Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yoran - Love Bitterness / Tagalong 7" (1986)


Side A
Love Bitterness

Side B

Released: 1986
Label: Night Gallery
Catalogue number: Night-003
Format: 7" single

Length: 12:06

Before I start talking about this 7", I'd like to extend thanks to nattliga_toner for allowing me to share some music here at Habit Of Sex. If you haven't yet, please check out his posting of Yoran's first single over at my blog Stalking Duppi. This is only the first of a few records I plan to guest-post here, and up next are a few items that were requested in the comments section... so stay tuned!

If you're familiar with Yoran's "Montparnasse" single, get ready for a very dramatic change of sound! Gone are the wispy, foggy meanderings of his days on Unbalance Records, as Yoran (here in collaboration with Nagi Ganmo) plants his feet firmly in the dynamically-produced, post-Art Of Noise world of the mid-to-late 80s!

"Love Bitterness", opening with one of those "reverse-echo" effects that brings to mind some New Order material from the same time period, is a fun, catchy number sung in English (though I'm still trying to catch all the lyrics). There are a number of sonic elements at play here -a nice twinkling guitar line, machine-gun drum patterns, synth-stabs of varied textures- that are all thrown in the spin-cycle during a particularly ludicrous instrumental break, which follows a rather nice vocal turn from Yoran - my favorite moment of the song. Great hook too, so don't be surprised if it gets stuck in your head.

Following up on the B-Side is "Tagalong" (called "Tag Along" on the label). The beginning of this song is quite nice: a big, synthy melody that quickly turns groovy. While it is slightly more mellow than the A-Side, "Tagalong" is no slacker. The chorus out-hooks "Love Bitterness", and the instrumental break is slightly creepy, even.

All-in-all, this is some top-quality 80s cheese!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sodom - Breaking Glass 7" (1985)

Breaking Glass 7"(1985)


Side A
Breaking Glass

Side B
Test Pattern

Zazie (vocals, piano)
Elle (guitar)
Bara (bass)
Hayato (drums)

Released: 1985
Label: Wechselbalg
Catalogue number: WT-705
Format: 7" single

Lenght: 09:05
Bitrate: 320 kbps

For those of you who enjoyed the singles by Sadie Sads and Nubile previously posted; here's yet another excursion into freakdom courtesy of the Wechselbalg Label.

Led by vocalist Zazie (here appearing as Zajie), Sodom had a long and prolific career during the eighties and early nineties; releasing a slew of records on heavy independent imprints such as Trans, Wechselbalg and Captain. Ever so chameleon-like, the bands output spanned the musical range from hardcore punk (their "S:t Requiem" cassette being one of Japanese hardcores holy grails) all the way through to electronica and house.

"Breaking Glass" was Sodoms second release and first single (I think the single-sided promotional flexi on Trans Records came out slightly later than this 7", but feel free to correct me on that) and saw the band moving away from their hardcore past into post-punk territory; like their labelmates (Auto-Mod and G-Schmitt excluded) seemingly quite smitten by The Birthday Party.

Indeed, the sluggish title track sounds like an institutionalized Birthday Party pumped full of sedatives (all with plenty of side effects). The main body of the song consists of a lumbering, borderline retarded "groove" cut up with harsh shards of guitar screech; at times erupting into blasts of concentrated anguish or shriveling down to whisks of ice-cold guitar vapors and barely audible drums. Zazies incredibly strange grunts and bellows plunges this track firmly into a black hole of gothic dementia.

I'd say the flipside "Test Pattern" is the one to include on your DJ setlist at your local sanatoriums annual ball though. Reminiscent of Nubiles "Tranceyse Diskow Veryall"; this is also a total post-punk freakout. You've got pummeling tom-toms, formless guitar melee, distorted dirging bass, sudden starts and stops and at times some coherent riffage. Don't miss out on the "cha-cha" sequence! Of course Zazies vocal performance (read: totally bizarre grunts and groans) is inevitably in the spotlight, being even more way out here than on "Breaking Glass".

By the way; where did all these Japanese goth bands get their inspiration from when it comes to the freaked out vocals? Virgin Prunes? The Pop Group? As for Sodom, considering their background, I guess it could be explained by a transmutation of the gruff vocals of various hardcore bands but who knows?

But I digress (and pretty boringly so) - suffice to say that this is another strange but great single from the Wechselbalg freak factory that I hope you'll enjoy. Rest assured more are on the way from this weird and wonderful imprint.

PS. As a sidenote, it seems that Sodom has been resurrected and are once again active on the Japanese indies scene. You can check out their website here:
I, for one, am really looking forward to any new material that (hopefully) will be forthcoming!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stalking Duppi

I would like to take this opportunity to turn your attention to this totally fantastic blog called Stalking Duppi. Concerned with the Japanese underground scene of the 80:s, I think you'll find what's been posted there to be most interesting. We're talking AMAZING stuff like The Gurdjieff, Voice and Tolerance (a flexi until now unpublished on the internet to boot) - so head on over there and get your mind thoroughly blown!

In addition, I've been granted the honour of doing some guest posts for Stalking Duppi now and then; and the SD staff has very kindly promised to do a few at this blog too so keep your eyes peeled.