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Japanese Telecom

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Album Review

Detroit's electro scene tends to operate as though it was comprised of comic-book superheros, with its many disguised aliases and continuous desire to remain anonymous. To the pedestrian listener, monikers such as Drexciya, Ectomorph, Adult, BMG, DJ K-1, Flexitone, Dopplereffekt, AUX 88, Le Car, Underground Resistance, and Electric Soul may seem like an endless cast of electro artists when in actuality many of these characters are played by the same artist. Japanese Telecom stays true to Detroit's tradition of shrouding itself in modest mystery rather than bask in the spotlight. But for as fascinating as the jumbled mess of Detroit's connect-the-moniker-to-the-artist game is, one also gets some intriguing music to accompany it. The sounds of Japanese Telecom aren't that elaborate and are rather minimal with a strong production aesthetic. The beats thump at a nice tempo, without reaching ghettotech speeds and without dropping to hip-hop pace. Furthermore, the percussive loops and strange, alien riffs that filter through the songs swirl and twist continuously so that they don't get monotonous while still maintaining a consistent rhythm. Relative to the many strains of electro coming out of Detroit, Japanese Telecom's sounds don't use the spooky motifs of Ectomorph, aren't as Cybotron-inspired as AUX 88, don't integrate pop tendencies such as Adult, and aren't as aggressive as Underground Resistance. So as tempted as one may be to make the connection between Japanese Telecom and other Detroit electro outfits, there is no clear comparison. Especially with the included remixes by John Selway, Perspects, and the Men from Pack, the sounds found on the Japanese Telecom album present yet another strain of Detroit electro, proving that this techno-centric city never seems to run out of creativity.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Ever since Juan Atkins dubbed himself Model 500 in the mid-'80s, it has become somewhat of a tradition for Detroit electro artists to shroud themselves in mystery, hiding behind odd monikers and leaving listeners to guess the alter ego. Add Japanese Telecom to this confusing roster of colorfully named Detroit electro artists, alongside Ectomorph, Cybotron, Dopplereffekt, AUX 88, Drexicya, Adult, and countless others. Japanese Telecom's unique sound differs a bit from the aforementioned Detroit artists'...
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Japanese Telecom, Japanese Telecom
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