Originally released by P.S.F. Records in 1991, the indispensable Tokyo Flashback compilation was a gateway drug for many listeners, shining a light on some of Japan’s most deeply fried underground acts, including Keiji Haino, Ghost, White Heaven and more. It remains one of the best entry points to this fertile (and ongoing) scene – especially in Black Editions‘ labor of love double-LP reissue (the first time the comp has been available on vinyl), which looks as good as it sounds. Historical importance aside, Tokyo Flashback is just a fantastic listen from side A to side D, whether it’s Marble Sheep’s massive, Hawkwind-worthy opening jam to Ghost’s acid-drenched psych folk improv. It’s been altering minds worldwide for more than a quarter century now – let it alter yours.
Black Editions has also brought two more essential P.S.F. LPs back into print this year (with more forthcoming in the months and years ahead). High-Rise’s II is an incredible kick-out-the-jams, needles-in-the-red blowout. The Tokyo power trio originally went under the name Psychedelic Speed Freaks, which is a bit on the nose, but remains as good a description as any. Turn this one way up. You can also turn up Keiji Haino’s Watashi Dake?, first released in 1981, but you may get some concerned looks from your loved ones. It has to be one of the most harrowing records ever made, with Haino’s strangled shrieks and whispers matched only by his intense, stark guitar work. Not an easy listen by any stretch, but give it your attention and its haunting, strange beauty starts to emerge. words / t wilcox