Boomkat Product Review:
A phantom chapter of ‘80s Japanese electronics finds its audience after more than 30 years in the archives, presenting Yasuaki Shimizu’s near-mythical follow-up to his cult work on Mariah’s ‘Utakata no Hibi’
Helming much closer to YMO and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s experimental dance music or avant styles on Vanity Records than anything else in his catalogue, ‘Kiren’ sees Yasuaki Shimizu flexing a flipside to his much sweeter work with Mariah, showing off his range and musical purview thru seven tracks of expressly rhythm-driven swagger, jagged sampler patterns and more atonal or discordant electronics that stalk the shadows of the 4th world. In more ways than one it’s music for the nether regions, packing more info below the belt, and coming skronky bad and jazz-headed with it, for an unforetold angle to his style.
In its own way ‘Kiren’ is exemplary of the electronic futurist phase shift that was under way by the time of its creation in 1984, arriving in the wake of Kraftwerk and YMO’s groundbreakers, and running perpendicular to Art of Noise’s sampler collages, the muscle music of DAF, and the club hunch of early electro/hip-hop and jazz-fusion, yet retaining traces of traditional Japanese drums and melody.
We advise checking new wave stepper ‘Ashita’ at the front, and the electro-jazz-funk budge of ’Shiasate’, the aerial ambient dub stepper ‘Kagerofu’, and the squashed, bittersweet funk of ‘Peruvian Pink’ and you’ll definitely get the gist.