It was in 2016 that STROOM brought us a compilation aptly titled An Introduction Into The Insane World Of Alain Neffe. A journey through the obscure and often strange, quirky sounds produced by label owner of the experimental cassette label Insane Music, it confirmed the Belgian label run by Ziggy Devriant AKA Nosedrip as a purveyor of the peculiar – a blueprint that has continued with the signing of a record by Japanese singer, Sonoko, called Les Anges, Les Bonheurs. STROOM’s ninth release, it features archived tracks produced by Sonoko in the ’00s long after her last official appearance in 1988 on another Belgian label in Crammed Discs.
Eclectic is how you would describe the record, there isn’t any way round it to be honest. Each track from the Japanese spoken word of ‘Aoi Tori (Dai Go Maku)’ to the more ethereal ‘Danse Avec La Tristesse’ has its well-deserved place and charms within this excellent EP. But for those wanting the top selection, look to B3 track, ‘L’oiseau Bleu’. Featuring French spoken vocals over a bubbly rhythm, it’s particularly unique, with notable influences that could be traced back through various styles apparent around Sonoko’s sphere over the past couple of decades. There’s something about the mysteriousness and randomness of the track that makes it both mesmerising and calm.
Les Anges, Les Bonheurs is out January 1st on STROOM – pre-order direct from the label.