Boomkat Product Review:
First time on vinyl for this heavyweight holy grail of early Japanese “techno-pop” and wave experiments from the legendary Vanity Records via the ever diligent Vinyl-On-Demand, making the hugely coveted 6 x tape boxset available on 6 x LP for first time - proper ground zero gear for the heads and fans of owt from YMO to Skaters, Suicide, Animal Collective, proto-techno and early punk wave mutations.
Vanity Records is a none-more-legendary Japanese label established by music journo Yuzuru Agi in late ’70s Osaka, Japan. Its small but precious and catalogue of bold experiments with rock and electronics is hugely prescient in its scope, and would loosely fall within and expand the term “techno-pop”, which its label owner first coined to describe the futurist sound of Eno-produced bands like Talking Heads and Devo.
The bands featured were all in their nascent stages, covering a spectre. Form the slimy, munted TG-like sleaze impulses of Salaried Man, to rhythmic experiments by Isolation and Kiiro Radical that properly pre-echo Mika Vainio and parallel Conrad Schnitzler, and the scorched earth blues drags of Nishimura Alimoti, or the exquisite late night Dekkard’s apartment ambience of Wireless Sight.
Until a 2CD edition of ‘Vanity Music’ appeared in 2019, the cult collection of tracks have only been available on YouTube, but now repackaged in the original artwork - faithfully executed as ever by V-o-D - the boxset is now a (slightly) more affordable prospect than the copies currently going for £600+ on the collector’s market and remains a genuinely enduring, wide-eyed revelation for intrepid types and early wave explorers.