Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cold Dance - Medusa 7"

Here's an interesting slab of gothic music from 1985 by a British group called Cold Dance (I guess this is my first non-Japanese band post). The atmosphere here is almost suffocating and claustrophobic. The band released two 7" records between 1984 and 1985 on cult label Xcentric Noise Records (I really should be double-checking my facts before posting on this blog). Abbo of UK Decay appears in the liner note "Thank You" section, too (such a busy bee, he was). I don't know much else about the band, though. Anyone got any background info?

Cold Dance were:
Vox: Diane Dubois
Guitar: Tim Arundell
Bass & Synth: Stuart Hodgson
Drums: Kevin Hunter

Medusa 7" (XCENTRIC NOISE - ELEVENTH 1, 1985)

1. Medusa
2. Petrified

Medusa 7"

I'll be posting the first 7" in the future.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bardo Thödol - Feeble Voice EP

Bardo Thödol were an interesting new wave trio from Japan. They appeared on the legendary Japanese noise/new wave label Trans Records, run by the industrious and tragically deceased Kitamura Masashi of YBO2 fame (as well as publisher of Japanese rock mag Fool's Mate). Bardo Thödol released a 7" EP and a 12" EP during the late 80s, and they also made several appearances on Trans compilations. Their sound is somewhat minimalist, and there are even slight hints of Medusa-era Clan Of Xymox flavor in the A-side of the Feeble Voice EP. A moody synth classic. Vocalist Yuki would later move on to her own solo project in the early 90s called False Love, though I haven't heard any of that music yet.

Bardo Thödol were:
Vox & Keys: Yuki
Bass & Keys: Yaso
Guitar: Shogo

Feeble Voice EP (TRANS-27, 1988)

1. Promise
2. Silver Stug
3. Feeble Voice

Feeble Voice EP

I will upload the 12" EP at a future time.

Still - Real Time 7"

Here is a change of pace from the typical goth/punk stuff (already!). This is the Real Time 7" single by a little-known female-fronted band called Still. The music has a sort of pop flavor to it, but there are also strong undertones of minimalist synths, and the overall mood is rather dark. Two drummers are credited on this single, one for each song. The first, Teiyu Nakamura, was also involved with famous Japanese no wave band Jagatara and punk legends the Stalin. Nagatomo, the drummer for the B-side, I know nothing about. Ditto for the guitarist Sasaki. The core members of Still were keyboardist Mikako Yoneda and vocalist/bassist Toshie Santo. This single was released on Strawberry Records (no relation to either the UK or German labels of the same name) some time during the '80s (no date is given, but I presume this was their first release). Still also released a 12" EP, a flexi, and made an appearance on a compilation in 1987. The band was formed in 1982, and while I am not certain about the timeline afterwards, it seems a full time guitarist and bassist were added to the lineup later while Mikako would depart. OR, the alternative would be that Mikako joined later when the guitarist and bassist were leaving. I'm not sure of the order of events. I apologize for the crackles and pops, dear reader. My copy of this record seems stained and ratty (but the music is worth it).

Real Time 7" (P-2006, 198?)

1. Real Time
2. Sa-Ma-Yo-I

Real Time 7"

I shall post the rest of Still's output in the near future. I promise that my copy of Still's Pale Face EP is much cleaner!

Geil - Velnadet EP

Another band I know little about. This 12" was released on Hil Records in 1986. Judging by the fact they recorded this album at a studio in Shinjuku, they must have been a Tokyo band. In any case, the music is all over the place, marrying fast angular rhythms, thumping and heavy bass, and frantic scratchy yelps and... err, "singing." In places, it almost sounds as if a long forgotten member of the Virgin Prunes were singing for an earlier incarnation of Play Dead. Geil also released a 7" EP, which I shall post at a future date.

Geil were:
Vox: Alice
Bass: Swado
Drums: Akagami Aomakigami
Guitar: Shoichi Tomomori (Nazo)

Velnadet EP (HR-001, 1986)

1. Velnadet
2. History
3. Nostalgic St.
4. TV TV
5. Dance Dance Dance

Velnadet EP

PS: "Urtra Thanks"
Hahaha, oh Engrish.

Gara - Manifest EP

Not much information is available about the band Gara. All I know is that they have often shared the stage with bands like Phaidia, Coma, and Zeitlich Vergelter at gigs and were active during the mid-80s. They recorded the Manifest EP in 1985, an 8" record released on Explosion Records. The label looks to be related to Vital Plant Records, a label that I believe was shared with Surrealistic Men. The music is pounding and energetic, relenting only for a moment of sparse and haunting atmosphere on the B-side.

Gara were:
Vox: Hayato
Guitar: Kazz
Bass: Yukino
Drums: Aki

Manifest EP (EXP-VPL121, 1985)

1. Karyatide
2. De-Z
3. La Arrière-Monde
4. The Lady In Gray

Manifest EP

The A-side has been preserved as a single track.

RAP - Hysteria EP

I should start with a bang, shouldn't I?

Here is a personal favorite of mine from Japan, a band called RAP. They started as a four girl punk band in a similar vein as Kyah, playing fast-paced and catchy punk tunes (Kyah has been previously posted on Fight Against The Plutocrats). The original lineup consisted of Misa on drums, Nishiki on guitar, Kaori on bass, and big-voiced Rouge on vocals. After recording three 7" records on the Dogma label (legendary for putting out hardcore punk such as GISM, the Comes, Gastunk, etc.), Misa left the band and joined the aforementioned Kyah, and Kinta came aboard as the new drummer. This later lineup recorded the Hysteria EP, also on Dogma Records. Sometimes accused of being a "fashion" band, I believe the music really speaks for itself what the band was all about. The record strikes a good balance between the gloomy atmosphere of goth and the raw energy of punk with the sole exception of one inexplicably poppy song on the B-side.

Hysteria EP (DOG-18, 1987)

1. Reincarnation ~ Rinne
2. Landscape
3. Hysteria
4. Maternity Blue
6. Rinne ~ Reincarnation

Hysteria EP

The B-side songs "Maternity Blue" and "MASUI" have been preserved together as a single track. I shall post the earlier 7"s and more band information at a future time.

A Long Time Coming

I suppose I have told other people enough times already that I was planning on creating a music blog of some sort. Here it finally is.

What you will find here is mostly music obscured by the sands of time in need of rediscovery. I am not clairvoyant, so there is no way of knowing what others have posted on any other of the many music blogs that proliferate the internet. If I post what is already readily available, then I apologize. In the attempt to offer something unique, I shall try to focus on post punk from Japan, something most have viewed as little more than a footnote in the history of subversive music. However, most everything else punk and goth related is also fair game.

If you are an artist whose music I've posted and you wish for it to be taken down, then message me and I will be happy to oblige. The blog title is taken from an EP by a band called Leningrad. I personally rip everything I post. Music should be in 192-256 kbps. My scanner is not big enough to accomodate the 12"x12" artwork of most LP sleeves. Thank you for your time and attention, dear reader.