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Various Artists, JD Twitch
Polyphonic Cosmos: Sonic Innovations In Japan (1980-1986) (Compiled By JD Twitch)
Cease & Desist
Catalogue Number
Release Date
July 8, 2022


Optimo music head JD Twitch has long been obsessed on the music of Japan. Having visited many times over to DJ, the man has amassed quite a collection from tirelessly digging in local record stores. Inspired by the sounds he’s heard, Twitch has spent the last 8 years compiling Polyphonic Cosmos, a would-be beginner’s guide to the sounds of the island in the early-to-mid 1980s. Japan’s explosion of music technology combined with sudden ease of access to the western world led to sonic experiments that felt simultaneously in conversation with the pop zeitgeist and in an orbit all their own. Tracks like Pecker’s ‘Sha La La’ could slot well with the European synth pop of the era, but tracks like Earthling’s ‘You Go On Natural’ stretch back a bit further. The song’s sturdy guitar strum and casual vocals are certainly indebted to Lou Reed’s urban didacticism, but the whirlpools of synth giving those simple chords texture are purely Japanese.

Digital Tracklist

Cease & Desist

Experimental Pop and New Wave

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