[One Beat PR]
“On a different orbit from everything else’’ - Steve Lamacq
"Absolutely brilliant" - Marc Riley
“Lives up to its cosmic-beachy billing” - NME
"An off-piste dream...a wild phenomenon" - Clash
"Sought after psych-seekers" - So Young
"trippy, witty, surf laden" - God Is In The TV
The mundanity of a rural village hall is not where you’d expect to find the world’s only 100% space-surf outfit. But London’s Japanese Television are not the kind of band to do what you’d expect. After the cosmic brew of their first three EPs, the four-piece are ready to present their debut album, Space Fruit Vineyard, out 15th April via Tip Top Recordings. A full throttle blend of psyche, surf, sci-fi, garage rock and everything in between, its 10 tracks solidify their claim as one of the most exciting bands around.
Like their previous EPs recording sessions, the four-piece holed themselves up in the aforementioned Yaxley village hall to record their debut full length, with The Wytches’ Kristian Bell once again helming recordings. Having to fit recording around coffee mornings and Warhammer club meetings isn’t the recording experience of most bands, but Japanese Television swear there’s magic in that village hall – and a very good sandwich shop across the street.
Songs were recorded in one take straight onto tape – two if they were feeling indulgent – capturing the blistering rawness of the four playing together. Their humble surroundings meant that they were limited to whatever equipment they had in the room, so gear was pushed to its limits to find the technicolour sounds that pepper the album.
There’s an extra drive and bite to the new songs, which the band puts down to the catharsis of finally being able to play together again. ‘Bumble Rumble’, released late last year, certainly profits from this expulsion of energy. “Probably our most brutal track” according to the band, its tightly wound riffs and tribal drums perfectly interlock, allowing little room to breathe. Even when they finally loosen their grip, the juddering fuzz smothers the listener, a laser gun keys solo punching through.
It’s fitting for a band with such an obsession with outer space, that at times they sound like they’ve had their bodies commandeered by an orbiting aircraft, playing with an intensity and otherworldliness that hypnotises. First single ‘Dopplegänger Disco’ is one of these moments, its ferocity and the band’s telepathic connection producing a buzzing four-minute blast.
But unlike the best alien infiltrators, Japanese Television has not gone unnoticed. All three of their first EPs have completely sold out, while they managed to rope in the likes of Gabe Gurnsey, UNKLE and James Welsh for a Record Store Day exclusive remix EP. Marc Riley also had the band in the BBC studios to record a live session, while previous singles have been played on BBC 6 Radio by the likes of Steve Lamacq, Gideon Coe and Amy Lame. Space Fruit Vineyard, will also be getting a remix treatment, with Sen Morimoto, Gabe Gurnsey, The Orielles, Noon Garden all contributing.
With Space Fruit Vineyard Japanese Television take their brand of intergalactic psych and blast it to the edges of the universe. Forever teetering on the brink of chaos, their debut album is a testament to both their individual skill and collective vision, a wild ride down the centre of a wormhole.