05 febbraio 2021

 

Dopo Kankyō Ongaku e il doppio Pacific Breeze le indagini sul pop giapponese degli anni Ottanta avviate dall'etichetta Light in the Attic giungono a compimento con un terzo capitolo, maggiormente attento all'area innovatrice e alternativa delle autoproduzioni: Somewhere Between: Mutant Pop, Electronic Minimalism & Shadow Sounds of Japan 1980-1988. Con diversi nomi anche di nostra (relativa) conoscenza...

Sonically, Somewhere Between mines the midpoint between Kankyō Ongaku’s sparkling atmospherics and Pacific Breeze’s metropolitan boogie. The compilation encompasses ambient pop, underground electronics, liminal minimalism and shadow sounds - all descriptors emphasizing the hazy nature of the nebula. Out-of-focus rhythms wear ethereal accoutrements, ballads are shrouded in static, and angular drums snake skyward on transcendent tones. From the avant-minimalism of Mkwaju Ensemble and Yoshio Ojima, to the leftfield techno-pop of Mishio Ogawa and Noriko Miyamoto (featuring members of YMO), and highlights from the groundbreaking Osaka underground label Vanity Records, these are blurry constellations defying collective categorization. These tracks also exist in a space of transition when the major label grip on the Japanese recording market began to give way to the escalation of independents. Thanks to the idyllic economic climate and innovations in domestically-manufactured music gear, creators on the edges were empowered to focus on satisfying their artistic visions in the open headspace of home studios. Somewhere Between is a collection of music, much of it released for the first time outside Japan, that is bound more by energetic vibration than shared history, genre or scene. They are the sounds of transition and searching - a celebration of the freedom found in floating.