Saturday 29 March 2014

SHUN・4 - Shun -1987- (12 Inch, EP, CSV Shibuya), Japan

Shun was created during the eighties by Japanese chameleon composer Susumu Hirasawa. Hirasawa started out in the late seventies with Japanese devo-ish quirky minimal synth unit P-Model. Shun was already less driven by dada-esque craze and has more elaborated compositions you would expect to hear in a movie or play. It is real composed music that moves away from "pop-music", but still has quite a few new-wave influences in it. It reminds me a lot of the solo music of Holger Hiller around the same era when he started to use German classical music combined with drummachines and samplers, but then Japanese.

You should read this excellent article about Susumu Hirasawa over here, because the person that wrote it obviously knows much more than I do. Hirasawa did numerous projects and always seems to musically transform into something else. A 16-CD box set came out which covered most of Hirasawa's career. I believe the material of this EP is also included, but I still present it here in all its individual vinyl glory. Many of the songs here have had multiple remakes.

Get it HERE

Saturday 15 March 2014

Variëté Royal - Same -198X- (Tape, Kino-Tone), Netherlands

I guess it can't get any more obscure than this. I've got no clue who contributed to this or was behind this cassette. I'm not even sure about the name, but it has Variëté Royal written on the insert. The only thing I know is that it comes from the city Maastricht in the complete south of the Netherlands. Kino-Tone was a label that was affiliated to Friet Records, a small independent label which published some punk and post-punk cassettes and singles in the early and mid-eighties. You can find some of those releases over here.

This cassette might have some connection with the VEC-exchange which also hailed from Maastricht, but I'm not sure. You could only obtain those cassettes by means of exchanging your own music on tape for one of the volumes. Then they would put some of your music on the next tape so the cycle would keep going. There is an excellent article over here about that project and you can get them all over here on the official website.

The music on this Kino-Tone tape ranges from processed Casio VL-1 sounds to some proper jamsession song-stuff and electro-acoustic experiments all drenched in a nice portion of surface noise. It's a classic home-taping recording which has some really nice highlights. My personal one is this excerpt below which sounds very close to some total wacky Ptôse like jam. I did not separate the tracks as I felt it was intended as a whole.