Japanese Telecom

Ever since Juan Atkins dubbed himself Model 500 in the mid-'80s, it has become somewhat of a tradition for Detroit electro artists to shroud themselves in mystery, hiding behind odd monikers and leaving listeners to guess the alter ego. Add Japanese Telecom to this confusing roster of colorfully named Detroit electro artists, alongside Ectomorph, Cybotron, Dopplereffekt, AUX 88, Drexicya, Adult, and countless others. Japanese Telecom's unique sound differs a bit from the aforementioned Detroit artists' tendency to craft dark, foreboding pieces of analog-sounding funky beats with the trademark techno synths. Instead, the artist toys with pop-culture motifs with their references to Japanese culture and focuses on intricate collages of quirky sounding beats. The underlying aura of the music isn't dark but surprisingly light, making it rather accessible. Similar to J. Burger's work as the Modernist, Japanese Telecom focuses on a similar warm, friendly style with catchy hooks that contradicts the otherwise dark and hard tendencies of the genre. Japanese Telecom first surfaced in late 1999 with a vinyl-only, self-titled release on the Detroit upstart label Intuit-Solar. This same label then released a 12" of remixes by the Men from PACK (better known as I-F), John Selway, DJ Assault, and Perspects before ultimately releasing these two records as a single compact disc in fall 2000. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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