Mermaid (and Manabu)

I had a hunch when I saw these characters walking down the street, one carrying a Pianola Record Store Bag, Pianola being the famously avante-guarde shop beloved by the most curious music listener (and the only place I have ever seen a Moondog pressing that I so regret not buying), that “mermaid” and Manabu might be a fun chat. And if I’m not mistaken, it turns out to be a Tokyo Record Style first, a subject photographed with their OWN record. “mermaid” is a musician and producer and I’ve since found out is a member of “DDM.” “What’s DDM”, you ask? Let me simply copy and paste verbatim something I found out there in the intertubes about it, the 12” in the photo, and about “mermaid.”

“DDM (DANGEROUS DANCE MUSIC) is a movement that spread from the epicenter of the legendary ‘Los Apson?’ record store in Tokyo, Japan. It is a freaky, fetishistic, imagination-driven dance music project. “溶解” – “Yokai” (the name of the 12” track) means “melting” (or more specifically “dissolution”) in English and is produced by mermaid, a member of DDM, under the theme of “DDM disguised as a chill-out rave”. Side A is a suite of songs consisting of “ghost love,” an enveloping tune, “ai no ko,” an uninhibited dub techno piece, and “溶解,” an electronica piece that fantasizes about the ancient times. Side B contains a freaky minimal “bonita” bursting with emotion, and a weird grooving remix by Kuknacke, participating alongside mermaid in the DDM (DANGEROUS DANCE MUSIC) movement.”

Well, there you go. I had a sneak peek on Bandcamp and it’s, for sure, intriguing. Also intriguing is the “Motorcycle Exhaust Mix” CD he was also carrying. I couldn’t find out much about this one but I suspect it’s, possibly a well-known-and-sought-after-by-aficionados-but-out-of-print collection of field recordings of motorcycle engines revving and exhausting at the race circuit that is being re-issued on mermaid’s label “Beer & Records”. I listened for a bit, and for somebody who deeply appreciates motorcycles, motorsports, and mechanical engineers, I can easily get the appeal. Suddenly remembering a similar Porsche recording I once saw at Totoh Records (the location of our next Tokyo Records Style Day – stay tuned,) that I passed once but that I’m now curious to go back and maybe pick up if it’s still there.

Manabu, mermaid’s cohort in the final shot is a shop staff member at HMV in Shibuya where I have spent tons of money, HMV not only having a great collection of all genres of records, but being one of the few shops open til 9pm which I really appreciate. Another hunch I have is that Manabu, whose name I suspect means “Knowledge/Leaning” probably knows HEAPS about music. Some people just have that air about them, and I feel Manabu does. And don’t you just love his “silence kills you” T-shirt? Totally agree with you there, Manabu, and I will have to add you to Tokyo Record Style properly in the not-so-distant future.

Thanks for the short chat on the streets of Shibuya, Gents. It was great to connect and, as I keep saying, “the world gets smaller through music.”

More Tokyo Records Style on the way…

MERMAID – 溶解 (yokai)
Label: Beer & Records – BRB07
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Country: Japan
Released: July, 2023
Genre: House, Techno
Style: ChillRave

Ritsuko Sakata – Motorcycle Exhaust Mix
Label: Beer & Records – BRB05
Format: CD
Country: Japan
Released: 2017
Genre: House, Techno
Style: ChillRave

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