This bundle includes the latest Vinyl-On-Demand box-sets dedicated to Vanity Records.
The Vanity Records Tape Box (6LP Box)
Similar to the compilation Musik, Vanity also released a limited edition, 6-cassette tape box set entitled Limited Edition Vanity Records Box Set in 1981. It compiled the music of six artists whose works were rigorously selected from many demo tapes that were sent to Vanity from all across Japan. Each album was also released separately but now Limited Edition Vanity Records Box Set is reissued on LP for the first time as Vanity Tapes Box Set, a 6-LP box set. Included in the original box set was a supplement postcard of Jean Cocteau’s poem, “Mon oreille est un coquillage Qui aime le bruit de la mer" ("My ear is a sea shell that loves the sound of the sea"). The box set was said to be released as a limited edition of 70 sets but in reality, only 30 copies were ever pressed.
LP-1 Salaried Man Club - Gray Cross
Gray Cross features the signature sound of the trio Salaried Man Club who declare their white collar identity loudly with the industrial sound of an intellectual worker. They used to perform regularly at the club dee-Bee’s in Kyoto. They also appeared in Ylem’s compilation Awa (Foam).
LP-2 Kiiro Radical - Denki Noise Dance
Kiiro Radical (Yellow Radical) is a group formed by Masaaki Mochida from Yonago City in Tottori Prefecture. The subtle, calculated, meticulous minimal electric noise ecstasy that Mochida presented was critically acclaimed by Agi as “the pinnacle of Japanese electronic music now” at the time of release. He also has 5 pieces included in the compilation Musik.
LP-3 Densei Kwan - Pocket Planetaria
Densei Kwan is the group of Hidetsugu Saito from Fukushima. “Like a cause and effect interaction, the light bulb hidden in the boy’s trouser pocket, was actually a marble that was making some crashing sounds (pocket planetarium general statement)”. The original cassette release includes this Taruho Inagaki-esque quote attached to the quintessential electron (Densei Kwan) stirring up a miniature garden-like noise universe.
LP-4 Invivo - B.B.B.
This is a project produced by Masao Tachibana from Zushi city. The first 6 tracks are called In Vivo: Inside The Living Organism and the remaining 6 tracks are entitled In Vitro: Inside a Test Tube. It is a biological term penned document of a bio-mutant generational experiment of atmospheric sounds. Invivo had one track included in the Musik compilation.
LP-5 Wireless Sight - Endless Dark Dream
This is a project by Kunie Wakae who published the mini magazine called Musenongaku. Just playing piano, metronome, and radio noise, this artist created peaceful, post classical, spacious ambient sketches. He also did performances with visuals and dancers.
LP-6 Nishimura Alimoti - Shibou
Ami Nishimura’s ensemble’s album, Shibou. With a band consisting of guitar, bass, drums and voice, this unit plays quite a primitive sound that recalls early Amon Duul, Metabolist and such. It digs heavily into the alt psychedelic rock field.
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Vanity Music (2LP Box + Shirt)
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!