Del Bandoneon (Columbia, 1987)