Various Artists: Somewhere Between: Mutant Pop, Electronic Minimalism & Shadow Sounds of Japan, 1980-1988 (Light in the Attic)
Somewhere in between: Mutant Pop, Electronic Minimalism & Shadow Sounds of Japan, 1980-1988
Light in the attic
April 06, 2021
Somewhere Between is the latest iteration of Light in the attic extraordinary Japanese archive series and has a huge reputation on its shoulder. The bespoke Even A Tree Can Shed Tears was a fair start, but after the one-two punch from Kankyō Ongaku and Pacific Breeze in 2019 that reconciled Grammy notoriety with their discoveries of some truly hidden gems in the Japanese music canon, the series is fast moving become something the jewel in the light in the crown of the attic.
A less focused and successful follow-up to Pacific Breeze 2 from last year felt like the tusk to its predecessor’s rumors, but Somewhere Between sees the series getting back on track. Somewhere Between is a wonderfully layered, complex, moody, and atmospheric series of songs that focuses on rejecting packaged pop and AOR in this era to seek something that is all the more ethereal and off the beaten path. Somewhere Between continues the tradition of the Pacific Breeze and Kankyō Ongaku become an instantly definitive version of an era and sound in Japanese musical history. There may be less important tracks here than on either release, but when it’s best, like Noriko Miyamoto’s “Arrows & Eyes”, dive into the pool’s “Hasu No Enishi” and Mishio Ogawa’s “Hikari No Ito Kin” No Ito “is certainly one of the best works that have been highlighted in this wonderful series of retrospectives so far. (www.lightintheattic.net)
Author rating: 8.5 / 10