Birds are singing, a soft female voice embraces the stars, then the funk hits the fan: the second album of mysterious Japanese singer Nadja haunts immediately and marks one of the most exquisite reissues in the ever-growing catalogue of Studio Mule. Originally released in 1989 as promo only CD on the Japanese label Polystar, the album features some of the finest eighties pop funk fusion arrangements of the era. A deeply enchanting lost gem, that gets listeners instantly into heavy repeat addiction.
All ten songs are arranged by a group of grandmasters of their art. Japanese saxophonist, composer and music producer Yasuaki Shimizu, man behind the electronic ambient fusion classic “Kakashi”, was in charge for tunes like “Wac-Wack”, a neon light funk pop song, full of soft big city eroticism, ultra-slick synth lines and real funkateer explosions. It’s followed by “?????”, the most stirring pop tune on the album, that originally was written by French composer, multi-instrumentalist, actor and singer Areski Belkacem, known for his and long-time collaborations with French avantgarde singer Brigitte Fontaine. Shimizu transformed the song into a low hanging funk jewel, with a cool rolling bassline, dub depth and synths that cry for cosmic help. Above all Nadja signs with a sexy chill, that somehow could only emerge in the 1980ees, when the cold war even made pop music real cool. The follow up is named “??????”, features again music by Belkacem, this time transformed by Shimizu into electronic erotic pop - dreamy, witchy and precisely musical composed.
The B-Side opens with “Velvet Rain”, a funky urban boogie composition by Japanese keyboard player, composer and producer Akira Inoue, enlarged with glimmer camp kitsch, that immediately puts a smile on the listeners faces. It gets followed by “Paradise Catcher”, a soft pop tune with longing string and horn sections, arranged by legendary Jamaican rhythm and production duo Sly & Robbie. It somehow marks one of the strange
Electro / Electronic