WE ARE DANCE BAND! / WHY DON’T YOU DANCE?
MICK MIYAGAWA SHOW [ミック宮川ショー] - Kawajan 88’ [皮ジャン 88’]
(from the “皮ジャン 88’” 7” flexi, 1988)
Don’t be fooled by the ultra-silly sleeve art or the “Ozashiki Rock Band” tagline, this is…
…actually, I’ve no idea what the hell this is supposed to be.
“Hebi metaaa nooo… ♪”
Cosmic Invention is a techno synthesizer band formed in 1980 by a creator/business owner of techno instruments. The songs they are the most known for are “YAKIMOKI” and “Computer Obaachan.” Another thing that distinguish about them is that their lead vocalist is also the drummer! That’s the girl in the middle—Mima Morioka.
Phattest gear in town.
LIPS - Midnight Party
(from V/A - “Vazaar” LP, 1985, Orgel/Penta)
Really cool and spunky song by all-female group LIPS, taken from the “Vazaar” compilation curated by Studio Penta in Kichijoji. The intention behind this compilation was to showcase 9 different bands, presumably from around the Kichijoji area. Apart from a bunch of more or less otherwise unheard of bands, this compilation features a then unknown JUN SKY WALKER(S) and the somewhat known (relatively speaking) THE GATHERS and THE EDEN.
But of course I’m more fascinated by the other tracks - those by bands never heard of before or afterwards and who, seemingly, never really went anywhere (wonder why? Maybe because I’m reminded of my own music career?). My favorite tracks off of this anthology may actually be the wonky ass “New York City Show” by some band called FLOWERS, or maybe the sluggish angst-punk “Love Song Like A Disease” by U.P FUXX - but in all honesty, LIPS contribution really does take the cake.
Wedged somewhere between dark and rhythmic post-punk and skittish new wave, these kinda timid looking gals certainly sound like they take their partying seriously. I really like the interplay between bass and drums here, and the chopped-up, somewhat ska-like guitar which comes in after a while really complements the rhythm section. Plus the vocals are, like, super cute (though I suspect LIPS would’ve busted my balls for saying something like that)!
Thank YOU Hiko!
VISION 99 - Crescendo
(from V/A - “Operation Z” CD, 1992, Zazzle Records)
Frenzied mayhem from the obscuro kinda-sorta-pre-VK band VISION 99. One of the two songs they released during their career (the other one being “Henley Broken” from the “Tokyo Dead Line” compilation); the noisy and schizophrenic “Cresendo” was VISION 99:s contribution to the “Operation Z” anthology, which also featured bands like LIGHT & SHADE as well as perennial HoS-favorites VELVET ENDROIT.
It’s definitely a shame that these guys, for whatever reason, didn’t put out more than they did. Between their two published songs , the cacophonious “Cresendo” and the oddly solemn “Henley Broken”, VISION 99 displays both fascinating songwriting as well as technical prowess ,..you just know these guys had at least a couple of other musical aces up their sleeves that didn’t get preserved for history. Frustratingly enough, these guys seem to have been pretty involved in the underground Japanese music scene at the time (I’m pretty sure at least one of their members was involved with the curation of the “Alternative Sun” omnibus), so an album release probably wouldn’t have been totally out of reach …nevertheless, it doesn’t seem to have ever come to fruition.
Oh well, better to be grateful for what they did leave behind though. I hope you’ll all enjoy this schizoid jumble of breakneck-paced proto-VK.