music

Essential Shibuya-kei reading: Momus’s Creation Records era

Amongst UBUWEB’s stunning assortment of avant-garde, experimental and influential music, one can find a gem incredibly relevant to this particular blog; Momus’s six albums for Creation Records, in full, along with track-by-track commentary written by the man himself. The “Creation Years” (as Cherry Red Records’ fantastic, and tragically out-of-print, 2-disc compilation album Forbidden Software Timemachine dubs this period of Momus’s career) represent an artist coming into his own after his beginnings in The Happy Family and an admittedly unimpressive solo debut (1986’s Circus Maximus), and they contain some of his best work. The Creation years, additionally, represent the peak of Momus’s commercial performance. 1989’s Don’t Stop the Night produced his sole UK chart hit with “Hairstyle of the Devil”, which Momus writes “should have been the song that made [him] a star.” However, in his failure to join the hallowed ranks of his Creation Records companions like Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine in critical acclaim and sales numbers, he found something far more musically interesting. As Momus was an integral part of Shibuya-kei in its formative years (as well as figures like Mike Alway, who he references multiple times in his commentary), these albums are truly essential to understanding Shibuya-kei’s complex relationship with music outside of the Japanese islands. Best of all, you can hear them for free!

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