April 18, 2016

D-Day - Grape Iris, 1986


Deeply weird record. The first four tracks are straightforward enough: dusty-sweet synth pop, toy whirrs and blips, a Joy Division fan on board, pristine vocal harmonies, some half-hearted samba as the amphetamines are wearing off, sulky new wave guitar. Definitely perverse, but somewhere we've been before. Things start to get gnarly around track five, "Sweet Sultan," which sounds like a dirtier Lena Platonos pirated off a broken answering machine. It gets more confusing as new wave decomposes into no wave ("Dead End") and then into minimal wave ("Dust"), propelled along by what sounds like an 808 that's been dropped a few times too many. "Ki-Rai-I" is Grape Iris's maximum euphoria, with a Sakamoto-inspired marimba loop buried underneath Robin Guthrie-esque guitar warps and more static-scratched telephone-speak, the whole thing sounding like a tape that got left out in the sun. After one last frantic guitar stab ("So That Night"), closer "Float A Bort" returns us to strung-out delirium, slowly submerging itself in water as the sun sets. Keyboards and some production by Yoichiro Yoshikawa, who's worked with Yas-Kaz and is responsible for the gorgeous Miracle Planet soundtrack (I'll get there soon). Wowowow.


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