Boomkat Product Review:
Minimal Wave surpass themselves with this illuminating survey of Japanese artist Tomo Akikawabaya, compiling both 'The Castle' (1984) and 'Anju' (1985), officially sourced from his private archive and remastered to the artist's specifications.
It forms our first introduction to the none-more-mysterious Akikawabaya, whom, it turns out, took Veronica Vasicka several years of enquiry and patience to track down before finally making contact in 2014. Everything about this double record, from the haunting cover image of model Rena Anju to the goth gilded music and its unresolved provenance, is an absolute dream.
'Rebirth rolls out with 13 minutes of windswept and heart-grabbing synthesis perhaps best compared with John Avery's theatrical soundtracks or the solemn strokes of Alessandro Cortini, before revealing a genuinely remarkable vocal across a sequence of dark pop gems that glitter with the rarest allure.
1985's 'Anju' reveals more experimental pop construction in the precise dimensions of 'Diamond' - reverse edits, strangely soaring noises and super affected, expressive vox - whilst the ghost train intro to 'A Dream of No Pillow' gives way to exotic, harmonised guitar and baroque synth moods gilded with Tomo's most pained and affecting croon and chord changes beside the cascading miniature, 'The Hill of Dreams', a sublime synth-soundscape that sounds like it could almost have fitted in as one of the instrumental interludes on Cocteay Twins' Treasure album.