Juma - Aqua Cosmos

DD Records was a Japanese label that existed from 1980 until 1985. In that brief time, they released more than 230 albums, nearly all of which were cassettes. I can only say "more than" 230 because the Discogs entry is incomplete. It stops at number 233 with some gaps in the catalog. Maybe there ere more, maybe not. No one really knows! I haven't been able to find any label history, or much information about any of the main players. DD Records was run by T. Kamada, about whom I know nothing more than his name. Most of the albums on DD Records were made by people who, as far as I've been able to tell from my amateur detective work, never released anything on other labels and seem to have stopped recording at the same time that DD Records stopped publishing. The only exceptions are Kimihude Kusafuka, who released one tape under his given name and one as Techno Menses before going on to noise superstardom as K2; Margarin, who would remain a prolific techno and ambient producer as Woodman, Bathroom Monkeys, Arctic Cat and Macaroniman (among too many other pseudonyms to list here); and Naoki Kasugai, who made some psych rock records and a slew of field recording CDRs later in his "career". Everyone else (Pop Company, 260, Vinyl Bomb, Puppets System and so on) remains a total mystery. Isn't it strange that such a prolific and short-lived scene would remain virtually unknown in today's world of instant online information and 1980s reissue labels?

Koushirou Yoshimatu was one of DD Records' most active participants. I've been able to learn a little bit about him: apparently, he recorded a ton of tapes for DD Records, both under his own name and as Juma, then recorded new age and light pop music and some films. Yoshimatu keeps a YouTube channel with a lot of his recordings set, bizarrely, to still stock images. Some of his early 80s music was homemade new wave that's very much of its time, some is abstract ambience, some is grating machine noise. It's all over the place, as inexplicable as DD Records itself. Luckily, a recent double LP on Bitter Lake collects tracks from Juma's cassettes, making it one of the only DD Records reissues (apart from K2's Vinyl on Demand treatment and a self-released run of Naoki Kasugai LPs and CDRs available only directly from the artist and yet unheard by me). Hopefully, other hometaper archeologists will get on board and mine this label for gold.

To introduce you to the shadowy world of DD Records, here's the first cassette by Juma, released by in 1981.

Juma - Aqua Cosmos


Anonymous,  7 October 2019 at 03:11  

Thanks! Another thing I can cross off my wish list :-)

Anonymous,  15 October 2019 at 01:26  

You are doing God's work by bringing these obscure little Japanese pocket-scenes to a wider attention. Maybe one day when I have a bunch of disposable income (lol) I can finance a field trip to Japan to unearth some of this stuff...Thanks!