Grim is the solo endeavor of Jun Konagaya, emerging from the remnants of White Hospital, his iconic noise duo from the early 1980s alongside Tomosada Kuwahara. Spanning nearly three decades, Grim has navigated the realms of industrial music, power electronics, and noise. Positioned within the initial wave of Japanese noise, Konagaya distinguishes himself by drawing inspiration from sources beyond his immediate circle, channeling influences from acts like Whitehouse and SPK, as well as eclectic reference points such as the traditional folk music of Tibet.
The 1987 EP Message is a pivotal release within Grim’s discography, part of a trio of works from the 1980s, alongside the full-length Folk Music (1986, Eskimo Records) and the EP Amaterasu (1985, Eskimo Records/G.A. Propaganda). While the preceding releases align with expectations for a seminal figure in Japanese noise, Message diverges onto a unique path. With its six songs, the EP ventures into pop and folk territories, evoking comparisons to Daniel Johnson, Syd Barrett, Sebadoh, and Tenniscoats. It unfolds like a stroll through an ancient fairy tale forest—hazy, magical, and slightly eerie.
Dreamy and meandering, drawing from ’60s psychedelia, DIY aesthetics, and folk influences, Grim’s Message stands as a masterpiece of underground Japanese pop. It boldly advances while challenging the boundaries of its predominant scene. Following the original 1987 release, Konagaya explored diverse paths outside the sonic realm, later resuming a prolific career in more explicit noise territories. Message retained its status as a sought-after, rare artifact, offering a glimpse into the varied talents and moods underlying Konagaya’s oeuvre.
Contrary to the widespread perception of Japanese noise as full-throttle fury, Message reveals Jun Konagaya’s one-man project crafting stunningly beautiful passages in the realm of pop and folk. Collaborating with Yukio Nagoshi on guitar and percussion, and A. Takahashi on vocals—with technical support from Tomosada Kuwahara, co-founder of White Hospital—the album presents a unique fusion of ’60s psychedelia and Lo-Fi DIY aesthetics. This second vinyl reissue by Urashima, limited to 199 copies on white vinyl, extends the original EP with new noise-oriented reworks by Grim, effectively doubling its length to a full album. Additionally, the release includes a digital download of the entire Messagealbum, allowing you to experience Grim’s sonic journey digitally and on the go.
A visionary, wild, and eccentric creation, the LP is released in a highly limited edition with a 12” original insert and a sheet featuring new liner notes. A must-have for Grim enthusiasts, Japanese noise aficionados, and fans of ’80s DIY psychedelic pop.