EC Editor Hal McGee reports:
On Tuesday when I got home I found in my mailbox a package from an old contact and tape trading partner of mine from the 1990s, Kei Yokota. Kei has two recordings projects, Outermost and Invader From Mars, and I still have cassettes by both. When I saw Kei's address on the package I immediately recognized it as being the same address he had 20 years ago, in Sapporo, Japan. It is likely that I first contacted Kei through our mutual friend, Brian Noring, who operated the FDR Tapes label in Des Moines.
Inside the box I found a beautiful 7-inch 45 RPM record release on the Skull Records label titled "Studies Of Space And Sorrow", with Bastard Noise on Side A, and Kei's Outermost on Side B. The printed sleeve features richly-detailed artwork by Masato Okano that is psychedelic, freaky, super creepy, and awesome. The liner notes on the inside of the cover contains a plea for compassion for all living things, sensitivity to Mother Earth, and a call for all people to show kindness to animals, the elderly, and Nature.
If I understand correctly, the four tracks, two on each side, are collaborations of Barnes and Wood of BN with Yokota. Rumbling, crunchy electronics with screamed vocals, perhaps illustrating the pain and suffering of The Earth, and righteous anger at "Insensitive Life-Forms (That) Now 'Sunbathe' in Space..." The record itself is a beautiful object - LAVENDER vinyl!
This record was released in 2017, but I'm not sure if there are any copies left. The Bastard Noise website SEEMS to be inactive: the Store section is definitely inactive. There are currently four copies for sale on Discogs.
I am very happy to have this record, and it makes me happy to be back in touch with Kei. I am going to my HalZine 11 + CDR to him in trade soon. A quick web search reveals no online presence for Kei. I am not surprised by that! Kei always seemed like the kind of guy who would remain true to physical object based noise. I seriously doubt that he and I ever exchanged an email! Our interactions were probably totally through postal mail. If any of you want to write to Kei and see if he wants to trade recordings, email me, and I will give you his postal address.
Below is a 27-second audio excerpt from Outermost's side of the record.
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