Like so many lost classics of modern Japanese music, the prolific Susumu Yokota’s monumental Acid Mt. Fuji album (1994) was initially only released on CD, and has never been made available on the cumbersome but beloved vinyl format until now. Not quite as zen as the cover art suggests, the eleven pillars of austere techno contained within are as monolithic as the titular Fuji itself, unhurriedly shapeshifting like the omnipresent peak appearing and reappearing on Japan’s distant horizon line. Not sure if anyone else has pointed this out already but it seems like the record has been richly sculpted to resemble an actual mountain; perfectly symmetrical with the placid, sea-level bookends “Zenmai” and “Tanuki” situated at the album’s base, moving upwards into the hypnotic “Kinoko,” “Meijijingu” and “Alphaville” on either side, lurching further skyward with “Saboten,” “Oh my God,” “Oponche,” “Ao-oni” and “Akafuji” delivering on the album’s acid promises, and finally, the wispy and breathless drum trax “Tambarin” teetering dead center atop the mountain’s snow-capped apex. We’re partial to the misty A and D sides, particularly “Kinoko” and “Tanuki,” but lovers of vintage Plastikman needn’t shy away from the album’s more acidic moments. At times, Acid Mt. Fuji can be as brutal as the elements at 12,000 feet, and the back cover of the original CD release (on Sublime Records, ha) promises a “Pure Techno Experience,” which we have no choice but to agree with. The eleven tracks are remastered and spread over four sides of heavy 180g vinyl, housed in a gorgeous matte sleeve with download code and a full color printed insert featuring a touching tribute to the album’s creator, who sadly passed away in 2015. Recommended.
- 180g double vinyl pressing
- originally released on CD in 1994
- first time on vinyl
- includes printed insert
- digital download included
- music label: Midgar 2018
reviewed by tom violence 01/2019