Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hijokaidan ( 非常階段 ) - Tapes (1986)

| Harsh Noise | Psychedelic | Noise Rock | Drone |

Now this one is awesome. A compilation of lives from 1979-1986, so it's another album ranging Hijokaidan's earlier work. This is simply my favourite album from the 'king of noise'. The great thing in this is that it isn't chained to one simple noise-style, but it goes from completely harsh noise walls to psychedelic guitar noise, electronic drone-noise and even noise rock. Some of the tracks were previously released on cassette (maybe that's why the name is tapes).

Side A starts off with Angel Dust, one of Hijo's most popular tracks. Two layers of very psychedelic and sometimes even rhythmic drumming combined with two layers of completely distorted guitars that splits between 'harsh-wall' to 'shooting-gun' style, mixed of course with lots of mad shouts by Jojo. Circles is one of the highlights. A guitar-drumming-saxophone psychedelic track (yes, SAX!) combined with not more no less than 4 people screaming and raging at the microphone. Then it comes the harsh-electronics No-Titled, which is actually a Incapacitants track. Filled with the one of most tsunami-like walls of electronic noise from this album and some mad psych drumming. The Beyond is another highlight, and what a fucking highlight it is! Two layers of guitar combined with one layer of electronics (provided by the Incapacitant Mikawa) combined with four layers of freaking freaking vocals. Junko and Yuka provides the haunting and scary high-pitched screams, while Jojo screams with his desperate-life style and Mikawa supports with some bizarre cries at the back. Shintaroh and Jojo guitars working alongside with the powerful electronics provided by Mikawa can give you no less than twelve minutes of completely harsh destruction. This one closes the side A with some sparse feedback drone.

Salem's Lot, the first from side B, is probably not the harshest, but for sure one of the bests from the whole album. Jojo turns down the guitar to work together with Mikawa at the electronics, and the results are exactly what you expect, blowing-mind noise. It starts with some 'waving' drone of feedback and grows slowly into a dense wall of electronic/guitar drone-noise and some distant and painful shouts. And then, Tapes closes with probably the best and most impressive track from the whole album, Silver Machine (a Hawkwind cover). One of the few records of Hijokaidan doing Rock. Yes, rock! And fucking noisy rock! Jojo punk-ish and hardcore-like guitar filled with lots of electronic noises by Mikawa explodes into a completely overdrived noise rock song! The strange is that it sounds like an actual full band of noise rock playing, with guitars, basses and drums, and the whole musical structure is very visible for Hijokaidan's standards (even with the whole, and what a whole!, noise within it!) but that just makes this track even more awesome! The guitar is raw, mad and flaming, the electronics are heavy and powerful as hell and there's even distorted vocals provided by both Jojo and Mikawa, and actual rock-melodic vocals, not only shouting and screaming stuff. Simply amazing, this one alone is worth the whole abum.

Catalog: ARLP-012 (Alchemy Records)

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