Very thoughtful of Tokyo’s Masaki Kubo – long active in the cassette underground, with releases in Japan and Europe dating back years now – to issue these vivid missives from unspecified but alluring locales. “In Today’s World” opens the affair with a honey-sweet drone. “Destroy What Destroys You” is an agitated daydream in a video-arcade. The pleasant “Paint This December Blue” paints the November ahead a brighter colour, in any case. With its delicate, delayed guitar and distant cries, “Geometries of the Imagination” is a glider flight over the rainforest of your choice, flanked by birds of paradise.
That might be the most appropriate allusion – Kubo as airborne cartographer, plotting out the topography of an expanse of music roughly delineated by the years 1975 to 1985, and by the overlapping territories of prog rock, post-punk, and protean techno, dub delirium and primitive tape-deck deconstructionism. Maps may change in their minute details, of course. Farmlands become suburbs, factories fall into ruin. The bigger picture endures, though. Similarly, Kubo describes these musical ideas and approaches from a distance, erasing familiar song structures and subcultural signifiers (save for the grand finale, the hilarious “S. Sontag in the Psykick Dancehall” – Genesis P-Orridge, you shall be missed). As such, they become a catalogue of patterns shaped into distinct moments and moods, abstract reflections of the collectively contemporary and the perennially personal. Sufficient postage is affixed, and they’re addressed to any receptive ears.