Label: Yen Records – YLR-22001 Format: Vinyl, LP, Album Country: Japan Released: 21 Oct 1982 Genre: Electronic Style: Synth-pop
Mythical and notoriously illusive minimal synth-pop masterpiece from flash in the pan Japanese duo Testpattern. Does anyone have idea what happened to this pair? After dropping this cult debut and contributing two strikingly future-facing cuts to that 1983 Yen Manifold comp, then seemingly vanishing entirely - some traces online say 1/2 of the duo (Hiruma) did some chiptune stuff and computer game soundtracks, which seems like a logical progression from here but only adds to the mystique. Anyways, no surprise Hosono's era-defining, visionary tekno-pop production skills seems to be the driving force behind this one, utilising ruthlessly catchy electro-ditties and stripped-back synth / drum programming to boost the contagious levels and ensure these songs never leave your head. The first half of the record perfectly encapsulates the early 80's Tokyo bubble-era zeitgeist, hyper-modern, optimistic, new, and increasingly embracing and opening up to euro-centric culture in the English vocals and Francophile references.. although potentially with subtle digs at the increasingly consuming consumerist salary man lifestyle in the deadpan acceptance on 'Modern Living' - but its all too light and ambiguous to be political. The opening one-two on the flip however is a different beast entirely, with two cuts of deadly, highly modernised proto-techno in 'Ring Dance' and 'Catch Ball', which are as ripe today as they were in '82 making it equally tantalising and excruciating that this pair suddenly vanished. For all the surge in interest in Japanese music of this sorts over the past years, it's mind-boggling that these have evaded the archival merry-go-round, but for now.. Apres-Midi stands un-toppled at the peak of the pile. (NM/NM - No Obi, with Insert - brutally rare, email / msg email for deets).
Tracklist A1 Crescent Moon 4:09 A2 Souvenir Glacé 3:52 A3 Beach Girl 3:17 A4 Sea Breeze 4:22 A5 Modern Living 5:13 B1 Ring Dance 6:07 B2 Catchball 4:11 B3 Techno Age 5:58 B4 Ocean Liner 5:25 B5 Aeroplane 2:55