Monday, September 13, 2010

D-Day - Vale of Promises EP (1984)


Side A
So That Night
Vale of Promises

Side B
Hill's Dream

Float A Boat

Yoshiko Kawakita (vocals)
Kyoko Hideshima (guitar)
Mario Sakurai (bass)
Shuichi Ohmomo (keyboards)
Yoichiro Yoshikawa (keyboards [guest])
Kuniko "Maru" Nozawa (drums)

Released: 1984
Label: Aspirin Records
Catalogue number: JCA-210, JCA-211
Format: 7" picture disc + 7" flexi

Lenght: 17:23
Bitrate: 320 kbps

This is the second release from D-Day, put out in 1984 on Aspirin Records - yet another one of those labels so coveted by obsessive record collectors (and I should know!). As opposed from the groups first record ("Ki·Ra·I" flexi, also on Aspirin) which, judging by the small snippets I've heard from it, seems to be of a rawer and more post-punkish character; what we're presented with here are some totally sweet and dreamy new wave cuts.

With a flair for design and presentation rather than fidelity, this EP was released as a 7" picture disc coupled with a 7" flexi disc. Although it makes for a nice package, there is unfortunately quite a bit of background noise to be heard (most prominent during "Hill's Dream").

Commencing the record is the saccharine yet irresistable "So That Night". Punkishly simple in composition, I'd say this charming ditty is without a doubt capable of enticing even the most hardened stonefaces to crack a smile. In particular the two short guitar "solos" (instrumental parts, rather) are cause for pure, unsullied bliss. The title track that follows is equally enchanting, if a bit more mellow and refined, with it's gushing keyboards contrasted against sober, metronomical drums evoking a mesmerizing atmosphere.

We are taken even further into dreamland territory with the spellbinding swirl of "Hill's Dream". Cold understreams of flanged synthesizer lends a psychedelic aura to the already hypnagogic state induced by the monotonous bass and delay-drenched guitar. This dizzying air now and again constricts into the sweetest of pop refrains before dissolving back into a hallucinatory groove yet again. "Dream a dream" indeed.

Saving the best for last, D-Day concludes the EP with the aptly titled "Float A Boat". A crystalline synth-sequence accentuated by the ticking of a drum machine forms the base of the song, all enshrouded by Kawakitas frail and wispy vocals. Occationally the odd guitar melody gently bubbles up from beneath the surface - all in all it makes for a serene and hypnotising listening experience. Unharshable mellow!


Tatsuya said...

If you like this band don't hesitate and get "Crossed fingers".
This retrospective collection 2 CD set has a way better sound quality.
Quite essential if you like 80's japanese music.

Bisso said...

Thanks so much! I really wanted to listen to this ep after I discovered them time ago with their beautiful "So That Night".

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