Finally, after over a month of unanswered emails and text messages, blown deadlines, and pleas to finish and turn in their new album, last week, a large brown cardboard box showed up at the Dead Oceans doorstep. It had “SHINJU TNT” scrawled across the bottom of the box in black magic marker, and the return address read only “AK, Detroit.”
Opening it revealed a sincere but poorly made diorama of futurist swirling spaces filled with toy astronauts and dinosaurs, four blown out song fragments on a TDK CDR in a ziplock bag, three pictures, and a typewritten note from Akron/Family. A post-it on the bag declared the band refused to send the full album to anyone but the vinyl pressing plant, for fear of leaking and possible lost revenues.
From the note and a short video that arrived days later, we’ve pieced together that the album was written in a cabin built into the side of Mount Meakan, an active volcano in Akan National Park, on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. It was recorded in an abandoned train station in Detroit with the blackest white dude we all know, Chris Koltay (Liars, Women, Deerhunter, Holy Fuck, No Age). Chris, on tour after finishing the record, commented: “this album will transcend the internet.”
Akron/Family spent the end of 2009 and half of 2010 exploring the future of sound through Bent Acid Punk Diamond fuzz and Underground Japanese noise cassettes, lower case micro tone poems and emotional Cagean field recordings, rebuilding electronic drums from the 70’s and playing them with sticks they carved themselves. Upon miraculous resuscitation of the original AKAK hard drive, the album layers thousands of minute imperceptible samples of their first recordings with fuzzed-out representations of their present beings to induce pleasant emotional feeling states and many momentary transcendent inspirations.
This album is titled “S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT.” We have no idea what that means.
Below is the transcription of the note found in the brown box delivery:
It started. a note left for us in an old abandoned space reads:
“Do Not Erase
I Was Ak”
Flourish.Flourish.Flourish. Fuck Shit Up.
We took this to heart.
Hidden out. Abandoned train station Detroit summer. Odd purple light. Rooms converted into serious makeshift portal creation zones to dimensionalize the recording fully in imagination. Honey bee mexican grocery behind. Sky is night. Song construction think back a submarine culture inspired side of Volcano futurism forested in old backbrain Japan.
Birth of early adulthood ideal tribalist experimentation before belief of the best better ways. Little dreams written in communal books. These memories recovered from old coughing hard drives, spliced infinitesimally small and reconstructed into front lobe acid punk outsider emotional music spaces. A true fantasy story that ain’t no lie for direct to our fans and for the rest of ’em. All welcome and fuck ’em all or at least the rest of ’em simultaneously.
A great flourishing of friendships and joint creativity and hard work. Brought about by the still stubborn belief in a vision creative and encouraging.
Catching the Big Fish. An Eastern European blue van dream up. Follow the 12-foot yellow paper roll from SE Portland. A dream roll of visions and bulldozers organized by Future Librarians unemployed, Intoxicated, Artistic-bent, Roving Aimlessly Free of expectation 100 years later.