Dark Entries made another investment in the re-issue/re-discover series (Carlos Peron, Lena Platonos, Algebra Suicide etc.) with their July 2016 release of the synth wave/post punk duo Nagamatzu.

The band formed around 1980 consisting of  2 members from Ipswich, while their name is inspired from a character by J.G. Ballard’s “Atrocity Exhibition“, the very same novel that lent its name to the famous Joy Division‘s song. Their sound is consistent to the name of the record company that is focused in the darker spectrum of music. Stephen Jarvis & Andrew Lagowski tend to create cold wave soundscapes with strong synth sequencer parts while the guitar section reveals their post punk influences.

This LP is in fact a compilation of unofficially released songs that were originally distributed in tapes. Dark Entries remastered the tracks for vinyl format and sealed the package by including a poster and some liner notes from Stephen Jarvis himself. The main advantage of the selected tracklist is that it provides the listener with a broad view of the band’s work. From live versions to alternative mixes this compilation will allow you to travel  with the sounds of the complete Nagamatzu experience.  What is most interesting is the way different ingredients are mingled to produce a harmonious result distinguished by the quality of the original. Nagamatzu did not invent the wheel in their genre, however acid basslines, industrial samples, ambient pads and spoken word whispers provide the element of the surprise that secures the band’s sound from being another Clock DVA clone.

If you are looking for a “hit” like track in this release probably ‘Shroud‘ will leave you satisfied with its catchy lead. Unfortunately due to a mix up ‘Shroud‘ is listed as ‘Spenkelink And Darden’ while other tracks are listed with different names as well. However, my personal favourite is the one with the haunting vocals of Andrew’s wife Yukari (‘Under The Roof‘) where goosebumps are guaranteed if one is wearing headphones.

Overall, this record is a purchase you will not regret if you wish to be introduced to the entirety of the inspired Nagamatzu’s underground sound.

Thomas Gounaropoulos