Jun Togawa - Suki Suki Daisuki

Over the course of a year's work on Dig That Treasure, I've been continuously blown away by the quality of the pop music that faded into obscurity in Japan in the '70s and '80s. Pop acts that were a little too edgy, unconventional or experimental for the mainstream slipped into a more niche market. Unsurprisingly, these Japanese artists - forward-thinking but well-informed by the past - are often connected to one another. There is a 'scene', I guess. At the fore were Yellow Magic Orchestra. Massive in Asia and popular worldwide, YMO aren't exactly 'obscure'. Where things get interesting, however, is in the side projects of one particular member: Haruomi Hosono. As well as being a core member of YMO, Hosono played a hand in folk-rock group Happy End and was one third of the supergroup 'Hosono, Suzuki, Yamashita' that put out the mindblowing 1978 record Coral Reef. Hosono - and his YMO bandmates - were also supposedly responsible for writing Tamao Koike's gorgeous dream-pop classic 'Automne Dans Un Miroir'. No surprise then that Hosono is affiliated with Jun Togawa. Although he wasn't involved in this particular song, he did write and produce other songs in Togawa's repertoire. When a friend first played me Jun Togawa's 'Suki Suki Daisuki' earlier this summer, I was a little baffled. But after a couple more plays, that feeling was replaced - this song is joyous. It's witty, it's energetic, it's a little scary and, most importantly, it's catchy as hell. Sure, with a title like 'Suki Suki Daisuki' ('I Love You So Much'), it's kind of a love song. But when the chorus builds into a grating cry of "say you love me or I'll kill you", you realise something's up. That doesn't stop it from being a goddamn great pop song though.

Label: Alfa Records
Year: 1985
Genre: Synth-Pop, J-Pop, New Wave

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