Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Various Artists



A compilation that culls tracks from a series of ‘lecture concerts' that took place between September 2003 and February 2004 at Mesar Haus, Tokyo. Kicks off with a fantastically dense hurdy-gurdy drone from Keiji Haino and also features tracks from guitarist Kazuo Imai, pianist Junichiro Okuchi, shamisen master Michihiro Sato, turntablist Otomo Yoshihide and saxophonist Masayoshi Urabe.

Various Artists
Dead Silence

Room 40 RMBK-002

Art Book

Nicely presented/compiled art book, put together by Lawrence English with contributions from a head-spinning range of artists on the subject of ‘dead silence’: ranging across art, text, essays, letters and photography with contributions from musicians/artists/writers such as Keiji Haino (who discusses the meaning of ‘Seijaku’), Liz Harris aka Grouper, Alan Licht, Makino Takashi, Jamie Stewart, Marina Rosenfeld, James Webb, Benoit Pioulard, Steve Roden, Eugene Carchesio, Terre Thaemliz, Sandra Selig, Jack Sargeant, Philip Samartzis, Greg Hainge, Ross Manning (Sky Needle), David Toop and Heiko Muller.

Sukino Godaburyu Ichieichi

Trailights Records TRLT-0006


Unbelievable new Japan-only CD from Keiji Haino’s ferocious electro psych/metal/punk trio Sanhedrin: following on from 2008’s Sun Head Ring, Sukino Godaburyu Ichiechi is the third Sanhedrin album and sees Haino on guitar and vocals, Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins/Musica Transonic et al) on drums and Mitsuru Nasuno on bass playing in an incredible monomaniacal six-limbed style that combines slashing single chord ascensions, the sound of holy choral and annihilating basement prog. Bassist Nasuno’s input is key, playing with a massively F/X damaged electric bass that functions as a lightning rod for some of Haino’s most perfectly poised guitar work, flitting between heavy powerchord accompaniment and spurts of epic six string excess before dropping into zones of pure reverb heaven as he sings softly to himself in the style of the most soul-scraping Fushitsusha recordings. There are also long sections of weirdo two note electro hypnosis, with Haino threading clean runs around it like coils of DNA while Yoshida plays in a slow nod-out style. But with Sanhedrin it’s hard to isolate individual instrumental contributions as the group mind is so strong they seem to move as a single monolithic juggernaut and this is easily the apex of their amazing free metal sound. Packaged in a slim DVD style case w/classy snaps. Very highly recommended!

High Rise
Psychedelic Speed Freaks Live 1986



Nanjo Asahito’s High Rise were the original Psychedelic Speed Freaks that gave the PSF label their name and their aesthetic, with Ikeezumi founding the imprint with the specific intent of documenting their insane take on extended psychedelic punk. Their glory years were the mid-80s, specifically 1986 where they recorded their classic album, High Rise 2. This fantastic archival (region free) DVD catches the band at the peak of their hyper-exaggerated powers, with the line-up that cut the second album powering their way through a 1986 set that combines outrageous explosions of wah-wah guitar with everything-in-the-red aesthetics and a look that combines freak-out Detrotisms with Velvets cool. Still one of the all-time great psychedelic punk groups, this DVD is a timely reminder of why they blew so many minds when they first turned up via bootleg LPs in the west. Recommended.

Green Flames

Assommer 007


Out-of-nowhere return for legendary Tokyo underground psychedelic speed freak guitarist Munehiro Narita with a group that to all intents and purposes is a re-fitted High Rise: Munehiro co-formed High Rise along with bassist Nanjo Asahito (Mainliner/Musica Transonic/Toho Sara et al) and helped launch PSF Records, which was founded to bring the works of High Rise and Fushitsusha to more prominence, with the label taking its name from the High Rise motto, Psychedelic Speed Freaks. Munehiro was one of the key guitarists of the era, perfecting a squealing fast-soloing style that pushed wah-wah excess into new realms of total sonic refusal. Here he is joined by original High Rise drummer Yuro Ujiie with Nanjo Asahito replaced by bassist/vocalist Tabata Mitsuru of Zeni Geva/Loud Machine 5000/Acid Mothers Temple et al.
The basic High Rise formula remains intact, thug-punk riffs hammered to infinity cut with whirlwind wah-wah solos but Tabata’s vocals give the whole deal a weird/sneering under-the-counter-culture appeal that sounds like it comes straight outta Ohio. Indeed, the rhythm section sound fantastic, playing doomy sludge-punk one minute and breaking out swampy Diddley-beats the next, with plenty of room for Narita to bleed in his insane excessive trademark style all over the top. High Rise vinyl is now hideously rare so this is a unique opportunity to grip some heavy duty speed freak wax from one of the defining guitarists of the era. Very highly recommended!