Limited to 199 copies
A true moment of subversion plucked from the inscrutable Japanese underground on show here with this 1987 oddity from Jun Konagaya's Grim. Delve into Konagaya's history and you'll find a wealth of more or less prototypical forays into noise and power electronics that stretch up to the present day. Lean in a little closer, and in the midst of such dissonance you'll also discover Message, an atypically pretty psychedelic folk experiment widly out of sync with any of the other projects with which is shares a name. More impressive still is just how convincing it is. This is no simple pastiche, or even, dare i say, even a pastiche at all. Message, originally released as a six track EP and here extended to double the length with the inclusion of six remixed versions, feels like a faithful, albeit somewhat surreal reinterpretation of 60s acid folk pushed through a lo-fi filter, something like a Japanese reimagining of Jad Fair transposed to Laurel Canyon. There's unexpected beauty all over, singsong vocals straight outta the K Records songbook, chiming, melodious guitars, and in closer Heaven Knows, an indiepop lullaby that could have come from any of San Frans finest just about any time in the past 50 years - truly that good. Evidence for the industrial underground that playing against type need not begat aggression and subversion can assume many forms. As the old song goes, it takes guts to be gentle and kind.