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**2019 Small repress** Palto Flats is thrilled to announce the re-release of the 1983 classic Mariah – Utakata No Hibi as a double 12″ set. The long sought after final record on the legendary Better Days label, Utakata No Hibi is the culmination of composer and bandleader Yasuaki Shimizu’s early-80s work, often compared to his contemporaries Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono, as well as experimental new wavers Flying Lizards/David Cunningham, all of whom Shimizu has worked with. Recognized in Japan for the hit, “Shinzo No Tobira,” the entire record is a masterful studio production of Japanese folk and pop idioms filtered through a chamber disco, new wave, synth production, sounding more relevant today than upon its release over 30 years ago. Utakata No Hibi is fully licensed by Nippon Columbia and the Artist, and remastered by Dubplates and Mastering in Berlin. The packaging features additional artwork from Yla Okudaira, who created the original stunning jacket drawings. It also includes a full English translation of the Japanese and Armenian lyrics on the printed inner sleeves
Mariah have long been revered in the Japanese underground rock and new wave scene via five albums which brought hefty jazz chops, avant-rock muscle, and atmospheric synthetic textures together in ways that very few of their peers managed in the 1980s with such consistency. It’s the group’s 1983 swansong, うたかたの日々 (Utakata No Hibi), that holds the most myth and magic, though; a slow-rolling yet celebratory album blending kinetic polyrhythms and fourth world dreamscapes which take traditional matsuri (or shrine festival) song structures and fuse the ancient with the modern to dazzling effect.” Fact
“Throughout its long, slow journey west, Mariah’s Utakata no Hibi has been an album without context. After a dormant period at home among Japan’s vinyl geek underground, the 1983 record began to spread farther in 2008, when the tastemaking Scottish DJ duo Optimo shared a cut online. That song, “Shinzo no Tobira”, which they first heard in a Tokyo record store, has since earned a cult following worldwide for the ethereal lines it traces between Asian and Middle Eastern tonalities, folklorish Armenian lyrics, and futuristic Japanese synthpop leads. Its soundscapes are like those once dreamt by Brians Eno and Wilson. But for all the love “Shinzo” and its parent album have found in tiny nightclubs and Internet testimonials, surprisingly little has been asked or answered about its origins. It’s almost as though Utakata—now reissued by Palto Flats—has at last arrived on our shores not simply through a crate digger’s time warp, but from some other world altogether.” Pitchfork
“The record was originally released on Better Days in 1983, and has experienced a slight revival mainly due to its beguiling single “Shinzo No Tobira.” Originally making its way into the bags of DJs via diggers like Organic Music boss Chee Shimizu, that track was included on Swiss DJ Lexx’s entry in Claremont 56’s Originals series and wrapped up Lena Willikens’ RA Podcast. Recently, Tako Reyenga discussed the album’s writer/producer, Yasuaki Shimizu, in a Playing Favourites feature.” Resident Advisor