Boomkat Product Review:
Optimo’s JD Twitch extends a guided tour of his Japanese record collection, acquired on DJ jaunts to the Far East and spanning obscurities by Yasuaki Shimizu, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Normal Brain, a.o.
The second release on Twitch’s Cease & Desist label, which delivered the ace Sheffield bleep & bass retrospective in 2020, ‘Sonic Innovations in Japan (1980-1986)’ dives deep into a pivotal era of Japanese music around its ‘80s economic boom time, when leaps in musical technology and recording brought the future into much sharper focus. The selection effectively takes Twitch’s ‘Polyphonic Cosmos’ mixtape (one of many exquisite selections along with Belgian new beat, Jamaican dub, and mooching goth) as jump off point into the rarified realms of ‘80s Japanese music, spelled out in full fat, legit licensed cuts that work equally well as a mixtape in their own right, or component joints to fetishise and send heads scurrying down discogs wormholes.
Fans of YouTube algorithms will no doubt be enticed by yasuaki Shimizu’s opening gambit, the sultry lounge stroller ‘Crow’, while the DJs, dancers and Kraftwerk fiends will plug right into the speak ’n spell electro-pop of ‘M.U.S.I.C.’ by Normal Brain, the glittering uptempo disco energy of Hiroyuki Namba’s ‘Who Done It? (Part 2)’ and likewise their Pet Shop Boys-on-holiday viber ‘Tropical Exposition’. There’s also a super juicy cut of bendy-limbed post-punk from Pecker and EP-4, and, for the wee small hours, sexier turns of dry-iced electro boogie glyde on ‘Your Dream’ from Masumi Hara and the breezy beauty ‘Ki-Ra-I’ by D-Day.