Once again VOD continues to educate and enlighten! The Vanity Records box sets present a comprehensive anthology of releases by legendary Japanese DIY label Vanity, active in the late 70s and early 80s. It was conceived by Studio Warp, in collaboration with Agi Yuzuru and the whole roster of artists involved with Vanity.
Music (or Musik) was a compilation originally released in 1981 as a double vinyl box. It is a selection of thirteen artists’ tracks that were chosen from over 100 cassette tape demos sent to Rock Magazine from all over Japan. It is also a monumental piece of work that documents early, experimental home recording music from Japan that emerged out of the advent of affordable synthesizers and multi-track recorders in the mid-1980s, stimulating the underground music scene of the era. With the exception Adode/Cathode (who released music from Daigoretsu and Pinakotheka), Tokyo led by Munehiro Narita (High Rise), Plazama Music (predecessor of B.C. Lemons), Arbeit (a group by designer Achim Duchow who created front cover artwork for Rock Magazine), Kiiro Radical and Invivo who separately released cassettes on Vanity, and Yuzuru Agi’s solo alias New York (that featured his field recordings from a visit in New York), all other artists are anonymous and their information is shrouded in mystery. Riddled with tape hiss noise and exceedingly low-fi sound quality, it is an accumulation of various ideas and DIY style from early ‘80s Japanese underground.
It's impossible to sum up the wealth of sounds inside - ranging from ritualist future-primal meditations to haunting dronescapes and prototypical Industrial sound sculptures, always allowing each unique sound to grow and travel uncluttered through time and space. It's an aesthetic which can be clearly traced through myriad strains of DIY Industrial, post-punk, minimal wave, techno and electronica to come and can be considered a pivotal moment for music whose influence still resonates now.
Another crucial document of forgotten sounds from Vinyl on Demand, please don't miss this one!