Sunday, February 12

december's black children / when i die, hell awaits : Japanese psych-rock in the 2000s : LSD March, Kawaguchi Masami, Up-Tight and Suishou No Fune and related musics.

There are several different strands of what could be described as "Japanese psych" music. One of the most recent is also one of the more coherent - a quite distinctive breed combining very Japanese and very European traditions. Following on from the template established by the epochal ur-band of Japanese psych music, Les Rallizes Denudes (whose singular story will be covered in depth in a future Avant Gardening) - one of extreme volume, constant feedback, crunchingly minimal rhythms and structures and violent, discordant guitar playing, along with obligatory black leather jackets and sunglasses. From this influential structure, comes the lessons and structures demonstrated by the previous wave of Japanese psych bands, epitomised by similarly black leather clad icons like Keiji Haino (Fushitsusha, solo) and Jutok Kaneko (Kousokuya), largely documented on the PSF label and others through the 90s, who brought a greater level of experimentation, a tendency towards exploring a wider range of textures and modes.

This subsequent school, explored in tonight's show, was first identifiable as such on the 2003 compilation The Night Gallery. By retrospectively featuring bands from back in the mid 90s who didn't still exist by then, we add a few more transparent elements. Bands like LSD March and Up-Tight have added a structured rock linearity that traces from the Velvet Underground, where Shizuka and Suishou No Fune show the influence of shoegazing. There's a greater impression of a tendency to be looking outwards, both in the music and in the distribution: More and more albums by these bands are released on non-Japanese labels like Siwa, Slooow Tapes, 8MM and Holy Mountain. At the same time, there's a lot of energy put into self-releasing, and murky labyrinthine discographies that mimic the sounds on display here.



1. Shizuka - 'Heavenly persona/ A Song for the World Left Behind' from Live: Traditional Aesthetics (Rec 1995 rel PSF 2008)
2. LSD March - 'Bisyonure No Kimi' from Under Milk Wood (Important, 2009)
3. LSD March - 'Yellow Sea' from Live (cd-ARCHIVE, 2006)
4. LSD March - 'Track 1' (no title) from Disc 3, Box (Self released, 2005)
5. LSD March - 'When I Die, Hell Awaits' from Kanashimino Bishounen (Siwa, 2004)
6. Broom Dusters - 'Soko' from Sound From the Bottom of the Tokyo Underground (rec circa 1996, rel Siwa, 2007)
7. Miminokoto - 'Dokonimo' from The Night Gallery vol 1 (Alchemy, 2003)
8. Miminokoto - 'Tokedasu' from U.S. Tour 2005 E.P. Live in Tokyo (Self released, 2005)
9. Kawaguchi Masami - 'Part 2' from Live in December (Public Eyesore, 2004)
10. Kawaguchi Masami New Rock Syndicate - '(Theme from) New Rock Syndicate' from Cat Vs Frog (Palindrone, 2007)
11. Kawaguchi Masami New Rock Syndicate - 'Melt' from Live in Japan 2007 (self released, 2008)
12. Doodles - 'Sunagatari' from The Night Gallery vol 1 (Alchemy 2003)
13. Up-Tight - 'Sweet Sister Oct 1998 at Studio' from Sweet Sister 1994-2003 (Self-released 2003)
14. Up-Tight - 'The Destruction' from The Beginning of the End (8MM, 2009)
15. Up-Tight - 'The Beginning of the End' from The Beginning of the End (8MM, 2009)
16. Suishou No Fune - 'Entrance to the Labyrinth' from The Gold Labyrinth (Blossoming Noise, 2008)
17. Suishou No Fune - 'Your Tears Drop From The Sky' from The Shining Star (Important, 2007)
18. Suishou No Fune - 'Endless Descent' from I Throw A Stone Into The Endless Depths (Slooow Tapes, 2007)

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