TIP OF THE TONGUE 04 MAY 2008


Shizuka
Live: Traditional Aesthetics
PSF PSFD-178
CD
OUT OF STOCK!

Shizuka's sole studio album, Heavenly Persona, has long been one of the real jewels hidden in the PSF back catalogue. Indeed, Alan Cummings calls them "THE great lost-in-action group of the Tokyo underground psych scene". The group came together from the fallout of a bunch of early Fushitsusha line-ups, with original second guitarist Maki Miura (who played on Fushitsusha's debut Untitled/1st CD on PSF) joined by Fushitsusha drummer Jun Kosugi, Miura's partner Shizuka on guitar and vocals and Seven on bass. But outside of their one official studio album and a few patchy live recordings evidence of their majestic take on extended psychedelic rock has been pretty thin on the ground. So this album may well be one of the most anticipated PSF releases in an age, the official follow-up to Heavenly Persona, consisting of a beautifully recorded live set from 1995 long whispered about in underground circles, with the band at the peak of their powers. The form here is more extended than on their studio album, with songs that explode into disruptively melodic lead guitar bombs, combining the white-heat of Keiji Haino with the emotionally fraught aspect of classic Neil Young. Shizuka's vocals float on a bed of ethereal reverb and the group interaction is just gorgeous, piloting hushed F/X through damaged blues and classic Japanese psych moves. But it's the guitar playing you'll keep coming back to, with some of the most amazing six-string destructo moves ever torn from a stack of amps. Seriously. An incredible record from one of the all-time great Japanese underground groups. Highest possible recommendation.



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