Polyphonic Cosmos: Sonic Innovations In Japan (1980-1986) is a new essential release from the Scottish label Cease & Desist – the new sub label of Optimo Music that is focused on compilations. Optimo founder JD Twitch has explored his fascination for Japanese music here, by putting together a selection of tracks found through trawling Japanese record shops over the years. Why this particular era though? Here’s what he has to say:
It was “a period when advances in recording and musical technology offered the nation’s artists and producers a whole new tool kit to employ. When combined with the unique musical culture of Japan, where local traditions are frequently fused with Western styles to create timeless, off-kilter aural fusions, this embrace of locally pioneered music technology had spectacular, often unusual results.”
You’ll find legendary names like Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yasuaki Shimizu and Masumi Hara here, but also unknown gems like Earthling’s “You Go On Natural”. The double-LP contains 14 tracks and you can hear 10 of them on bandcamp.