Phew – Light Sleep LP
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Propulsive rhythms from early drum machines, whirring electronics and dreamlike vocals make for a jaw-dropping late-career masterpiece from legendary Japanese musician Phew, recorded solo at Phew's home in Tokyo.
Phew's career began in the late 1970s as lead singer of Osaka punk group Aunt Sally (whose only full-length was released by Vanity Records in 1979). Ryuichi Sakamoto produced her first solo release in 1980, a two-song single, and in 1981 Pass Records released her debut album, a bonafide classic recorded with original Can members Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit at Conny Plank's studio in Germany. She's forged a singular path over the past thirty-plus years, collaborating with folks from DAF, Einstürzende Neubauten, Boredoms, Anton Fier, Bill Laswell and more. It's borderline sacrilegious to compare an artist as unique as Phew with anyone else, but for those unfamiliar with her work, "Light Sleep" might be described as a more animated Nico singing (in Japanese) for early Suicide. Prepare to be floored.
A1 New World
A2 CQ Tokyo
A3 Mata Aimasho
B1 Usui Kuki