In 2004 Naïve, one of France’s most interesting and successful indpendent record labels, branched out into publishing. One of the early titles was Tokyo décibels by Hitonari Tsuji (published 2 September 2005), a fascinating novel centred around a chappie hired by the council to walk around Tokyo with a notebook and a handheld device that measures noise levels, with the aim of producing a sonic map of the city. It’s where psychogeography meets psychoacoustics, with plenty of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll thrown in to keep things interesting. To the best of my knowledge, it has not been translated into English.
The physical book itself is a beautiful object: a trade paperback in a non-standard 19cmx14cm format, with a sturdy, textured cover designed by les Associés réunis and featuring a brilliant illustration by Etsuko Watanabe. A real delight!