SAISEI founder Junki Inoue continues his vital archival work uncovering the riches of Japan’s distinctive electronic music scene and bringing them to new audiences around the world.
The PMA EP compiles four dynamic tracks recorded around 30 years ago by the duo of Shigeru Nakamura (drums/vocals) and Mikio Kato (synths) aka B-2DEP’T.
Nakamura and Kato’s first album as B-2DEP’T, Products Plus, appeared on cassette in 1993 on Trigger Records, the predecessor label to Transonic (given a retrospective on SAIS004). Its bright yellow and blue retro-futurist artwork – which is echoed in the design for this reissue on SAISEI – matched the sounds held within: inventive, out-of-the-box dance music blending overseas influences with an idiosyncratic Japanese sensibility.
Two tracks from Products Plus appear on this EP, All tracks re-edited by Junki Inoue and regular collaborator Yuzo Iwata for vinyl extended play and available now for the first time on vinyl. ‘Clockwork Giant Panda’ appearing in a version co-produced with Yoshinori Sunahara (ex – Denki Groove), merges a breezy US house groove and bassline with twinkling, almost parodic Japanese keys that act as a kind of meta commentary on Western perceptions of Japan (a concept pioneered by Yellow Magic Orchestra). The two parts of ‘BSMH’, or Body Sonic Mental Health from ‘Products Plus’, were originally remixed by Daishi Hisakawa of Tanzmuzik, who draws on darker sounds from Europe and the UK: restless Depeche Mode synth harmonies spiral above a pacy EBM pulse, with robot vocals intoning the titular slogan. The package is completed by the unreleased track ‘PMA’, whose driving, bass-heavy mood falls somewhere between Sheffield bleep and the ambient techno of early Biosphere.
SAISEI is a Japanese word which translates to ‘reproduction’ and ‘to play’ (as in playing records). Japanese culture is widely known for its traditional nature just as much as it is for being forward into the future and this label’s concept does justice to exactly that. Having started digging for records as early as 16 years old, Inoue delved into productions from 1990s Japan to uncover these native gems. SAISEI’s core concept is to recapture and reintroduce unique pieces of Japanese electronic music onto vinyl, to an audience it never reached before as most of this music was only released in Japan.