Yeah I dig,I dig,Alan!
This Alan Cumming geezer gets it right in his sleeve notes. As Japan was cut off from the outside world in centuries gone by,they were again in the post war era,as far as the west was concerned, albeit only musically.
Before 1993,all I knew of Japanese pop music was the bloody awful Yellow Magic Orchestra, and The rather amusing Frank Chickens,who i saw as a novelty act more than a musical turn.
The afore mentioned eclecticism that is so evidently rife in all Japanese music,tended to produce an identifiable form of extreme music that specifically came only from Japan and nowhere else.Their Free Jazz is more extreme, Their Rock is noisier,their Noise is Noisier, their Pop unfathomable, fueled by,as Cummings puts it, an Interzone of possibilities trapped behind one way glass,observing outwards at a wonderland through the looking glass.
Western ears were not attuned to this ,even if they did have the same record collections, their Branes needed to be trained,and the membrane penetrated.
Enter the Tokyo Flashback compilations......ahhh now i understand, I think?
There's plenty of noisy stoner rock, free improvisation,skewed versions of classic anglo-saxon pop,and other unidentifiable stuff.White Heaven,for example, features a rather bizarre singer who sounds for want of a better word, Drunk;but i suspect its a Japanese accent of some form?
As Krautrock was populated by bands who couldn't really play their instruments like those Anglo-Saxon Progressive Rock stars,so had to play within their abilities to create something accidently 'Neu'. Japrock was full of equally unschooled musicians who tried and failed to play the Psychedelia of that tired western template,but instead of playing within their abilities ,they focused on the noise and the freedom and went further.Embrace your inabilities and magnify them There was nothing like Fushitsusha anywhere else,not even in West Germany, 1970......and don't forget Fushitsusha were going even before then!?
1 Overhang Party– Fever 7:49
2 White Heaven– Midsummer Stroll 5:36
3 Fushitsusha – Began To Notice 11:28
4 Cobalt – Woodcutter Mountain People -3:01
5 Komo Ta Hae– Bottom Of The Night 8:47
6 Sweet & Honey– Ritual Of The Sun 4:44
7 Ghost – Suspect Tells Of Dog Under The Sun 6:19
8 Daiichi Hakkensha – All Die Anyway 4:22
9 Uchu Engine– Certificate 6:11
10 Maher Shalal Hash Baz– Tapes (Tuning-Casey Don't You Know How It Makes Me So Damn Crazy-うつ病のくすり~The Night Of Notins) 9:48
11 Schizuka – Mother Of A Child that Has been Unwound 7:44