I love the fact that like the horizon, the timeline of music stretches out in two directions infinitely. And every discovery of something new leads to another discovery of something new, even if that new thing is old. Although they’ve been around for about 20 years, I’ve only recently discovered Tokyo’s Crue-L Records label. And I’m OBSESSED.
Even though they’ve been around for awhile, it’s actually kind of hard to find out any extensive details about them as their label website is byzantine and mostly in Japanese and we’re talking about something rooted in an “underground” scene offshoot of a genre scene halfway around the world in one of the most densely populated cities on the planet. But much as I know, the label is run by Kenji Takimi, who has been a leader in Japan’s appreciation of post-Shibuya-kei Leftfield Disco, House and Lounge culture and whose project Being Borings is the label’s most recent release. Takimi has remixed a range of artists from Cornelius to Cut Copy and has been responsible to introducing the Japanese club scene to DJ Harvey and Dr. Dunks.
The labels import-only 12″s and LPs are hard to come by right now but totally worth the effort and the full length releases by artists The Beauty and Being Borings are sumptuously produced listening experiences that are familiar and otherworldly in equal measure because they meld together easy listening with the chuggy thump of downtempo slow mo Disco and soft focus airy synthpop.
Like the 90s refiguring of 60s space-age pop by artists like Pizzicato Five, Fantastic Plastic Machine and Cibo Matto, Crue-L is reworking an amalgam of late 70s early 80s sounds in a way the feels like getting lost in a YouTube search on multiple tabs simultaneously. Theirs is the sound of the Information Age horizon.
Hopefully, they’ll get domestic distribution so that enjoying them is a just a little bit easier. However, in the meantime why not appreciate the elusive, analog nature of having to track down Crue-L records?