Kyoto – Venetian Blinds
From Kyoto – Venetian Blinds
Released on ARS Records, 1984, Belgium
There’s a lot about this record that is immediately appealing, and most importantly an artwork which does not deceive: a band named Kyoto, which name is written in a mock Japanese font, a drawing which symbolically recall the name of the song – that is to say vaporwave-friendly drawing of a Venetian mask and the most allegorical impression of venetian blinds (succession of black lines) – and of course, the big pink « 12″ disco single » in the corner.
To us, Venetian Blinds is a close-to-perfect Belgium Synth-Pop hit: a sensual voice that speaks rather than sings cryptical lyrics (« I see no evil, I hear no evil, I speak no evil« ), lush production and mixing (with its metallic percussive sample and its deep piano chords) … Something that would find its place next to the ABSOLUTE classic Check On The List by Richard Sanderson.
Who is responsible for such a perfectly balanced tune ? It’s quite hard to say… Firstly, Venetian Blinds is the only tune released by Kyoto, there’s not even another one on the B-side (It’s a Dub, which we don’t play often, as it obviously lacks the great vocals). There are a few names that we can’t really identify, but the ones that seem to be the most important (as they are credited as producers and engineers) are the names of Gaby Lang and Chris Wolters.
Gaby Lang released a handful of Italo and Synth-Pop 12″ (including the nice 1.2.3. O’ Clock) and a couple of decent FM-friendly Pop albums, but nothing we know that would be quite as good as Venetian Blinds. The other very appealing name on the cover is Chris Wolter‘s one. According to its Discogs page, he has been involved with a few records, but many of them are very good ones, including a couple of great Netherland Wave/Experimental records, like Vice‘s A Plain Reprise or Bazooka‘s De Platte Pet (Check Out Rood on this album). As a matter of fact, these records all have in common great and audacious mixes… So I guess we’re giving a shout to an unknown studio wizard.
Update (02/16/2018) :
We received a message from Belinda De Bruyn, the uncredited singer on Venetian Blinds. Here is the full message :
« Hello, I actually know the full story on this track since I was the lead singer of this band and recorded the vocals you are hearing. The song was indeed our only commercially released track. Gaby Lang was the girlfriend of our manager (Rose Windels / ARS) in those days. When the record was recorded, mixed and released, my name was replaced by Gaby’s who merely did some backing vocals. I was young, unexperienced and very angry and deceived. We even did some photoshoot wrapped in plastic bin bags, me lying on a table like some sacrifice, which was supposed to be the artwork. The band members were Georges De Decker (keys) still active in avant-garde electronic music), Dries D’Haese (bass), Luc Duerinck (guitar) and no longer with us, Dirk …. (forgot his last name) but also passed away. Anyway, glad you like our music from way back then…. my name is Belinda de Bruyn »