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Label:Pass Records – 3F-28002
Vinyl, LP, Album
Genre:Electronic, Rock
Style:Art Rock, Avantgarde, Industrial, Post-Punk


Mixed By [Additional]Shinichi Tanaka
Mixed By [Additional]Shinichi Tanaka

Companies, etc.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A): 3F 28002A 11
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B): 3F 28002B 11

Other Versions (5 of 16)View All

Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
New Submission
Phew (LP, Album, Promo)Pass Records3F-28002Japan1981
New Submission
Phew (LP, Album, Reissue)Pass Records, art unionKEN -1007, KEN-1007Japan1987
Phew (CD, Album, Reissue)Wax Records (5), Pass Records32WXD-104Japan1988
Phew (CD, Album, Reissue)Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L'Acier, Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L'AcierC-DSA 54016, C-DSA54016France1991
Phew (CD, Album, 2nd Edition)Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L'AcierCDSA 54016France1991


iwesterlaken's avatar
Some versions have a bonus track called Kodomo. Also on this YouTube version
bonnicon's avatar
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.