Monday, July 30, 2007

Music I Liked And Didn't - 7/10/07 - 7/30/07

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V/A: Tokyo Flashback, Volume 6 CD (PSF) - Back in 1991, the initial volume of PSF’s “Tokyo Flashback” blew the minds and opened the ears of many uninitiated afficianados of various forms of underground culture (including yours truly - thank you PSF!) to the glories of the modern Japanese underground music scene. This now legendary series of “psychedelic samplers” continues to be among the scene-defining documents of the Japanese underground and, 16 years later, has now reached its sixth volume.

Although those halycon days of the early 90’s when all the insane sounds of these mysterious and now, in some cases, almost mythical groups can never be completely recaptured, “Tokyo Flashback, Volume 6” is, perhaps, the closest throwback to the original “Tokyo Flashback” in the sense that almost all the groups presented on this set are completely new. In fact, only three of these groups even contain members whose names I recognize from previous bands - Ogikubo Connection (which features Fukuoka Rinji of the Overhang Party), S. A. R. O. D. (Mondo Bohachi from Aural Fit), and Kawaguchi Masami’s New Rock Syndicate (Kawaguchi has long been a major player in the scene as leader of the Broomdusters, LSD March, and Miminokoto).

As always, a wide variety of musical styles are represented, from acid folk and arty no-wave to acid punk and beyond! Highlights include: the awesome blast of heavy psych from Kawaguchi Masami’s New Rock Syndicate “Oblivion”; the sweeping, lysergic pop grandeur of “The World Of Mirror” by Hananoyouni; the noisy, experimental rock of S. A. R. O. D.’s “Bobby-Dick”; a couple of rough hewn, acoustic guitar based folk pieces, Onna’s “Prophet” and the Ogikubo Connection’s cover of the late Kaneko Jutok’s “Staring At Blood”; the 60’s acid-flash influenced psych rocker “Mugen” by Yakouchu; and the fragile acid folk of "A Moonlight Night" by Genshi.

“Tokyo Flashback, Volume 6” is certainly the best release in this series in many years and has renewed my interest in a scene that had, in my humble opinion, grown somewhat stale (with a few limited exceptions, most notably, Boris) and had suffered a bit, as well, from over exposure (helloooo - Acid Mother’s Temple?!? and, yes, I’ll reluctantly admit, the aforementioned, Boris, too!). I look forward with great anticipation to hearing more from these exciting new artists. Until then, however, I strongly encourage anybody who is even remotely interested in the Japanese underground music scene to pick up “Tokyo Flashback, Volume 6” for a satisfying aural fix!

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Running Count For The Year

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