Monday, January 5, 2015

Field Works Label

Well, since my last post brought up the notion of record labels, for this post i'm going to do a few pretty obscure groups all in one, all united by the completely under the radar independent label Field Works. I don't believe I have ever had any reason to take notice of Field Works, or had heard of them in any fashion whatsoever until i grabbed a cheap Supersnazz EP because it was supersnazz and i had never heard of the ep before. when i got it i took notice of the record label and looked a little deeper. why was there a supersnazz ep (very very early supersnazz) that i had never heard of? what other forgotten releases was this label responsible for? turns out, a shit ton. i know their catalog put out at least 60 releases.. nearly all of which are groups i've never heard of before, so the quality of these releases is unknown... but i am of course attracted to these like a mosquito to your face, so i will hunt down as many as possible. (it intrigues me even more that the ones i can locate on amazon japan used tend to go for giant buckets of cash) I don't know who Field Works was or what their motivation was.. but it seems like the majority of their catalog are groups who never managed to record any other releases. one and done's. its a curious thing, don't you think? it would make sense if they only put out 8 or 10 recordings.. but at least 60!? that's a lot of work for groups who never amounted to anything. that's the kind of shit i find fascinating. So far i have managed to snag 5 releases. I think it is noteworthy too, to notice that all 5 of the things i have found so far are really from entirely separate genres. And they are interesting enough to keep my hunt on for more. 

Supersnazz, named as The Super Snazz on this early release, has always been a female fronted garagey punk band, but their lineup has changed a lot over the years and it seems vocalist michi (as michiyo here) is the only founding member to make the full journey. In this early version of the group there definitely seems to be a little more 'girly' vibe going on, especially vocally. as the group would later get punkier i think michi got a little less squeaky. fans of the band will be interested in this release though, and otherwise, if you are into girl bands and punky garage, there's nothing to complain about here. a quality release. their sound here clearly isn't yet their own as they pull primarily from sort of 50's doowop bubble gum pop vibes. they do it well, but you can tell its mostly imitation at this early stage in their career.
Supersnazz (1991.07.21) (ep) Groove In! [V0] {FWCR-19} {Field Works}

Bran-New Lover is one of those in-between bands. i mean, come on.. look at that cover! they don't strike me as a 'visual kei' band necessarily, but i think they were damn close. they've got a similar sound to some of the groups who were in the process of inventing the genre (don't fucking argue with me about visual kei being a genre, bitch), with that sort of post goth new wave influence, but at times they also sound kinda just like a plain old rock band. not quite hard rock or blues, but close. ya know what i mean? no? good. anyway, i think this ep is quite delicious. you should give it a spin.
Bran-New Lover (1991.07.21) (ep) Bran-New Lover [V0] {FWCR-20} {Field Works}

Love Chameleons are a fairly generic rock group and there's only three tracks here to judge them on, but don't let that word deter you from checking them out. their groove is consistent and enjoyable and their vocal melodies are sufficiently catchy. 
Love Chameleons (1991.10.21) (ep) Higher [V0] {FWCR-30} {Field Works}

I was super excited to get my hands on BabooShka once i saw a picture of the cover. i was hoping for a mind blowing jun togawa-esque new wave trip or something like mahalik halili. i mean, a girl band dressed like gypsies on a cool indie label from the early 90s. come on! well, i was a little disappointed, but that's really my own fault for letting my expectations get out of hand. but really, this ep is still quite good. its a little poppier than i wanted it to be, but truthfully, its pretty decent pop. (watch out for those synths on the first track though. yikes!) in fact.. once you get past the first track, which is completely skip worthy you do get into some pretty eclectic grooves. tracks 2, 4 and 5 are all pretty interesting in their own rights, with Egypt being probably the closest to what i wanted this group to sound like in my head, and could easily sit in playlists next to some of your favorite new wave girls of the time.
BabooShka (1992.01.21) (ep) BabooShka [V0] {FWCR-39} {Field Works}

Ray-la are hold-over 80's hard rockers with a desire to blow up the big stadiums with chanting fans and pumping fists. Unfortunately I guess they didn't make it. But they sound like they could have! High energy, fat riffs, wailing vocals. What more could you want from hard rock? I actually like this little ep better than some of the more famous hard rock groups of the time. 
Ray-la (1992.07.23) (ep) Demo [V0] {FWCR-57} {Field Works}

1 comment:

  1. That BRAN-NEW LOVER CD looks really intriguing! I'll be trying to dig up a copy of it for myself ...guess I've got some wading through BUCK-TICK and DEAD OR ALIVE releases ahead of me, haha!