Japanese Synthpop by Bands who aren’t YMO

I realize that this has been a stressful and/or depressing weekend for many of you, and I’m right there with you. However, I need some time to decompress before I talk about politics again, for my own mental health. I hope you’re all doing what you can do to stay healthy and fuck up Nazis. Try to do both in equal measures.

In the meantime, I finally finished part four of my guide to YMO! Yeah, it took me a year, sorry about that. Life got in the way at first, and then a serious case writer’s block regarding exactly how to cover the solo careers of the YMO members. I ended up changing it up quite a bit from the previous parts of the guide, I hope you all like it.

I still have at least three more sections of that guide planned. The next will cover side-projects, which I suspect won’t take nearly as long as there aren’t that many. After that I’m going to write on the multitudes of YMO associates out there. There are a metric shitload of those, but I have records by almost all of them, so it should’t be all that hard.

If that all goes well, I’ll close out with a special in-depth look at…something cool. Anyways, here’s some great music by Japanese new wave/synthpop artists who aren’t YMO.

Rhetorics & Logic
So I don’t know all that much about these guys other than the fact that they’re highly lauded among the more experimental types in Japan. They’re first album came out in 1980 and they’re still going strong today (with some major line-up changes along the way) they’ve released something like 20 albums I guess.

If their first album (the only one I have) is any indication, they were inspired by Kraftwerk and Talking Heads. So if that sounds good to you (and it fucking should), check it. A few of their newer albums are even on American iTunes, they’re…something.

Break Out Generation
Panic In The City
Of the three bands I’m featuring here tonight, I think Ippu-Do are the least known. They pumped out four studio albums and a live record between 1980 and 1984, but broke up soon after. I don’t think any of their studio albums proper have even been released on CD save for a limited edition box set that goes for a mint now.

As such, I don’t have much by them, just their 1980 sophomore album Normal. It’s good, but its much less of a synthpop record and much more a general “new wave” record, even with some fairly standard rock songs on it. It’s kind of uneven, to be honest, but considering the cult following the group has, I imagine their other records have more interesting stuff on them. I certainly dig the tracks I’m sharing here.

Health Angel
(Love) Story
Art Mania
When P-Model started out they were a good, if relatively by-the-numbers synthpop act. Throughout the years they went through many line-up and stylistic changes, however, eventually covering everything from punk, psychedelic rock, experimental electronica and even prog rock.

So they’re kind of like Yes, but backwards.

Anyways, after finding three of their albums and absolutely loving everything about them, I’ve decided that they’re my new YMO project. Gonna hunt down everything. If it all ends up being great, except a multi-part guide on them on my other blog sometime this year. Give or take.

Somehow you can currently buy two of P-Model’s albums on the US iTunes store and I highly recommend you do as they are fucking incredible.

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