Jump to content

Phew (singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Birth nameHiromi Moritani
Born12 September 1959
Osaka, Japan
Occupation(s)Singer, composer
Instrument(s)Vocals, electronics, synthesizer
Years active1978–present
Mute Records
Pass Records

Phew is a Japanese singer and analogue electronics improviser working in the areas of experimental and avant-garde music.

Music career[edit]

Her career began as a member of post-punk group Aunt Sally, who released a self-titled album on Osaka’s Vanity Records in 1979.[1]

After the break-up of Aunt Sally, she released the "Finale"/"Urahara" single produced by composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, followed by the Phew album recorded at Conny Plank's studio in Cologne, with Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit.[2] This was followed by a series of albums that included Our Likeness, recorded with Plank and Liebezeit, featuring Einstürzende Neubauten's Alexander Hacke and D.A.F/Liaisons Dangereuses's Chrislo Haas.[3]

After 1995's Himitsu No Knife, she remained active in various groups, including the jam rock ensemble Novo Tono featuring Otomo Yoshihide, a collaboration with electronic musician Hiroyuki Nagashima called Big Picture, and the punk group Most with Boredoms guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto.[4] In 2010, she returned to her solo career with the covers album Five Fingered Discount on her own Bereket label, featuring Jim O'Rourke.[4]

From 2012 she began to work in electronic music and home recordings which gave rise to a prolific series of records, starting with 2015's A New World and continuing with 2017's Light Sleep and 2018's Voice Hardcore. In 2018 she also released Island, a collaboration with Raincoats' Ana da Silva.[5]

By the time of 2021's New Decade, she was receiving widespread acclaim for her long career in experimental music.[6]



  • New Decade (LP/CD) Mute (2021)
  • Voice Hardcore (LP) Mesh-Key (19 Jan 2018 in US)
  • Voice Hardcore (CD) Bereket (1 Nov 2017 in Japan)
  • Light Sleep (LP) Mesh-Key 2017
  • A New World (CD) Felicity 2015
  • Five Finger Discount (CD) Bereket 2010
  • Himitsu no Knife (CD) Alida 1995[7]
  • Our Likeness (LP/CD) Mute 1992
  • Songs (Maxi-Single) 1991
  • View (LP/CD) 1987
  • Phew(LP/CD) Pass Records 1981[2]
  • Finale c/w Urahara (Single) Pass Records 1980

Aunt Sally[edit]

  • Self-titled (LP) Vanity Records 1979 - Reissued on Mesh-Key (2022)


  • Most. P-Vine, PCD-25010, 2003
  • Most. P-Vine, PCD-5647, 2001
  • Most. 2000.11.26. CD-R. 2001

With bands and projects[edit]

  • Patience Soup with Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi (LP) Black Truffle 2019
  • Island with Ana da Silva (LP) (28 September shouting out loud! 2018)
  • Island with Ana da Silva (CD) only (5 September NEWWHERE MUSIC 2018)
  • Project Undark Radium Girls 2011 with Erika Kobayashi (CD) Bereket 2012
  • Morio Agata. Norimono Zukan. Bridge BRIDGE-078, 2007
  • Morio Agata. Norimono Zukan. Vanity 0005, 1980
  • Big Picture. Big Picture. Little More, LMCA-1002, 2001
  • Big Picture. Big Picture. CD-R
  • Blind Light. The Absence of Time. Alida, ALIDA-001, 1994
  • Anton Fier. Dreamspeed/Blind Light 1992–1994. 2-CD set Tzadik, TZ 7609 2003
  • Anton Fier. Dreamspeed. Avant, AVAN-009, 1993
  • Novo Tono. Live. CD-R. 2001
  • Novo Tono. Panorama Paradise. Alida/Creativeman, CMDD-00038, 1996
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Ensemble. Dreams. Tzadik, TZ 7238, 2002
  • Otomo Yoshihide. Otomo Yoshihide Plays the Music of Takeo Yamashita. P-Vine, PCD-5804, 1999
  • The Unknown Cases, and Phew. Koyasan. Fünfundvierzig, MCD 45122, 2001
  • Phew and Seiichi Yamamoto. Shiawase no Sumika. Tokuma Japan Communications, TKCH-71454, 1998


  • Pass No Past. 2-CD set Pass/P-Vine, SSAP-004/5, 2005
  • Improvised Music from Japan. 10-CD set. Improvised Music from Japan, IMJ-10CD, 2001
  • Mottomo Otomo: Unlimited XIII. Trost, TR076, 2000
  • Megabank Presents Tribute to New Wave. Megabank, MB-2.507CD, 1995
  • Rebel Incorporated. 2-LP set, Wax, 17WXL-3001/3002; CD, Wax, 32WXD-101


  1. ^ Pelly, Jenn. ""New World" review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  2. ^ a b "DeLorean: Phew - "Phew" (1981)". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  3. ^ Pothast, Emily (June 2022). "New Day Rising". The Wire. No. 460. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  4. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Phew Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  5. ^ Geffen, Sasha. ""Island" Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  6. ^ Phares, Heather. ""New Decade" Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  7. ^ ""The thing I care the most about is tone"September 1995: An interview with Phew from G-Modern #9+ 3 album reviews - BLACK EDITIONS". 1 May 2019. Archived from the original on 1 May 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2021.

External links[edit]