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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Juma, Japan

Juma - Aqua Cosmos. 1981 D. D. Records. cassette.

Continuing through the latest Alaskan Connection offerings, we offer up Japanese synthesist (or group) Juma. This would typically be another Main list entry, but I felt it was worth promoting up to the daily blog. Why? Because Juma marries two hopelessly obscure objects for rare music collectors: 1980s do-it-yourself electronic music and the Japanese cassette underground.

On the former point, the music world was teeming with Klaus Schulze wannabees. For anyone who subscribed to Eurock back then, or even the early Audion magazine issues, you'd remember the vast amount of bedroom synthesizer masters. Drop juice on your synthesizer while the tapes are running, and you have an instant masterpiece.

On the latter point about the Japanese cassette underground - well let's just say that the UK Festival cassette culture is downright Best Buy buck bin stuff compared to this scene. It's hard enough to find major label albums out of Japan, much less the privately traded cassettes going in and out of the Tokyo record shops.

The AC describes the album as thus "They apparently released many tapes, and had some of their stuff distributed through Eurock at the time. I've heard a couple of other ones, but I thought they were kind of amateurish and meandering. This one struck me as pretty good, though. I thought you might like it since you expressed your fondness for Berlin school stuff, and this is definitely in that vein. Actually, partly due to the type of synths he was probably using (Japanese stuff like Korg MS-20s and Roland System 100s, which were cheap back then compared to the classic American gear) what it really sounds like is that Pneuma "Psychabuse" CD of archival material from the same period. Also maybe a little similar to Osiris." To the AC's latter point, the best track for me utilized quite a bit of electric guitar soloing (it rambles on, but it's still cool) which did indeed remind me of Osiris' "In the Mist of Time", an album I once owned years ago - but ultimately sold and we featured awhile back. Anyway, I definitely did appreciate this album. Anyone who really likes the first Pythagoras album from The Netherlands would do well to seek this out as well.

Priority: none

Thanks to Bob for the cover!


k.yoshimatsu said...

Juma was my solo project to try the experiment of my favorite music.

吉松幸四郎 said...

Aqua Cosmos BY JUMA( D.D.RECORDS DT16―1981)