Japan are the band that time forgot. 

Of the 80's but not defined by it. Arcane, introverted, sumptuous and self possessed they come across as  pretty boy posers to their detractors.

True, Japan cultivated a Manga like vision of a futuristic boy band. David Sylvian's ridiculous handsome visage, that flop of blonde hair, that languid baritone.  

There was their oriental obsession - The band's monicker, visions of China, the Mao suits.  It suggested aesthetic over substance. A look rather than a sound.

Yet the music was wildly ambitious.

Oil On Canvas - another blurred crusade. 

Oil On Canvas - another blurred crusade. 

Listening to their 1983 double live album "Oil On Canvas" reveals a band as sure of their musical vision as the one on the mirror.

Spacious and Luxuriant, Japan were searching in similar territory to other pioneers like Brian Eno and Talking Heads rather than contemporaries like Tears For Fears or Spandau Ballet.

It's difficult listening for lazy ears but thrilling and intriguing for those hungry for a different sound.  

Gentleman may well have taken Polaroids. And in doing so they left quite an impression.

Comment