As I checked Hot Wax 025’s tracklist for a record to highlight I couldn’t help noticing three records of Japanese origin. All three are very fine examples of artists with their own signature sound. Soichi Terada was doing House in Japan from the late 80’s on, when there very few cohorts around him. It is quite strange that the country that developed so much equipment that House and Techno were based on in their respective pioneering days, led to such little output in that field, whereas from the late 70’s to the late 80’s there were almost too many great artists to follow track. And for a music enthusiast outside of Japan, information and actual releases were always hard to come by, too. Now Terada’s rare back catalogue will be compiled to shine a light on the small but very fine according Nippon House scene, which unfortunately did not develop much further from those years. A good part of the local scene was wholly absorbed by the international success of the glossy Nippon version of Lounge, Acid Jazz and New York big room House, and it seemed not to be a fertile time for subtleties (and if Japanese culture adapts foreign culture it adapts it thoroughly, and it may last a while as well). So there surely are some gems to be found, but there is also a bulk which is a charmingly weird interpretation of Western club sounds of the boisterous and booming era as House entered the big rooms and became widely recognized in the mainstream stakes, and the tons of styles that were recycled, sampled and mutated in the process only added to the confusion.
Shinichi Atobe on the other hand landed a record on Hard Wax’s seminal Chain Reaction imprint just a few years later, and it certainly had its kudos, but then it was also perfectly available for years, and only became a rare item as the interest in Japanese electronic music was on the rise again more recently. So a perfect timing to release “Butterly Effect”, previously unreleased recordings that display a fine talent for deep atmospherics and which do not seem to care what happened in all those years. And even in times where many labels, producers and their respective fanbase do not care much either, this release stands out from the rest, and the praise seems well deserved.
Takuya Matsumoto started his career around the same time as Atobe, but he appeared on my radar only a few years back, when I coincidentally stumbled upon a few releases on the Iero label. At first I thought he was taking a decidedly psychedelic look on the Detroit House legacy, but I soon learnt that he was aiming elsewhere really, and he might have the potential to become a property for some time to come.
I hope that there is much more to discover where all of the above came from, and I hope it does not sound as what is happening elsewhere in this world. We need that!