Sunday, September 6, 2009

Les Rallizes Dénudés - Yodo-Go-A-Go-Go [溺れる飛べない鳥は水羽が必要] (2007)

| Avant-Garde | Psychedelic Rock | Noise Rock |
| Experimental Rock | Folk-Rock |

Though Les Rallizes Dénudés were one of the earliest and most revolutionary Japanese psychedelic/noise rock bands, and have existed off and on through four decades (since 1967), they are also one of the most obscure, barely known even in their native country. (aka) Hadaka no Rallizes' frontman, Takashi Mizutani, is one of the most important characters on japanese avant-garde music. His style presages Keiji Haino, Asahito Nanjo and Masami Akita (merzbow)'s musical explorations. Les Rallizes Dénudés is often compared to The Velvet Underground, and maybe, if it wasn't for them, Avant-garde music would never be the same.

Yodo-Go-A-Go-Go (aka Flightless Bird Needs Water Wings) is an unofficial compilation of their '67-'69 works. It's a great start point for those who never listened to Mizutani nor are into japanese underground, and has their finest early songs. The opening "Otherwise My Conviction" might be one of their best songs, and it's followed by "Vallé De L'Eau", my favourite. "Enter the Mirror", "Flames of Ice" and "Fields of Artificial Flowers" have great improvisation, full of noise and experimentation, and while the guitar shimmers through tides of noise, the bass' repetitive line can hypnotise anyone into their huge storm. The album closes with a awesome 2nd version of "Otherwise My Conviction", as mind-blowing as the 1st.

Les Rallizes Dénudés was also known for their relation with leftist politicial groups from Japan. This album's name is taken from an airplane hijacking at 1970 in Japan by leftist terrorists, in which the bassist Wakabayashi was one of the 9 people involved. Although Mizutani was allegedly offered a role in the hijacking, he turned it down.

10THCD003 (10th Avenue Freeze Out)

1 comment:

  1. You wrote:
    if it wasn't for them, Avant-garde music would never be the same.

    In Japan?
    You should listen to Group Ongaku.
    That is a bit stretched!