I think this is a case where the description of Simon James’ latest release speaks for itself:
This vinyl and CD package collects electronic music created for an abandoned space: Akiha Den Den, the crumbling amusement park at the centre of a surreal radio drama, and the setting for a story woven from the very fabric of radio.
Radiophonic and other dimensional library inspired cues soundtrack dilapidated ghost train rides, rusty dodgems and the domed Panatrope. The dark musings inside the mind of a talking thought-mining cockroach, a mysterious character known only as Monday Man and the main protagonist, M.R Cuttings (played by Star Wars’ Ian McDiarmid), a radio ham picking up the desperate transmissions from this strange ethereal place they call Akiha Den Den.
Simon James has conjured up an eerie world of pure escapist sound for this fever dream of radio waves and half heard transmissions. The full radio drama can be heard at www.akihadenden.com
Radio interference, snatches of intercepted broadcasts, codes, tones, signals and other haunting sounds from the wireless feature heavily alongside the soundtrack conjured up on an array of vintage, unfathomable synthesisers including the Buchla 200e Electric Music Box and the EMS VCS3. Occasionally the voices of Akiha Den Den’s inhabitants and M.R Cuttings burn through the white noise offering a glimpse of their tangled patchbay story.
Released on a specially requested opaque clear vinyl LP, the physical package also includes a redacted Akiha Den Den booklet (all artwork designed by Nick Taylor) and a beautiful bonus CD filled with over 70 minutes of Buchla Modular, EMS, drones, dramatics, cassette 4 track abuse and noise from the Akiha Den Den radio series.
The 70 minute CD “The Panatrope” is NOT available for download and is only available as part of the vinyl LP package.
Simon James has previously released space age synthesiser records as The Simonsound (with Matt Ford) and as celebrated night time doom project Black Channels (with Becky Randall) on Death Waltz Originals and Castles in Space.
This package is a must for fans of radio, inventive electronica, radiophonics, vintage synths and imagined worlds. It’s the future and the passed.
Legendary electronic pioneer Scanner has reviewed the radio drama:
“…. employs some truly inventive and exploratory use of sound in its structure…. frequently submerging and corroding voices beyond all recognition, as if burning the meaning of the words in a sonic inferno. “Akiha Den Den offers an immersive world for the listeners to lose themselves in a most alluring fashion. Free of the screen, let your ears roam around this imaginary world and let the sound take you into a lost world of fact and fiction, balancing on the borderlands of illusion and reality”.-Electronic Sound Magazine.