C. Memi: Heavenly Peace 12" (new)

C. Memi: Heavenly Peace 12" (new)


Tags: · 80s · japan · minimal synth · post-punk · recommended · reissues
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Heavenly Peace is the lone solo release of C. Memi, previously the leader of Osaka new wavers Neo Matisse, who was described in the Hijokaidan Story by Toshiji Mikawa as the band "who gave us that famous 'No Chocolate' single,” which was released in 1980 and was a frenetic, punky new wave classic. After Neo Matisse disbanded on amicable terms in 1981, drummer Jun Iwasaki compelled Memi to record a solo album for his fledgling label, Fairy Records. Jun lent Memi his 8-track recorder and she set to work on what would become the only release for both Memi and Fairy.

This resulting 1983 private press 7" EP is a more stated affair than "No Chocolate," with Memi (playing every instrument) tackling a more minimal synth sound over a fairly disparate palette of songs ranging from droning, abstract post-punk pieces to (typical of this era in Japanese pop music) '80s emulation of '60s French Chanson pop. Most impressive of all, however, is the ethereal title track "Heavenly Peace (Unga No Suimon Akete)," a song so beautiful, its swathes of cleansing, oceanic synths and its luminous, firework-like synth pop perfection stands as one of our favorite songs of its kind from all... more


Our take: Official reissue of this delightful 7” as a great-sounding 45RPM 12” courtesy of the archival label Bitter Lake Recordings. While the foundation here is what we’d now call minimal synth—which I can’t imagine was a framework that C. Memi was working with at the time this was created—there’s also a distinct element of French “chanson” music, which the label description notes was kind of a “thing” in Japan at the time. Regardless, I just love the unpretentious playfulness of the record. Judging by the label’s description as well as this piece on the BandCamp blog, this recording was essentially an experiment, and that sense of discovery shines through every moment of the EP. In other words, you’ll come for tracks like “Hitojichi” that recall the post-industrial synth-punk of Metal Urbain or SPK, but you’ll stay for the overall vibe, which is infectious and singular. I have to admit that I was a bit puzzled by this record the first time I listened to it, but it reveals itself a little more with each spin and despite the relatively minimal aesthetic I continue to find more to love each time I listen.