Hiruko Records HLP-04
Third volume in this on-going series that documents various stages of evolution of the Japanese underground: following the 70s and 80s the 90s set is the real gravy and represents the decade that was the most creatively accelerated in terms of underground activity. Cream of the crop here is an amazing studio recording from the classic trio Fushitsusha line-up, “Magic V”, with Haino on electric guitar and vocals, Yasushi Ozawa on electric bass and Jun Kosugi on drums recorded during the sessions for their 1993 album for John Zorn’s Avant label, Allegorical Misunderstanding. Haino’s vocal are particularly potent, moving from a high lamenting style to aggressive epiglottal action while the group work the kind of complex rock rhythm equations that would come to define their current incarnation. But that’s not all. There’s a classic “Moungod” live ritual from Masaki Batoh’s Ghost, from their classic self-titled 1997 debut, “Moungod Te Deum” and Hoppy Kamiyama’s legendary God Mountain label is represented by Demi Semi Quaver’s “A*merika”. We also get a great goof of a track from ‘noise’ legends The Gerogerigegege and tracks from Phew, composer/trumpeter Jun Miyake, Ryuichi Sakamoto, E*trance, weirdo J-pop from Takako Minekawa and of course no 90s overview would be complete without a track from legendary guitarist/songwriter and Org recording artist Idiot O’Clock. A great and wide-ranging overview of the creative tumult of underground music in Japan in the 1990s. Recommended.