For several years now, Ben Disaster has kept Edmonton dancing, partying, smiling and as of late sweatin’ and two-steppin’. Now presenting the verbicidal Japanese Treats, his new gurgled pan-and-warble organ conquest, the crackles and the layers that envelope and confuse make it tangible and eerie: xylographic etchings rather than lazer-burned temporarity. “They will never understand you/even if they ever wanted to” he croons on “In the Television Hours”, and y’know what? That’s just comforting and beautiful.
There are objects in this world that were meant to bring joy, but somehow missed the mark by a million miles. Like clown dolls. You ever see a clown doll? They are, without exception, invariably grim. Especially when time has not been well to them and now they are down one eyeball or discoloration has turned them into into a coffee stain with big shoes. I’m thinking that Japanese Treats wanted to make a clown doll. *E468 is that clown doll. It’s curious circus music blaring after hours. The tunes from an ice cream truck that is actually an unmarked white van with no windows. Keyboard presets warble with delight over simple beats. I can’t get away from it’s fun time heebie-jeebies. I’m stuck in its house of mirrors.
—Tabs Out / AdHoc
Japanese Treats: one’s mind races at the possibilities? Did it come from a vending machine like this beer and eel-flavored Kit-Kat I’m holding? Maybe Skoshbox will arrive at my door and to my delight I will try candies Westerners dare not imagine but lo and behold are better than our normal, drudge-filled sundries. Or perhaps it’s delivered from a Toronto label in cassette size? This fun bit of Japanese Treats is the moniker of Ben Crossman who cunningly transforms the oddities of Japan into miniature songs of cute strangeness that only reinforces our love of a culture and society we only know from bizarre imports and Kotaku. It’s the same lights and buzzers and sugar highs and costumed teens that make us all wish we were that free and….dammit, cute (gotta hit the quota of cute in this run-on)! Bottom line, you want this. It may not take you into a headfirst dive of Tokyo or Kyoto zaniness, it will deliver on its promise of being a treat not born of North American palates.