Various Artists | Fuji Compilation

Fuji | CD

Fuji (short for Fuji Rekodsu) is a joint-label run between the twin axis of Tokyo's Cha-Bashira label and Cologne's A-Musik. Intended to widen the audience for Japanese audio experimentation this eclectic compilation of genre-disintegrating 'music' is the perfect introduction to a clearly vibrant and growing scene which has, until recently, been all but eclipsed by the white noise of Merzbow, et al.

Like a perverse overture to an insane opera, 'Fuji…' opens with the bizarrely eclectic manoeuvres of Kuknacke's aptly named 'Katana Death'. Veering from ultra-compacted noise to savaged hip-hop via a seemingly endless loop of Duran Duran's 'Save a Prayer' Kuknacke effortlessly cut and splice styles without creating what could all too easily disintegrate into chaos. L?K?O's 'ZiggyZiggy' features post-Coldcut Ofra Haza underpinned by a static break that wouldn't look out of place on Ninja Tune; while a brief respite - if it was needed - is provided by Sosumu Yokota's agonisingly short 'Closer'.

It's difficult to resist the urge to mention every track as each offers its own, often twisted, take on some overlooked or neglected musical avenue; suffice to say, on the evidence of the 29 tracks included, there's no question that Japan is experiencing an explosion in musical inventiveness that is unmatched by quite the same level of 'rule'-demolishing courageousness anywhere else in the world. If you're looking to derail your comfortable listening habits this is the perfect place to start…


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