JAPROCKSAMPLER #4




1 - Les Rallizes Denudés - Strung Out Deeper Than The Night (HEAVIER THAN A DEATH IN THE FAMILY (LIVE '73-'77)

"Has a one-way trip into the Heart of Darkness ever been made on a more handsome jalopy? For those of you who love their rock 'n' roll mayhem to be grounded in traditional chord sequences à la Electric Eels and the mid-'70s Cleveland bands, here Mizutani's channeling both Lou Reed and Leigh Stephens. Side one is just the massively hooky 'Strung Out Deeper Than The Night', a fifteen-minute plod that slows down Booker T's 'Green Onions' to funeral pace."


2 - Tokyo Kid Brothers - ピース~ダダダ/下田逸郎(作曲・共作) (THROW AWAY THE BOOKS, WE'RE GOING OUT IN THE STREETS, 1971)

"Sounding as thrilling and berserk as J.A. Caesar in full flight, this amazing interpretation of Shuji Terayama's 'city play' is by far and away this ensemble's finest hour. The psychedelic guitar riffs are said to be the work of Flower Travellin' Band's Hideki Ishima, the stock chatter, the screaming, and the chorale all supporting rumours that Caesar himself was involved. Only the movie version betters this ecstatic performance."



3 - Love Live Life +1 - Facts About It All (LOVE WILL MAKE A BETTER YOU, 1971)

"This record closes brilliantly with the demented 'Facts About It All', which opens like Fuse laying a grunting 6/8 James Brown/Eric Burdon ballad on us. But no, this miniature R&B opera says in 2 minutes and 56 seconds what prog bands took a whole side to say. All hail visionary genius Ikuzo Orita for uniting his fave guitarist Kimio Mizutani with the errant free-jazz Gibson 335 of Takao Naoi, whose brittle spittle pops permanent wheelies around these slippery rhythm tracks."


4 - Magical Power Mako - Give Me Present (JUMP, 1977)

"After the impish precociousness of his debut, Mako caught up in the post-TUBULAR BELLS fallout that afflicted much music of 1974-75, so his second release, SUPER RECORD, was unlistenable New Age twaddle of the World Music variety, (...) A good slapping from occasional cohort Keiji Haino got him back on track, as evidenced from the massively crunchy Kraut-funk of JUMP. By-bye panpipes; back comes the RIOT-period Sly Stone mind-numbing bass, plus madly catchy glampop hooks, phased twin-lead guitars and ridiculous catchy hooklines."


5 - Far East Family Band - Metempsychosis (PARALLEL WORLD, 1976)

"This righteous kosmische union of Japanese commune band and legendary Krautrock producer Klaus Schultze yielded two sides of extraordinary meditative space rock, setting it apart from almost all other Japrock. (...) Like the so-called Keltic languages, Japanese often cloaks its meanings in ambiguity and none more so than in this work. Acting as a smokescreen for two seamless thirty-minute sides of music, the many titles contain multiple meanings and intentional ambiguities to further mystify listeners."





6 - 3/3 - Open a Window (SANBUN NO SAN, 1975)

"Lo-fi 1975 studio recordings from one of only five surviving acetates, released in 2005 on red vinyl, these seven long generic sub-Stooges, proto-Friction jams sum up the late commune scene even better than Dr Acid Seven's own UNDERGROUND '70s CD series. 3/3 was three ex-Maru Sankaku Shikaku members: Chiko Hige on drums, Hiroshi Higo on bass, and future No Waver/Friction leader Reck on guitar and vocals. With a sound akin to the Stooges' own RUBBER LEGS boot, y'all knows what you're in for (...) 'Open a Window' is 'Raw Power', with Friction vocals and a classic wah-wah solo."






6 - Kuni Kawachi & Flower Travellin' Band - Scientific Investigation (KIRKYOGEN, 1970)



"Despite being former organist and leader of Group Sounds underachievers Happenings Four, Kuni Kawachi nailed this sucker to the floor with an entire album of classic songs, featuring the aforementioned Flower Gods in pole positions throughout. (...) While dry, spaced-out and highly original hard-rocking ballads occupy side one, side two is possessed of a hitherto unseen acoustic side of guitarrist Hideki Ishima's playing in the highly catchy 'Graveyard of Love', 'Classroom for Women' and the late Velvets-styled 'Scientific Investigation'."




*All descriptions written by Julian Cope from his book JAPROCKSAMPLER




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