Exposé Online banner

Hijokaidan x Jun Togawa — Togawa Kaidan
(Reveil TECH-26464, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-06-08

Togawa Kaidan Cover art

I’m probably not alone in regarding the prospect of a Hijokaidan album with some trepidation. As one of the longest running producers of avant-noise rock, they have an extensive catalog of very loud, very distorted, very chaotic recordings. This band is all about transgression, be it extremes of feedback or onstage antics. But when I saw that they were collaborating with Jun Togawa, my interest was piqued — what would one of Japan’s most interesting and unpredictable singers bring to the mix, and how much of Jojo Hiroshige and company’s normal wall of noise be the rule? The album consists of five collaborative tunes between Togawa and the band, individual live tracks from three of the band’s members (guitarist Hiroshige, electronic manipulator Toshiji Mikawa, and vocalist Junko), two live Hijokaidan tracks without Togawa, and one duet with Hiroshige and Mikawa. The first track is a fairly typical slab of Hijokaidan consisting of wailing, heavily distorted guitar, chaotic electronic noises, and Junko’s incoherent screaming, with real drums courtesy of Acid Mothers Temple veteran Okano Futoshi. Pretty harsh stuff. Togawa joins on track 2, a “New Mix” of her 1985 avant-techno song “Suki Suki Daisuki” with her singing backed by a drum machine, noisy electronics, and guitar feedback, while parts of the original track (I think) play. Very strange. The other Togawa tunes are all new, noisy takes on tracks from Yapoos, her twisted synth-pop band of the late 80s to early 90s, sometimes sounding like old Yapoos demo versions supplemented by squalling feedback. For the solo tracks, all are formless blasts of noise (or in Junko’s case, screeching nonsense syllables). The Togawa tunes are somewhat reminiscent of Siouxsie Sioux or Nina Hagen grafted onto random noise, the others are more or less random noise without the interest of vocal melodies, and will appeal to only a very select audience and probably alienate Jun Togawa fans looking for their quirky diva to shine.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Jun Togawa, Hijokaidan

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Frameshift - An Absence of Empathy – Within the network of hard rock musicians there are plenty of opportunities for various players to meet, establish a working partnership and make some new music. Sebastian Bach (former lead singer of...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues