Wednesday, November 25, 2009



ZERO:HOUR (1989)


04. 薔薇心中(Bara Shinjuu)
08. (untitled)

YOU-SAKU MIYAZAKI (guitars, chorus)

Guest musician:

Released: 1989
Label: Psycho Records
Catalogue number: PR-01

Lenght: 29:52
Bitrate: 320 kbps

Here's a totally obscure gem from the very infancy of visual kei. This is the first and only album by VOISS, recorded at Studio PENTA in 1989 and released the same year. It was probably the only ever release on Psycho Records, which was a subsidiary of the Yokohama 7th Avenue livehouse. Even though no other releases followed (as far as I know) the band stayed active for a couple of more years, sharing stages with Deshabillz and Mother Goose among others.

Seemingly the band came and went without causing much of a blip on the VK-radar so information about them is scarce to say the least ...heck, they're not even mentioned on Grass Thread!

Focusing on the music; VOISS has some driven, new wave-y 80:s stuff in store for us. Starting off the record is the amazing "I WANNA GET IT" with it's precise, minimal riffage on the guitar and general 80:s kind-of-dark mood. The verses in particular are brilliant - you just have to love those shards of clean guitar (sounding cold enough to give you frost-bite) coupled with KIKUCHI's slightly demented vocal stylings.

"SEXAROID INSANE" is a more laid back affair than the previous track, with a certain "floating" kind of feel. Happily the bass is pushed a bit more to the front of the mix giving this track a slightly fuller sound than both the previous and subsequent tracks. Apparently being about the life and times of a futuristic sex-robot (or something like that) this is an infectious little ditty particular the bouncy chorus has a tendency to stay with you. It's followed by the short and confusing "FROM BEYOND" - a ominous pseudo-experimental transition piece.

Next up is "薔薇心中" (which should transliterate as "Bara Shinjuu", but feel free to correct me on this). This is reminiscent of the first track, albeit less hectic and more melancholic. Also of a minimalistic nature, much of the song is centered around a simple but very nice figure on the guitar thoroughly marinated in reverb and delay. I'm really digging the super-stiff eighties drumming here; rivalling even DIE-KÜSSE's "Egoistic" when it comes to unflexible drumpatterns. Here we also hear the first apperance of guest musician NOBUYUKI SASAHARA on keyboards, swathing the chorus in synthesized choirs and possibly also producing the harsh flanging noise heard during the bridge.

The harrowing "IRONICAL AGITATION" follows; definitely one of the absolute highlights of this record. The track mainly oscillates between a hauntingly gorgeous riff (with it's spider-crawling-up-your-leg guitarwork and an positively eerie bass-line) and harsh vocal parts framed by unrelentingly austere drum-pounding and punctuated by stabs of syntheziser. Also of notice is a screwy-ass synth solo breaking off the oppressive mood in a stupidly great way.

Another favorite follows, namely "PSYCHIC FORCE". A little bit mellower than the previous track, despite the semi-metallic verses. Really nice vocals here; very melancholic and more than a bit dramatic, though not overblown - in particular I'm fond of the refrain. Overall the quirkyness of this track reminds me of the peculiar sounds produced by bands such as LIGHT & SHADE and VELVET ENDROIT (both to be forthcoming on this blog). The pace is furtherly slowed down with the final track - the nice and passionate, if perhaps a bit indistinct, ballad "PARADISE LOST".

One would think that the fun is over by here, but the band were thoughtful enough to embed a secret, unlisted eight track on the disc comprised mainly of backwards drum-machine, some mumbled words and a little sequencer toodling along. Actually quite cool!

Like the previously posted Genkaku Mime EP, this was also one of those on-a-whim purchases ("hmm, what's this? A totally unknown band and white cover photo of guys posing 'artily' ...released in 1989 on an independent label called ...PSYCHO RECORDS!? Oh man, this has got to be good!") that proved to surpass any and all expectations.

I for one would be quite keen to hear what more this band had to offer, but sadly it seems that ZERO:HOUR was all that was ever recorded by VOISS. At least to my knowledge anyway - wouldn't it be nice if there were a demo or a gig-freebie single floating around out there somewhere?

Divshare / Mediafire / Depositfiles

Guitarist YOU-SAKU in action.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Genkaku Mime - Genkaku Mime EP (1986)

Genkaku Mime EP (1986)

Side A
Genkaku Mime

Side B

幽太郎 [Yuutaro] (vocals, guitar)
BIN (bass)
TAKA (drums)

Released: 1986

Label: Taiou Records
Catalogue number: LEO-004

Lenght: 11:53
Bitrate: 320 kbps

Let's get the re-launch of this blog going ...with a bang!

This is Genkaku Mime's description-defyingly great debut EP, released in 1986 on the Taiou label (yes, the very same Taiou label that put out Buck-Tick's first single and debut album).

Definitely an essential disc in my book - I recall getting this more or less on a whim and having my mind profoundly blown when I first set it spinning on the turntable. What a great record! Quite difficult (if not borderline impossible) to describe though. Hard and fast, dark and atmospheric, melodic and funny ...I guess it fits under the umbrella-genre of post-punk, although the band seemed to categorize themselves as "New Wave Punk". Which actually is pretty befitting, although it could mean just about anything.

Nitpicking aside, I think you'll find this a real pleasure for the ears. Both musicmanship and songwriting impress, the band navigating themselves with ease through the weird squiggles and bends of each song. In particular the tight-as-fuck rhythm-section of BIN and TAKA is worth noting, although the idiosyncratic vocalization and guitarplaying of
幽太郎 inevitably steals much of the spotlight. Just check out the title tracks surprisingly catchy refrain for instance, complete with whinnying and braying that almost (I said almost) puts AUTO-MOD's Genet to shame.

Other highlights include ...well, most everything on the record. The melodic break in DONE DANCE, the tweaked out verses of GUARD, the floating passive-agressive mood and repetitive riffage of SONIA and so on, and so on...

Apart from this record and some appearances on various omnibus-albums, Genkaku Mime released a 12" on the famous Trans Records label (run by the late Masashi Kitamura of YBO² fame) before calling it quits.

In closing, I hope you'll all enjoy and that hopefully it's something to begin to make up for the excessive amount of time some of you've been waiting to slake your thirst for aural Jap-weirdness.

Mediafire / Divshare / Depositfiles

Madmans revenge

After nearly a year (eep!) of inactivity, I now have the supreme pleasure of announcing that HABIT OF SEX is finally resuming its activities!

The focus of this blog will be on Japanese independent music of the 80:s and early 90:s. The scope of the music posted will be wider than the previous incarnation of the blog and the selection will be based purely on the taste and whims of myself and my colleague Zeroism.

It is our intention that all the music posted is out of print and thus not readily availiable. Any artists, labels or copyright holders are encouraged to get in touch should they want any material taken offline. Also, knowing that there are tons of knowledgeable persons out there, I would be eternally grateful for any comments, corrections or information regarding the stuff that'll be posted here.

Finally, if you enjoy some of the music posted here, do consider aquiring the actual records for yourself. Apart from supporting some awesome record dealers (see the [soon to be expanded] list on your right) no .MP3 or .FLAC or whatever kind of computer file can beat the sensation and thrill of having and hearing the original record.

Thank you and please enjoy!