"Japan is a unique land for countless reasons and the Japanese electronic music has always been something very special. During the late 70s and early 80s a bunch of projects, bands and small record labels, concentrated mostly in Tokyo and Osaka, created electronic music influenced by the post-punk, new wave and experimental scene coming from Europe and North America. All these artists and musicians tried to emulate their influences to create something on their own following the DIY ethic and using the technology they had at their fingertips. A good part of this “Nippon-wave" scene was kept hermetic and secret from the rest of world and only a few have had the chance to discover it through some cassettes, flexi-discs and a few records released on private labels with absolute no distribution out of Japan. Some of these lost "minimal-synth-wave” gems have been rescued and now compiled on "Nihon No Wave”.
Limited edition of 525 copies on double vinyl with printed inner sleeves and insert with photos and credits. Everything inside a deluxe jacket designed with synthetic paper silk-screened and sewn. Artwork prepared with photos by Stefan Alt (Ant-Zen) and all audio has been restored from the original masters, some vinyl records and tapes. Everything with kindly permission of the original artists."
A1. Ricochet - Ningyo Touge
A2. Ricochet - Blue Melody
A3. C. Memi - Ishin-Denshin
A4. C. Memi - Hitojichi
B1. C. Memi + Neo Matisse - Dream's Dream
B2. Harumi Shimada - Yakō Shōnen
B3. Harumi Shimada - Midnight Boy
B4. D.R.Y. Project - Digital Wave
C1. D.R.Y. Project - Requiem For…
C2. Neo Museum - Area
C3. Neo Museum - Ethno-Music
C4. Dendö Marionette - Alchemist
C5. Dendö Marionette - Dendö Marionette
D1. Anima - Grey City
D2. Anima - Not Only One
D3. Mikan Mukku - Kan
D4. Mikan Mukku - Chin Dan
D5. Shinobu - Earth
D6. Shinobu - Ceramic Love
Our take: Exquisitely packaged compilation of vintage Japanese no wave, post-punk, and experimental music from the late 70s and early 80s. If you’ve been following the Bitter Lake reissue label, you’ll recognize names like C. Memi, Neo Matisse, and Dendo Marionette, but even if you’re familiar with this obscure, under-documented scene you’ll undoubtedly hear something that’s new to you. When I hear the term “no wave” I think of New York bands like the Contortions, DNA, or Theoretical Girls, who made rambunctious music with an unschooled vibe. I imagine these bands liked the unconventional skronk of free jazz and did their best to approximate it with their (often limited) musical vocabulary and rock-inspired drum-bass-guitar-vocal setups. However, the bands on Nihon No Wave are sleek, minimal, and futuristic. While I don’t know for certain, it sounds like they were listening to more European experimental music—particularly spacey, synth-focused Krautrock bands like Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh—than the New York no wave groups. Consequently, what emerges here often sounds like a more avant garde version of the minimal synth scene happening in the UK, Italy, and other locales in the wake of punk. As long as you know that going in you’ll find a wealth of beautiful new music here, and the hand-stitched outer sleeve and beautiful graphic design will ensure that you’ll want to keep it around if only to look at how beautiful it is.