Monday, March 4, 2019
After Dinner - Souvenir Cassette (cassette, ReR Megacorp, 1988)
After Dinner was formed in 1981 by Haco, a vocalist who wrote both the lyrics and music. The group had a fluid line-up with members from many varied musical backgrounds brought together according to each recording or live performance project. Their collective backgrounds encompass new wave, Japanese traditional, contemporary music, and avant-garde rock.
In 1982, German national radio selected the band's first single (EP), After Dinner / Cymbals at Dawn (Kagero Records, Japan) and placed it on their permanent playlist. In 1983, The album (LP), Glass Tube (Kang-Gang, Japan), was released domestically, and distributed abroad where it received much attention in the European and American "free music" scenes. Sounds, the British music paper, described the record as a unique fusion of Japanese traditional music and electronics "with the delicious voice of Haco holding things together." In 1984, the band made their foreign debut with the album (LP), After Dinner (Recommended Records, UK). In 1987, the group was invited to perform at France's Mimi Festival, and did their first European tour. The band's concert at ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) received the unanimous praise of music publications such as NME, LAM, and Melody Maker, which commented that After Dinner was helping to "reverse Japan's massive importation of Western mega-pop." In 1988, Souvenir Cassette (Recommended Records, UK / Zero Records, Japan), which was tape-edited by Haco from After Dinner's concerts in Europe and Japan, was released.
In 1989, the album Paradise Of Replica (RecRec Music, Switzerland / Zero Records, Japan) was released. The album was described as "a stimulating voyage into a landscape of feelings, sometimes cheerful, bouncing about to change into a reflective melancholic mood." The group successfully undertook a tour of 19 cities in Europe. In 1990, the band also took part in five international music festivals, achieving even greater popularity in Europe. In the same year Haco appeared in the film Step Across the Border, a documentary on Fred Frith, and one of After Dinner's songs, which she played on piano, was included in the soundtrack CD.
In 1991, the band performed at Canada's Victoriaville Festival. ReR Megacorp (UK) released the CD, After Dinner/Live Editions, which re-releaseed After Dinner's 1st album (LP, 1984) and 5 songs from Souvenir Cassette (1988), and 4 additional live tracks (1986-1990). This marked the end of After Dinner.