After Dinner

Paradise of Replica

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The second album by Japanese avant-garde pop group After Dinner, Paradise of Replica was released in 1989 by the Swiss label RecRec. Stronger than the band's first effort, this short album (30 minutes) develops a strange but seductive experimental ambient pop atmosphere. Haco's voice cuts through the richly orchestrated textures to sing only a few lines at a time, mainly in Japanese (except for the last song, "I'll Just Go Birdwatching"). On this record she is surrounded by bandmates Yosuke Isshiki (keyboards), Masahiro Kitada (keyboards, drums, guitars), and Tadahiko Yokogawa (keyboards, bass, percussion), plus a dozen guest musicians, including percussionist Ichiro Inoue and violinist Takumi Fukushima (later with Volapük). These delicately chiseled pieces are closer to Haco's first solo CD than After Dinner's eponymous album. The 2001 CD reissue on ReR Megacorp adds 30 minutes of intelligent remixes grouped under the appended title Paradise of Remixes. Pascal Plantinga, Terre Thaemlitz, the duo Skist (Ito Haruna and Samm Bennett), and Joshua McKay (Macha) plunder the original tracks to create their own perceptions of this landmark album. "Akai Kutsu No Ningyo" (Red-Shoed Mermaid) follows the same ambient mood, while the next three dive into more abstract electro-acoustics and lo-fi electronic interpretations. They don't bring essential additional meaning to the album, but they don't interfere with it either, so all in all these 30 minutes of bonus material give the fan something more for his money and show how Paradise of Replica remains as modern today as it did in 1989.

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