Dear all,

I’m booking dates for some Japanese artists:

HIJOKAIDAN feat.Junko are available on 9th, 10th and 11th October.

Please click on those links and also read the long reviews that follow.

               HIJOKAIDAN feat Junko

The best hidden secret legends of Japan noise and it is completely thanks
to Lasse Marhaug’s efforts that they have left Japan to play a show at the
All Ears Festival 2006 in Oslo, Norway, which Mister Marhaug recorded and
now releases on his very own Piccadisk label. Hijokaidan are so withdrawn
from the public sphere that even amongst the ever-searching noise addict
scene they are hard to come by. This status is also enforced by the fact
that they hardly ever play live, especially not outside the Japan isle,
and that they record even less. I only ever came across one release – a
white ten inch – about fifteen years back and then I didn’t buy it,
because it was too obscure for me. (Can you imagine that!) Compare that
kind of productivity to Merzbow and you see what I mean, though Hijokaidan
have been around since 1979 so they actually stand right there next to
Kazayuki K. Null or Keiji Haino in longevity. The more thanks to Sir Lasse
Marhaug for making this unknown giants better known to a broader audience
(at least I hope it works.)

The core of Hijokaidan are Jojo Hiroshige, who abuses a guitar like not a
lot people are able to, and Junko, who does the same to vocal chords.
Recovering from a severe inflammation of the throat and larynx momentarily
I wonder how a human being is able to do that. To describe them as a
mixture of Masonna and Keiji Haino, though probably good for business on
the one hand, is completely out of course on the other one. Not only
because they usually mix up with a bunch of other, differing people in
shows, but because it does not do justice to the power of what can be
heard on this CD.

“Polar Nights” is structured according to the appearance of Hiroshige and
Junko during the three day All Ears festival, which had the two-people
basic line up of Hijokaidan on the first night and then Hiroshige
performing with Per Gisle Galaen (known probably from DEL, the most
underrated psychedelic band from Scandinavia – because whatever you say
about them is an understatement of some sorts) and Junko doing a separate
set with Sten Ove Toft (from Ryfylke, which draw a blank on my map, which
I intend to change as soon as possible).

So the first track is a long ride through incredible distortion and
chaotic noise consisting basically of a guitar and voice. Which in itself
is incredible, because most of the time it sounds as if you are stuck in a
giant building that is collapsing because Godzilla is stomping around on
it – yeah like that but a hundred times more extreme. The track is called
“No Oslo No Harm” for a reason, you know. Hiroshige leaves out no trick on
his six sides, giving them the full force destruction as well burning core
shredding and high level feedbacks while my throat goes back to hurting
like hell only listening to what Junko is doing. Message? Political
inclination? I don’t think so, apart from the cathartic cleansing that
experiencing such an event live must have on any kind of person, cleaning
him or her from all the bullshit and pretensions and arrogance that gets
so big in everybody these days. You know, there is a reason that noise
musicians always seem to be the most gentle people you could possibly know
when meeting them somewhere. Hijokaidan even do a encore on this track,
which in itself is another unbelievable act.

This set takes up about half an hour of the CD and while other labels
would have sufficed with that, counting in the legend status of
Hijokaidan, on this release you will find some more. Galaen and Hiroshige
start off their collaboration in a more “gentle” manner, layering their
guitars over one another with the droning massiveness of Leviathan
swimming by. Suddenly all those records by Fear Falls Burning start to
taste a little stale, judging against the overwhelming depths and
multitude of these sounds. Maybe Dirk Serries is just releasing too much,
drawing out a single idea over to long a period? Maybe it means that
getting back to the roots of something is always more satisfying an
experience than ingesting the generic product? Anyway, this track is less
chaotic, less substantially self-destructing, but still intense and dense.
Most of the time you could easily guess that it is guitars, by the way.
The other collaboration of that night is Junko with electronic
experimentalist Sten Ove Toft and it is also a treat. Actually, it is a
scream. Do you remember those voices off-Hollywood producers like to use
on Horror-movies to portray the sounds that lost souls or a mass of evil
ghosts make? You get this here manifold a hundred times. Yes, definitely
intriguingly cool and devastating, the way it should be. Junko’s voice is
as destructive as a neutron bomb or any other distasteful and politically
non-correct comparison, and Toft’s electronic noise is like a single-layer
Masami Akita, which together makes for a unique experience. But since this
is turning out the longest review I ever wrote, and there are still some
little things to say, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination (as if you
would ever be able to…)

We also have to applaud again the incredible Lasse Marhaug for the genius
business plan of getting great noise musicians to play live shows and then
filling releases with the recordings of these shows. There is nothing
better than taking full advantage of possibilites, and as long as the
effects are as great as this, there is no way we are gonna complain in any
way. Amidst all the junk it is releases like this that seem to make all
the hassle worthwhile. Therefore I am gonna add here that there is another
great release on Piccadisk, which is an album by – gasp – the
Incapacitants, another Japan Noise legend, as well as a great album by
Lasse Marhaug on Quasi-Pop, which is a new collaboration with Anla
Courtis. Both of which will find praising reviews in these pages in the
next weeks.

I hope to hear from you asap.




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