Twin Cosmos’ – ‘Double Action’ is a conceptual album by Japanese twins released in 1982, with each brother contributing to one side of the LP in a Yin & Yang approach. Side A, recorded by Morihito sounds like something that Brian Wilson might have created in the early 1980’s, after visiting Brazil and learning Japanese. In Contrast Side B, recorded by Yasuhito is a darker self-reflective and experimental work that mirrors his time living in NY & LA during the late ‘70’s and sounds like something Lou Reed might have made while going gown a David Lynch spiral.
Twin Cosmos is not only the name of the musical output of fraternal twins Morihito & Yasuhito Ito, but more philosophically, an album that encapsulates, “the universe of twins”.
The pair were born 1953 in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture. A port city 50 kilometres west of Nagoya, famous for its chemical plants. Despite their surroundings, they grew up in an environment that fostered learning and self-expression. From an early age, they began to carve out their own paths.
Morihito was fascinated with scientific endeavours, space travel and spirituality. His father, an electrician by trade - motivated him to build his own musical equipment. This led him to attend an acoustic engineering school in Tokyo from 1972-1974, after which, Morihito returned to Yokkaichi where he worked in the instrument and audio section of a department store. This helped him keep up to date with the latest equipment, while allowing him to simultaneously work on his own musical endeavours.
Morihito’s side of the ‘Double Action’ LP is a cohesive piece, which effortlessly drifts from one song to the next through samples of flowing water and rockets launching into space ,that were recorded while visiting his brother in the States. His music is carried by flowing vocal harmonies, guitar strums, and floating synths to create an eternal dreamlike ambiance.
In contrast, Yasuhito gravitated towards philosophy and the arts and in 1976 followed his Englsih teachers’ advice and moved to the ‘foreign world’ of the United States. It’s here that he further explored his interests in Christianity, sadomasochism and poetry. He was exposed to artists like John Cage and Sun Ra, as well as a variety of ‘Do It Yourself’ recording techniques that enabled him to record remotely.
Using samples, poetry, and an original approach to traditional folk & rock songs, he recorded his side of the LP. The outcome being provocative, dark and confronting realisations, which solely used English lyrics to represent his experiences in the ‘Western world’. In 1980, Yasuhito was wooed back to Japan by his brother and the prospect of a combined record release.
The self-released album ‘Double Action’, was completed at Victor studios in Japan. Without a distribution network, the release was sold mostly to family and friends and fell into obscurity. Despite not reaching commercial success, the pair have continued to make music over the past four decades, crediting it as their driving force in life.