Saboten – Saboten


There are plenty of facets of Japan’s rich pop past that I’ve found myself immersed in, but so far the post-punk landscape is one in which I’ve barely scratched the surface. While folk, psych, and jazz remain fairly well-worn terrain, the terse, buoyant bounce of ‘80s rhythms were also well represented, but not as necessarily well mapped on the reissue circuit. That’s just now beginning to change and this reissue from crucial group Saboten is a great place to start. The band took their inspiration from the sparseness of Erik Satie, but there’s plenty here to love for those who’ve been enamored with Kleenex/Liliput, Suburban Lawns, or even a more stripped bare vision of ESG. The band’s songs are catchy, but brittle. The melodies bounce with a brightness that only makes the underlying angles of guitar and bass all the more striking.

The band would surface on a few clutch comps that are also great for exploring this era of Japanese post-punk and emerging indie voices, including Huddle No Trouble, which also boasts entries from Shonen Knife and D-Day. They’d appear a year later on the more experimentally minded Welcome To Dreamland comp alongside Keiji Haino, Katra Turana, and the noise-ridden Honeymoons. The band’s sound hovered between the two camps — just a bit too esoteric for the punks, and a bit too catchy for the true noise freaks. In retrospect that dynamic is what makes the band so appealing, with their debut landing as a hidden treasure of wobbly pop and squirm dynamics that are just fine for dancing into oblivion. The reissue is out now on Sub Discos.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE or HERE

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top