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Tomo Akikawabaya is a Japanese electronic musician and experimental artist.
Tomo studied fashion in London in 1978-1979. There he met and became involved with the punk band Desperate Bicycles. They were practicing in the basement of his friend's house. After the departure of their guitar player, Tomo joined the band, However, Tomo left England just before the recording of their first album “Remorse Code.”
London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels.
Remorse Code is the sole studio album by English band Desperate Bicycles, released in 1979 by record label. It reached number 10 in the UK Independent Albums chart.
After returning to Japan Tomo started performing (1979-1980). During that period he gave improvised guitar solo performances in clubs around the Tokyo area.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.
Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. It has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in both Japan and the world. The urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.
In 1981 Tomo started recording the album The Castle as “Tomo Akikawabaya.” By that time, he had modified his work into a minimal electronic style using vocals & synthesizers. However through this work, he gained little recognition from the Japanese independent music scene. This was because he didn't perform the live, limiting his musical activity to studio recordings only.
Independent music is music produced independently from commercial record labels or their subsidiaries, a process that may include an autonomous, do-it-yourself approach to recording and publishing. The term indie is sometimes used to describe a genre, and as a genre term, "indie" may include music that is not independently produced, and many independent music artists do not fall into a single, defined musical style or genre and create self-published music that can be categorized into diverse genres. The term ‘indie’ or ‘independent music’ can be traced back to as early as the 1920s after it was first used to reference independent film companies but was later used as a term to classify an independent band or record producer.
The Tomo Akikawabaya project ended in 1986 with the release of a limited box set of work spanning the projects duration. The title of the box set -Rivage De La Convulsion, was translated into French by Kosaku Ikuta (1924-1994), then a scholar of French literature in Japan.
While Tomo was recording at the studio (Bea Pot Studio, Tokyo), he encountered and was highly impressed by the work & exceptional talent of engineer Takaaki Han-ya. Together they began a collaboration forming the band “Beata Beatrix.” The band made 4 albums worth of recordings beginning in 1987, although none of them were ever officially released. In 1997, a ‘best of’ album (CD) was released for promotional purposes only. This led to a collaboration with the UK musician Robert Wyatt. In 2014 they changed the band name to “The Future Eve,” and began releasing tracks they had worked on with Robert Wyatt. They also launched the website Robert Wyatt & The Future Eve – KiTsuNe. Their latest piece "Ring Version" was mastered by Taylor Deupree.
Tomo's music is based in synthpop. His influences are mainly literal, drawing inspiration from writers such as; Edgar Allan Poe, Marquis de Sade, Georges Rodenbach, Arthur Machen, Lord Dunsany, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, and Joris-Karl Huysmans.
Tomo's own heart beat was recorded and used in the introduction to the track Rebirth. The song was inspired by the imagined images of the blooming of giant petals, and the infinite birth of dreams.
The cover photograph features the professional model Anju. Tomo had already designed, and made 4 dresses for her (When Tomo was in London (1978-1979), he had studied under the designer Hachi, who had a studio in South Molton Street. Hachi later designed dresses for princess Diana). The photos were shot by the photographer Alao Yokogi both at his photo studio, and on the coastline of Atami, Japan.
Anju later became a contract model for Givenchy, and moved to Paris. She also appeared in the Yellow Magic Orchestra’s film “A Y.M.O. FILM PROPAGANDA.” After Anju returned to Japan, she became a photographer. Tomo then worked as her stylist, making costumes for the models, actresses, and singers with whom she collaborated. He also learned about photographic techniques through ‘sitting in’ on photo sessions. He (Tomo) is currently active as a photographer as well as a musician.
The record was released as the follow up to The Castle. On the 12-inch vinyl version, the reversed ending section of the song was attached to the intro, providing a continuous segue or loop, signifying that the track could evolve into itself. This idea was taken from Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘eternal return’ concept. The lyrics reflected the embodiment of sorrow, providing an insight into the eternal world.
In recent years Tomo's work has spread to the world through the medium of the internet. It has brought him many new fans. He received reissue offers from various record labels worldwide, Tomo settled with Minimal Wave Records in 2015.
The album was released as a double LP with a gatefold cover, and featured all songs from his 12” releases of Mars, The castle, and 1985. All of the original tracks were digitized, and re-mastered. The album cover featured an unreleased photo of Anju (taken by Tomo). The dress, worn by Anju on ‘The Castle’s’ cover was used again on the inside of the gatefold jacket. The album cover design was by Peter Miles.
|1st||1983||Mars||Castle Records||12" Vinyl|
|2nd||1985||Anju||Castle Records||12" Vinyl|
|3rd||1985||1985||Castle Records||7" Vinyl|
|4th||1986||Kojiki To Onna||Castle Records||12" Vinyl|
|1984||The Castle||Castle Records||12" Double LP|
|2015||The Invitation of The Dead||Minimal Wave||12" Double LP|
|1986||Rivage De La Convulsion||Castle Records||Mars|
Kojiki To Onna
|Limited 33 copies|
|1998||In The Nursery||LINGUA||ITN||Shonen No Hi||Vocals|
|2003|| Robert Wyatt||Cuckooland||Domino Recording Co||Tom Hays Fox||Lyrics written, and read by Brian Eno. For the title, Wyatt played on words with Tomo's name. Several versions of this tune exist. They can be found in the “KiTsuNe / Brian the Fox” series, recorded between 1998 – 2015.|
|2015||Nao Katafuchi||Émergence||Nadanna/Anna Logue||Awakening||Vocals. (reading) The intro and ending of the song features Tomo's 1986 release “Ray” from “Kojiki To Onna”.|
|The April||Recorded after releasing of the Box Set|
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