Japan - Full Moon 36 - 09/25/99
Pop-Off Tuesday ... quite a peculiar name for a band. P-O.T is actually a duo,
with Hiroki on "machines" and Minori on guitars and vocals. They're from Osaka,
formed the group in 1995, and have been (still are?) classmates studying in London,
England. Their Japanese charm and kindness seems to be intact, as well as good
portions of humor. When asked if there are any celebrities they'd like to record
with, the answer was: "Reonardo Dicaprio?"
Pop-off Tuesday play dreamy, lazy, sleepy, bouncy, and folky trip-hop, with
the voice of Minori - like a mix between Sandy Denny and Liz Frasier - on top.
Mr. John Peel smiled over his cup of tea when hearing their debut single
This Old Lady (Origin Music), a track also included on this album now
presented for the English (and European) market by UK label Pickled Egg. The
soundscapes of P-O.T sounds very strange and off this world. Maybe that's why
one of the songs is called Unworldly (also released as a single). Parts
of the album are fully instrumental, with odd rhythms, sampled bits ("all
samples are uncleared", is the statement on the insert sheet), and gentle
noises, while the voice of Minori comes as a mild sea breeze, telling short
little stories hard to understand ("I'm comfortable when neither English
speakers nor Japanese understand my words").
The opening track, the instrumental Benefit of J.S., is a church
organ driven piece, slightly reminiscent of the intro of Magazine's Feed the Enemy.
Mad Tea Party is shimmering and fragile quiet pop-song. Unworldly
is really an alien, or at least indeed exotic. So is Dual nature, with
traces of a lot of music, from Tuxedomoon, to Philip Glass, to Giorgio Moroder,
to Laurie Anderson, to ... you name it. This Old Lady is extremely fascinating
and definitely one of the highlights of the album, jazzy and swirling, and, hey,
it sounds like Snakefinger has come back from the dead for the guitar solo!
The Sea and Poison is tougher than Massive Attack ever could be. Another
dead cool track is Fields of Blue Clover, introduced by a few seconds of
that Merry-go-round music used in the film Betty Blue (37, 2° Le Matin),
before the album ends with the most experimental and thrilling track, Fiction Worth Repeating.
No pulp, just raw, rhythmous, bubbling fiction.
On the song As Evil Dance they've borrowed some melodic parts from
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, which could be a fitting description for
Pop-Off Tuesday: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Unworldly, but not being scary.
You'd better listen for yourself. An album worth repeating.
Copyright © 1999 Håvard Oppøyen