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Bird Cage - Birdfriend Archives 2LP

EM Records

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Excellent collection of raw tape rhythm excavations taken from 5 years of Japan's Birdfriend label ran by YPY - now issued on 2LP via the inimitable EM Records -

"Enter a world unknown! Birdfriend is a cassette label run by Japanese musician/composer Koshiro Hino, aka YPY, who is also a founding member of the Osaka band goat. This compilation, available on CD and double vinyl, features 18 tracks by Japanese artists, from 2013-2017, previously available only on hard-to-find cassettes on the Birdfriend label, now available to you, the curious and courageous listener, worldwide on EM Records. Rejoice and enjoy the fractured rhythms and future-now timbres, questing intelligences and D.I.Y. energy, conveyed to you through hand-made synths, custom electronics, synths and samplers. Compiled by Hino, who also provides liner notes and cover art, these Japanese artists share a love of texture, semi-skewed rhythm, simple-yet-evolving structure, and a sense of humour; yet despite these similarities, there is a great variety across this release, making for an exciting and cohesive musical experience."

Fearlessly experimental and bare-bones, this compilation plays a bit like a sketch book, leaving heaps of space for the tape-saturated, minimalistic details in these DIY productions to shine in their understated glory of initial intention.
It may take a few tracks to warm to the wholly brittle, unhinged attire, but once you're brain has meditated over the rawness of the first side, you will find yourself tuned right into this scuzzy whirlwind of a compilation - the evolution from the starkest DIY skeletons, to understated DIY pop / drum machine / synth bangers makes complete sense once you made it through the first few minutes of this fearlessly compiled 2LP.
And as with every sketch book from great artists, once you've flicked through the pages, you are often sure to feel a stronger understanding of the artistic visions within, than many polished works could convey, and you'll also be sure to find a few unpolished masterpieces in there -

This one is well worth the £ if you're looking for something that is high on experimental intrigue, originality, and understated, honest musicality, all packed in a versatile way, with a the rounded compression of the cassette binding the aesthetics.

The way the record flows, from start to finish, also deserves a special shout -
This one is a real trip. Perfect home listening material, but you might even find the odd secret weapon for club use in there too.

Vinyl-only compilation, served lookin' & soundin' excellent.


=Disc 1=
A1. Sofheso - M.N.L
A2. Shimetta-inu - Bird Peck at Dead Dog
A3. NEW MANUKE - Fastest Motor
A5. JMT Synth Pinosaku - Tansun
B1. Shimettainu - Dog is Surrounded by Birds
B2. UNBE - Vector Milk
B3. YPY - The Damo UFO
B4. Micro Futoshi - Reforest 1
B5. Inoue Shirabe - Sleep Talk

=Disc 2=
C1. Futoshi Moriyama - Time Limit
C3. Futoshi Moriyama - Nico Electro
C4. H. Takahashi - 4
C5. Micro Futoshi - Reforest 2
C6. UNBE - 5 Cubic Meters
D1. Bonnounomukuro - Enter the Exit
D2. Futoshi Moriyama - Piano and Sampler

UNBE - "Vector Milk"

Inoue Shirabe - "Sleep Talk"

Futoshi Moriyama - "Time Limit"

Micro Futoshi - "Reforest 2"