Phew ‎– Phew

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Tracklist

Closed 3:17
Signal 4:28
Doze 5:17
Dream 3:20
Mapping 3:45
Aqua 3:51
P-Adic 3:33
Fragment 3:58
Circuit 1:38

Versions (11)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
3F-28002 Phew Phew(LP, Album) Pass Records 3F-28002 Japan 1981 Sell This Version
32WXD-104 Phew Phew(CD, Album, RE) Wax Records (5), Pass Records 32WXD-104 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
CDSA 54016 Phew Phew(CD, Album, 2nd) Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L'Acier CDSA 54016 France 1991 Sell This Version
C-DSA54016 Phew Phew(CD, Album, Ltd, RE) Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L'Acier C-DSA54016 France 1991 Sell This Version
C-DSA54016 Phew Phew(CD, Album, RE) Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L'Acier C-DSA54016 France 1991 Sell This Version
C-DSA 54016, C-DSA54016 Phew Phew(CD, Album, RE) Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L'Acier, Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L'Acier C-DSA 54016, C-DSA54016 France 1991 Sell This Version
WAX-6 Phew Phew(CD, Album, RE) Pass Records WAX-6 Japan 1996 Sell This Version
WAX-101 Phew Phew(CD, Album, RE) Pass Records WAX-101 Japan 2001 Sell This Version
SSAP-006 Phew Phew(CD, Album, RE, RM) P-Vine Records SSAP-006 Japan 2005 Sell This Version
CRCD5092 Phew Phew +2(CD, Album, RE, RM) Clinck Records CRCD5092 Japan 2014 Sell This Version
KEN -1007 Phew Phew(LP, Album, RE) Pass Records KEN -1007 Japan Unknown Sell This Version

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iwesterlaken

iwesterlaken

May 9, 2015
referencing Phew, LP, Album, 3F-28002
Some versions have a bonus track called Kodomo. Also on this YouTube version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHRUJo0G2i4
bonnicon

bonnicon

June 2, 2012
referencing Phew, LP, Album, 3F-28002
The vocalist is a Japanese lady named PHEW whom I feel I must compare to NICO although to be honest her voice is higher & reaches further. The music itself - supplied by those well-known innovators HOLGER CZUKAY, JAKI LIEBEZEIT, & CONNY PLANK has an atmosphere which used to surround NICO’s music at it’s best, although it’s overall far more interesting.
It opens rather with the contradictory “Closed”, a catchy song but musically one of the least impressive on the album - the drums sound so basic they almost undermined the churning, chirping synths and the minimal percussive bass. "Signal" bursts in with a nervy, tense synth rhythm stretched taut, it’s atmosphere the moment before a storm breaks, the tense cluster of milliseconds which divide angry words from physical violence. Chugging synths pop and burst through this almost jungle rhythm. “Doze” is another tense track truly showing just how close to NICO she sounds. More sadly still it hints at what the ex-VELVET UNDERGROUND member was capable of, but never really delivered - certainly not to this effect anyway. A dark, yet not really threatening piece of music - more a mental darkness than a physical one. "Dream" sets you wondering if this might not actually be the late recluse singing. The music itself is fairly sparse and minimal, and achieves great effect that a more dense sound couldn’t - short wave radio, piano, weird guitar, a little synth. One of the highlights of the album. "Mapping" comes into the world on flat metal drumming sounds which sound like muted cowbell. A horn section and bizarre synths appear like fleeting, mocking lemures, rising and falling in fractured phase. “Aqua” is again a fairly minimal piece, it’s atmosphere rising, pregnant with tension, gravid with possibilities which, perhaps thankfully, are never realized. "P-Adic" is a dense electronic pulse, quicker in tempo yet still as atmospheric. PHEW’s voice is distant & echoey, like those wailing Japanese voices heard on "Blade Runner". It has a Punk flavour to it, and might even get some of the more liberal-minded dancing. “Fragment” is another of this reviewers favourites, the single pitch synth like the sonar sound from the old "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" programmes, frantic, phased / flanged drums, pulsing bass and occasionally brief intrusion of other instruments make an interesting vessel for the voice which fits this like a glove. The album ends all too soon with "Circuit", a version of the opening track without the harsh drums or vocals - the simplistic synths sounding effective on their own.

CAN completeists will want this one of course, but even if you don’t like them, its worth digging out & giving a listen. I personally prefer it to the little I have heard Iron either CAN or NICO with a couple of exceptions either way. After only a handful of listens. I’d say it has potential to become a ‘classic'.

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.