Logic System - Venus LP
Wewantsounds reissue Logic System's Venus, originally released in 1981. Reissued outside of Japan for the first time in 40 years. Hideki Matsutake started his career as the assistant of Japanese electronic music master Isao Tomita in the early '70s, he went on to work with Ryuichi Sakamoto and then Yellow Magic Orchestra as their keyboard programmer and unofficial fourth member. In 1981 he started his own Logic System project recording Venus that year in Los Angeles with Don Grusin, Nathan East, and Michael Boddicker, brilliantly mixing synth funk, ambient, and boogie with a touch of fusion jazz predating vaporwave by a mere 30 years.
While the first album, Logic had a harder techno feel, the second one, Venus, was different affair. Recorded in Los Angeles at the new state of the art Yamaha Studio, it was loosely themed on the Greek goddess Venus and had a funkier more organic sound. For the album, Matsutake had asked a handful of American musicians to provide songs he would then add his synth magic touch to. The updated sound was achieved by switching from the Moog III to the E-mu modular System (which Matsutake brought over to LA) and other synths like the Prophet 5, the Roland MC-8 and TR 808, and the Yamaha GS-1, a forerunner of the DX7. The result is an amazing futuristic mix of electronic music and early '80s funk, announcing many genres to come, from techno and house to French electro and vaporwave. From the breezy ambient synth of "I Love You" to the city pop edge of "Be Yourself" (originally written by Nathan East for Debra Laws) and the vocoder-led Daft Punk-ish "Take A Chance", Venus is a fascinating album that both pushes the boundaries of electronic music and is yet strangely accessible and beautiful.
The other key element of Venus is the artwork designed by legendary Japanese illustrator Pater Sato. Sato had started in Japan in the early '70s doing many album covers for Japanese artists, including Tatsuro Yamashita's cult Spacy LP (1977) before moving to New York in 1979 to pursue a career in fashion and advertising. His airbrush style became hugely influential over the years. The original album came with a beautiful eight-panel insert illustrated by Sato which Wewantsounds has reproduced. Also includes obi strip and a second insert featuring credits and line-up, plus liner notes by Hashim Kotaro Bharoocha with an exclusive interview of Hideki Matsutake. Remastered from the original tapes.