Before we talk about SCHAFT’s new album, let me give you guys some background info, since I’m pretty sure no one knows who SCHAFT is, and their group picture doesn’t help much either. SCHAFT is a two-man project composed of BUCK-TICK’s guitarist, Imai Hisashi, and Fujii Maki, formed back in 1991.

Now, we all know who Imai is (or atleast know who BUCK-TICK is) but most of us might not know who Fujii Maki is. Maki is the former member of synth-pop group Soft Ballet, and also worked alongside Atsushi Sakurai (BUCK-TICK) and Kirito (PIERROT, Angelo) on their respective solo works.

As previously mentioned, SCHAFT’s beginnings date back to 1991, when its two members came together to release the song, Nicht-Titel, on a compilation album titled Dance 2 Noise 001, featuring several Japanese electronic and industrial artists. It wasn’t until 1994, when BUCK-TICK and Soft Ballet toured together, that SCHAFT re-united and returned to the scene, releasing their first full album. During this period, the band was known for frequently playing remixes of their own original songs. These remixes were never recorded on CD, except for the song Cold Light.

Despite SCHAFT’s popularity in Japan, SCHAFT once again disappeared for several years until 1999, when the duo remixed a song from the band Zilch, and subsequently toured with them. Although, during this tour they were only guest musicians and did not play their own songs.

After 1999, SCHAFT disappeared from the scene… until now! SCHAFT has announced their return with a new full album! This album is titled ULTRA, and will release on January 20 (on my birthday! That makes the album extra special!). While a tracklist or cover art has not been revealed, we have been given the guest collaborators who will be participating on this album. YOW-ROW from GARI, Takeshi Ueda from AA =, and Yukihiro from L’arc~en~ciel will be participating!

This really seems like an interesting project, definitely going to keep my eyes on this duo. How about you? are you interested in this project? Let us know in the comments below!

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