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[CP 300-301-302 CD] DAM Binaural & Audio Union Recording Contests, 1971-1979.

Creel Pone

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May 2024; well, we made it! Somehow. #300; it almost doesn't seem real...

In the 21 years since the first scaled-down models of "Stock" records produced for the "Extremely Frustrating" installation first started materializing (eventually actualized as the "Proto Creel Pone [P.C.P.]" program) & the 19 since the comparatively flimsy (yet entirely love-labored upon) replicas of Thom Hamilton's "Pieces For Kohn" LP were first handed out to friends & family, the longevity of such an enterprise was never considered... and yet, here we are. 

To celebrate this momentous occasion in style, the C.P. "Cabal" have brought their collective heads together & have scoured the bins worldwide, finally turning up the first 9 in this series of "Amateur Tape Music Contest" LPs issued yearly in Japan from 1971 - 1979 & have presented the whole kit & kaboodle here as a trio of double-disc replica editions; each presenting three of the LPs across two discs. It's hard to underestimate the heft of these given the ideas & framework at play; while similar programs along these lines have come to light (see [CP 195-195.5 CD]) there is simply nothing else of this scale out there. 

To give you some back-story; "Audio Union" was a chain of stereo & audio equipment stores situated throughout Japan that eventually led to the current "Disk Union" record shops; you may have heard tales of the epic Shinjuku outpost's storied 7th "Avant Garde Floor" (where truth be told more than a few of the C.P. originals originated; personally I always fared better at the less-traveled Ochanomizu & Kichijoji locations). 

At some point in the late 60s, the "Daiichi-Kateidenki Audio Member's Club" (a record club owned by Daiichi Katei Denki Inc.) began producing calibration, test-tone, & hearing-test LPs intended for home use, eventually branching out into a pair of LPs of Field Recordings intended to show the format's wide dynamic range, "Binaural Test Recording" & "Binaural / Recording Contest Vol.2" LP.

The latter started a trend of yearly contests of user-submitted pieces ostensibly designed as fodder for shop-floor demonstrations of home stereo equipment, and as early as "Binaural / Recording Contest Vol.2" we start to get a peek into the ingenuity & creativity of the average Japanese Audiophile, as the record is littered with bizarre, decentralized tape-speed garbled examples of everyday life, often overmodulated beyond recognition & devoid of any Tony Schwartz-esque social commentary, reveling in pure sound. 

Following Volume 2 (this is all conjecture put together by the hive-mind, bear with us here) the series jumps to Audio Union's in-house label where the series of "Recording Contests" continues clear through the tail-end of the 70s, and it's here that things begin to really take shape (witness tracks such as the 6th's "Mutated Electronic Psychedelic Noise Collage", or the 4th's apt "NOISE MUSIC").