Bitter Lake

Portray Heads "S/T" 2xLP

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  • Regular price $26.00


Recommended! While remaining predominantly unknown except amongst die-hard collectors, Portray Heads has proven to be one of the best kept secrets of the Japanese electronic underground. Tohru Tomita (冨田徹) formed Portray Heads in 1984 in Matsuyama City, the capital of Shikoku Island, with fellow band members Ayumi Tokunaga (徳永あゆみ) and Mikiharu Doi (土居幹治), just after dissolving his solo bedroom project Onanie Bazooka. The trio entered the studio in August that same year and recorded several songs. Two songs from the recorded sessions were released as the band's debut 7" single, a flexi entitled Elaborate Dummy — a lost classic — on Kobe's now defunct Kageroh Records.

Soon after the Elaborate Dummy release, Ayumi, the band's vocalist, departed and Portray Heads worked on recruiting a replacement. They tried several vocalists until, finally, they found Yumi Ochi (越智由美) - who was a perfect fit. She joined the band and the trio went back into the studio between February and April 1986 and recorded Oratorio, their second and final release. They self-released it on cassette in October and as a 7" in December that same year.

As the band was based in a conservative and isolated city, Portray Heads rarely had the opportunity to perform live and eventually disbanded with their two releases quietly becoming collector's items. Upon making contact, band leader Tohru Tomita revealed to us two unheard demo recordings, one from each vocalist featured on their records. These recordings are not merely disposable studio experiments, but actually rival or surpass in quality the group’s released music. With this double LP, Minimal Wave Records and Bitter Lake Recordings present to you the recorded discography of one of the most overlooked and underrated minimal synth projects coming out of Japan in the 1980s.

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