Boomkat Product Review:
Bonkers Japa-knees-up, surveying Techno Menses’ party-starting ‘Requiem In The Sun’ and his crankier solo output, all originally issued on tape by the legendary DD Records between 1983-8 and repackaged as the first instalment of Vinyl-On-Demand’s Japan series
Highly recommended for the Techno Menses side especially, it’s easy to hear why this 2LP kicked off Vinyl-On-Demand’s series of reissues from Japan’s ‘80s minimal/synth/wave and electronics tape scene. Sounding something like V/Vm and Bruce Haack playing a pie and pea super rave at Blackpool Ballroom, it’s a glorious, playful collection of organ and drum machine-driven jaunts that epitomise Japanese musicians’ sidespin on Western styles, while also locating a lesser-known root of what would become the infamous, virulent Japanese noise scene.
To be frank, we’ve developed a small addiction to the unbridled joy and raw grandiosity of Techno Menses. Formed by Kimihide Kusafuka alongside Kazuhiro and Tomoya Sakashita, Techno Menses’ sound ranges from mutant dirges that sound like Soviet anthems, to dark redlit kerb-crawlers right outta some early James Ferraro fantasy, and best of all, a pair of wild surf rock/proto-techno jags with sing-song vocals. It’s these two. ‘Requiem in the Sun’ and ‘Lovers in the Sun’ that are pretty much worth the admission alone, especially to any discerning DJs with an up-for-it crowd.
The other disc, meanwhile looks to Kimihide Kusafuka’s early solo work. Arguably similar to, but less boisterous than Techno Menses, the vibe of ‘Re-Musick/Demise Symphonika’ is more mannered but still riddled with flavour, coming like Klaus Wunderlich’s winking bastard offspring who plays cult Tokyo bars ’till late every night. Which should be all the more surprising when we consider that Kusafuka is arguably now best known as master of junk metal cut-ups, K2, subject of recent reissue on Hospital Productions.