Hijokaidan x Jun Togawa — Togawa Kaidan
(Reveil TECH-26464, 2016, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-06-08
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.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
The Fiery Furnaces - Gallowsbird's Bark, Blueberry Boat, Rehearsing My Choir, EP, & Bitter Tea – A circus medley of distinct musical apparitions like a non-nasal Holy Modal Rounders of the twenty-first century with equal parts Jonathan Richman, The Velvet Underground, and Grease! Hey, Rizzo! ... (2007) » Read more