Depending on who you speak to, Despair are either the absolute nadir of Japanese alternative music, or the figuredheads of Eastern Industrial. I lean towards the latter of the scale, being intrigued by their energy and insanity.
First, a bit of History. Despair started out under the name Der Gestaltkries, but it's unclear if anything was released under this name. Under the Despair name, the group released a number of CDs, and singles, but again, every site seems to list different things. The only real web presence was in Japanese, and it's not uncommon in the western world for this to remain the case, due to lack of awareness and interest for a fanbase to be hardened enough to attempt a translation into English.
This release is a compilation of alternative mixes from their album "Deserted Technology Riot" (which I'll probably post in the future). The immediate take from this is the excellent interplay between dual vocalists Rieu and Ana.
(Sad fact : Ana committed suicide in March 2008. She also headlined a band called "Geeks" and was considered a figuredhead of Japanese Industrial music).
Moving on, this EP combines many styles of music, from Digital Hardcore and Breakcore to Industrial and Punk. If you're able to imagine a couple of Japanese maniacs behind a computer with punk vocals and an electro-industrial aesthetic - well, you're not even close, but it's the best you're going to get.
If Alec Empire spoke Japanese, took way too much acid, was in a pissed off mood, and recorded an argument with Nic Endo, it would probably sound like this.
Oh, and the first track is surprisingly good fun.